It is of a significant interest that ergometers used for evaluating elite athletes are valid and reliable. In this study the aim was to investigate how well displayed power output on a widely used kayak ergometer, DS, (Dansprint ApS, DK) related to a validation setup. Previously Gore et al. (2013) described the accuracy of 12 of the same ergometer using a motor driven calibration rig simulating power between 50 up to 450 W. They found that the ergometers underestimated true mean power with 21-23%. The reference rig simulated a 1 dimensional (1D) movement; this study however, is based on 3D analysis, which was hypothesized to better describe real paddling movement’s and allow more precise power calculations.
Two male national team kayakers took part in the study performing workloads from 70 up to 500 W (+30 W/stage) two times with 3 days between the measurement sessions. They were instructed to target the desired workloads displayed during 35 s bouts. The reference method included a ProReflex optoelectronic system (Qualisys AB, Gothenburg, Sweden) and force transducers (LCM 200, Futek Inc, Ca, US). The force transducers were connected with the rope from ergometer flywheel close to each end of the ergometer paddle to continuously measure force during the bouts of work. The kinematic set-up included eight cameras placed around the ergometer and two reflective markers were attached close to each force transducer.
The reference method used here showed that the validated ergometer underestimated power with 37.7 % over the whole measured range compared to the reference method. The difference was systematic (r2=0.989) and the linear regression model could be applied (DS power = -2.362+0.628*x). When applying a 1D analysis of the collected data, it coincided with the results from Gore et al. (2013).
The data suggest that 1. The measurement solution and/or calculation for describing power output in the DS have limitations. 2. The testing rig referred to in the Introduction (Gore et al. 2013) do not fully estimate true power and 3. The reference method used here is suggested to more exactly represent true paddling power as it includes a 3D movement analysis and close to original paddling simulation set-up. Both reference methods (1D and 3D analysis) show linear differences vs. the DS ergometer, giving an option to adjust the displayed power to a true power produced by elite-athletes.
ECSS Congress, 18th annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, 26th - 29th June 2013 Barcelona Spain