Ever since I’d started coxing I had simply used a standard cox box and separate speed coach. However, with my increasing experience and the ever closer 2012 games on home soil coming up I wanted to look into anything that might give my crew a edge over other crews we would be racing.
This is the first season that I had started to use the coxmate and it was the perfect season as we had such a long gap between the World Cup season and the World Championships in New Zealand. It is fantastic tool to have in the boat when you are grinding out long, hard mileage. I was able to give instant feedback to the crew on how we were travelling. Personally I found the distance per stroke function really useful. Often during a piece you are able to give the crew speeds, however, in an eight you aren’t always going to get massive speed change that will give you a second or two. But with distance per stroke you can get very precise feedback which links into how the boat is moving. We really liked the idea of being able to response how far we were moving the boat each stroke. Knowing that the extra few centimetres will get our bows to the finish line just that little bit faster.
I also found the software totally transformed the way we were able to evaluate our pieces and racing. With a normal speed coach you can record and see a pattern of speed. But with the coxmate software you get far more accurate information and a lot more of it. I found the rate profile during racing very useful to look back at, and also comparing my calls to were we travelled faster or slower and see if there were ways that I could improve the impact I had on the boat.
One area that I feel could be improved was the sound system. I’ve read previous reviews and often people say that with the coxmate you should really use four speakers in an eight. This wasn’t really an option to us, as we did not want to add anymore additional weight to the boat then there already was. I have also tried a coxmate with a more powerful battery pack and the athletes said that it was a bit louder but they still didn’t feel that the clarity was as good as the NK cox box and during racing where there was a lot of noise from other coxes they sometimes missed a few keys words I was saying which hadn’t been a problem in the past.
I personally would really recommend the coxmate to any crew that wants to really get involved in how their boat is moving and how to move it on. Being able to gps set the impeller gives you such confidence in the fact the numbers you are seeing are correct, which is obviously massively important. Realistically, the clarity of sound is one key area that I feel could improve the coxmate, but one the whole I was really impressed with the produce and now see it as a key part of coxing.