GPS units for Speedsailing

If you are new to GPS Speedsailing whether it’s a windsurf or kiteboard the first thing you should do is register at GPS-SPEEDSURFING.com. Next you’re going to need a GPS. Which GPS you use is up to you. The choice is between a Locosys model with Doppler speed & GPS eg the GW-60, GW-52 or GT-31 or a Garmin, Suunto, TomTom, Polar or other similar GPS sports watch. I have used the GT11, GT31 and the GW-52 (details here). I have not yet used the GW-60 but hope to very soon.

Garmin, Polar, Suunto etc

If you know you’re never going to be challenging for a National Record or competing at the highest levels then you can you can get away with one of the popular GPS running / sports watches. Something like a Garmin Fenix 3 or Vivoactive HR, Polar V800 or TomTom Adventure / Spark. The GPS chips on these watches are very good and take samples every 1 second if set up correctly. However, they are NOT equipped with the Doppler speed verification system that the Locosys GPS are. Of all the GPS sports watches the one I’d recommend is the Garmin Forerunner 920, Fenix 3HR, Fenix 5 or Forerunner 935 (these are all water resistant for swimming and have the dedicated speedsurfing app … see below)

The most important function the watch must have is GPX file extraction. With Polar, Suunto, TomTom and Garmin it is possible to download the track from their online web-services and save it as a GPX file. Once downloaded this file can then be uploaded to GPS-Speedsurfing.com as a new session. When out sailing for fun I use my Garmin Fenix 5 (check prices on Amazon) with a GPS Speedsailing APP (click here for details on Garmin Connect). I find it’s more convenient than strapping the GW-52 on your arm and super easy to upload data to Garmin Connect via Bluetooth.

Forerunner 920 with Garmin Kiteboard / Windsurf App (courtesy of chumba.ch)

After upload via your smartphone simply visit Garmin Connect on your Mac or PC and download the track as a GPX file. Now just UPLOAD the GPX file to GPS-SPEEDSURFING.com. This great app – called Wind/Kite Surfing Datafield is compatible with a majority of Garmin Forerunner watches and all Garmin Fenix and Vivoactive models (please ensure your particular watch is water resistant for swimming !)

The Professional Option

If you want to compete at the highest level and then it makes sense to invest in a GW-60 from Locosys. The GW-60 is a wrist worn version of the GW-52. Made by Locosys Tech the GW-60, GW-52 and the older GT31 (still used by many sailors including myself) use both GPS and Doppler systems for calculating speeds. This use of combined systems makes the Locosys devices highly accurate – enough so that they are trusted for GPS speed sailing World Records.

Watch the Video

The best way to appreciate the GW-60 is by watching this video produced by our sailing friends at GPS-Speedsurfing.com


Support the professional online sellers

Before you shop at Amazon see if your local windsurf / kiteboard store sell the GW-60. I’m all for people supporting stores that are involved in our sport. I have seen them for sale in the UK at Poole Harbour Watersports and Puravida Board Riders as well as Amazon.co.uk . The team at GPS-speedsurfing.com sell the Locosys GW-60 worldwide and have the best support and experience using this device.

Locosys GW-60 Amazon


Or – use the Speedsailing APP on a Garmin Fenix 3HR

The Garmin App called Wind/Kite Surfing Datafield will give you live feedback on your best 2s, 5s and 10s runs. It’s been written to mimic the functionality of the Locosys devices. The only thing you can’t do with it is break a National or International record – for that you MUST have the Locosys GPS devices with Doppler speed verification ….

Not in the UK – please click here for Fenix 3HR Amazon Global