When you think about going kayak camping, touring, or even racing, the last thing on your mind is what’s going on with people on social media. Kayaking offers you a way to unplug and get away from the hustle and bustle of life.
Kayaking out in nature, on the lake or the river, is a great way to connect with nature and remove the distractions from life. However, despite being a soulful activity, you can improve your kayaking experience by introducing technology.
Before the purists skip this article, hear us out. Apps can revolutionize your paddling performance, help you with route planning, and monitor the weather. They improve your kayaking experience from front to back.
Here are the 10 best kayak apps for 2022. Most of them are available for both Android and iOS devices. You have options for free apps and free trials for subscription apps to find the perfect addition to your kayak training and adventures.
If you’re a competitive racing kayaker, CrewNerd is your top choice for improving your paddling. This app is like the Fitbit of the kayaking world. You get everything you need in-app to enhance your paddling performance and develop training habits for kayaking, rowing, canoeing, dragon boat, or SUP.
Create custom workout plans based on time, distance, and strokes. You also can choose from dozens of pre-programmed workouts with training reminders. Record training activities and study your data in maps or graphs or export them to other formats.
CrewNerd measures and evaluates your stroke rate, speed, distance, pace, course, heart rate, and other useful data during your paddling sessions. Plan custom courses from the start and finish line in Google Earth and run auto count down timers when you pass over the start and hit the finish line on plotted routes.
You get live race tracking for your coach and audible feedback during your workout. The app supports hands-free operation, and you get sharing functionality with other training apps like TrainingPeaks or Strava.
This app is a top choice for kayakers looking to measurably improve their performance in competitive racing. If you want tech that gives you an edge in your training and competition, download CrewNerd.
CrewNerd is available for download on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
CrewNerd is our top pick for training apps for kayak competitors or enthusiasts keen on improving their performance with the paddle. However, it’s not the only training app out there. Paddle Logger is another great choice for collecting useful data on your paddling performance and improvement.
Record your paddling session or training session, track training goals, and prepare for your kayaking adventure with safety features built into the app interface. Paddle Logger integrates with Apple Watch, allowing users to reference their real-time data in-app on their watch during training sessions.
You get voice commands through your Apple Watch, and it integrates with the Apple Health app. Connect to your family and friends through the Apple PaddleLIVe service and challenge each other to perform better on the water.
The app requires a simple one-time setup, with an easy-to-navigate interface and loads of great features. Paddle Logger also links to your Apple Device of choice, allowing for easy referencing of your data on your iPhone or iPad.
Track data on your heart rate, calories, interval times, bounce, feet per stroke, and more performance metrics. Plan your kayaking session and use the in-app Paddle Logger widgets feature to track and analyze your paddle statistics in the premium version.
Paddle Logger has subscription options for a free version with in-app advertising or a premium version with no ads and extra features. The premium version includes additional features like “Get Data” and maps with a digital logbook.
Preload and plan race distances and set up virtual races in the pro version. You also have options for tracking speed and progress on your route in real-time through Satellite Trip Maps.
Download for iOS devices only on the Apple App Store.
Last on our list of paddle-tracking apps is “Sports Tracker.” This app also measures your paddling performance, allowing you to monitor your progression in competitive and enthusiast kayaking. Set your goals and plan your workouts around data points to achieve your desired results.
Sports Tracker also includes GPS data tracking performance in real-time through your mobile device. Calculate distances and time and set up racing points with auto countdowns for a start and finish line.
Select your favorite map types with satellite, hybrid, or terrain options. The “On this Route” feature gives paddlers access to their data and statistics for improved route performance analysis. The audio feedback feature gives you your data in real-time. Allowing you to focus on your paddling rather than checking your phone for your data.
Save routes and training plans and download Sports Tracker for free on Google Play Download or the Apple App Store.
The first three apps on this list focus on performance and improving your paddling experience. However, you have to find the launch if you want to go kayaking, right? “Go Paddling” is our top choice for a navigation and launch-finder app.
The Go Paddling app integrates with your phone’s GPS, allowing you to find the nearest launch to your current location. The app contains over 25,000 launch locations, marinas, and docks in the United States. You have options for choosing in-land lakes and waterways or coastal areas.
Best of all, this app is free for download. You have plenty of in-app charts and maps, with users leaving comments on their experience at the launch or venue. Share your thoughts on any launch you visit and leave your opinion for the community to see.
Download Go Paddle for free from the Google Play or Apple App Store.
Navionics is a must-have app for kayak fishing. The weather on the ocean can change on a dime. The last thing you need is to try and make your way back to shore during an unexpected thunderstorm. Understanding the weather is critical for ocean kayaking experiences, but it’s also important for inland waters.
The weather dictates your experience. The size of the waves, the strength of the current on the ocean, and the flow of the river inland all depend on weather conditions. Navionics offers you the best blend of weather data and maps for charting safe kayaking experiences.
Navionics features detailed nautical charts with advanced features and information on the tides, weather, and ocean conditions. You get daily chart updates for better trip planning and location data for fishing stops on lakes or marine areas.
The plotter synchronization allows users to transfer and share routes and markers with other users. Track your timeline in real-time on your device and use Sonarchart shading for a unique perspective of the underwater topography.
It’s a handy app and a must-have download for any angling enthusiast. Download Navionics from the Google Play or Apple App Store.
The ocean has plenty of hazards for kayakers. However, the river also presents a unique set of challenges. Like ocean-going kayaking adventures, river runners need to check river conditions before heading out into the water. It’s the safe and responsible thing to do.
The River App is ideal for paddlers looking to plan river running expeditions. The river App collects data on the world’s most popular river kayaking destinations, collating and analyzing it daily. The river app has live information on river systems in the United States and Europe, with support for 15 countries.
Users can receive notifications on conditions at their favorite river locations around the globe. It’s a must-have app for kayaking enthusiasts like creekboaters and playboaters. Learn when the conditions will be perfect for any kayaking experience.
You have options for a free version with ads or a premium ad-free version with additional features. Some of the useful features in the premium version include viewing maps for runnable routes, low to high water navigation alerts, and navigation alerts.
Download River App on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Open Canal Map is another great location-data map for finding a launch near you. The app comes with tracking of UK rivers and canals for all European waterways in the region. Open Canal Map features a community-based design, featuring updates to the app’s location data in real-time as users populate the database.
Check out interesting information on river history and monitor canal conditions for your trip. Open Canal Map comes with onboard mapping features allowing you to plan your next canal kayaking journey.
Open Canal Map runs on GPS support from your device. It measures data like speed, location, and trip duration. Open Canal also links to Android and iOS smartwatches. The Open Canal Map checks waterways, waypoints, and bridges on your route.
This app is the go-to choice for British kayaking enthusiasts looking for a place to paddle on the weekend. Download Open Canal Map for free on Google Play and Apple App Stores.
Tides Near Me is a great choice for monitoring ocean conditions in global locations. This app has support for kayakers in 5,500 areas around the world. You get support from countries like The US, UK, Ireland, India, Australia, New Zealand, and more.
Tides Near Me provides paddlers with critical information on the tidal conditions, giving you tools to plan your routes and kayaking trips. Forecast the tides and current with precision accuracy, and get updates on wind conditions.
Tides Near Me offers users fully-automated tide tables and lunar and radar data information. It’s a great tool for anyone interested in ocean-going kayaking adventures. Download Tides Near me for free on Google Play and Apple App Stores.
Navionics is a great choice for a weather app, and you don’t really need any other app for monitoring weather conditions in your area. However, there are two other notable mentions of useful weather apps for kayaking.
Navionics isn’t available for UK users. So, we recommend going with the Met Office weather forecast app for planning your kayaking experience. The UK has unpredictable weather, and it can turn foul in the blink of an eye. Stay ahead of the weather with this handy app.
You get accurate forecasting and regular updates. Check the forecast in several locations to find the best sport for a day trip. Use the quick switch mode for receiving daily or monthly forecasts on your favorite kayaking locations in the UK.
The Met Office app brings you instant notifications for UK Severe Weather alerts on your favorite kayaking locations. Calculate the wind speed, direction, and gusting speeds in-app with surface pressure, UV index, humidity, and visibility data.
Download The Met Office weather Forecast app on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Our final top kayaking app for 2022 is Weather Underground. This weather app gives you a broader view of weather conditions at your favorite kayaking locations. Weather underground has support from over 270,000 personal weather stations.
It collects crowd-sourced weather data, generating accurate weather reports in real-time at your favorite kayaking spot. Users can report on weather conditions if they find discrepancies to what the app is reporting.
Weather underground comes with a severe weather alerts feature, notifying users about any possible extreme weather events in their area. You also get features for analyzing air quality, UV index, times for sunrise and sunset, and moonrise and moonset.
There is a temperature monitor, wind speed and direction analysis and reporting, and dew point and visibility data on-hand for users. The Smart Weather Forecast system informs users about weather conditions and what to expect for their kayaking trip.
Weather Underground plots your kayak session data for the week using the daily and hourly weather forecast alerts sent out by the forecasting center to the app. Save your favorite locations and recent searches and share them with other users.
Weather underground is available for download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.