Ways to Create Teamwork Between Coxswains

The approach a coxswain takes on the water can either help bring a team together or help create divisions amongst the team on the water. Creating a true sense of teamwork starts with coxswains working well together on and off the water regardless of whether or not those coxswains are competing for a seat. The hardest role of a coxswain is stepping beyond the competition and joining together for one common goal: the benefit of the team. This will in the long run make the coxswains better and the team stronger. Here are some simple ways that a coxswain can begin to build a true sense of teamwork and make practices more effective.

[From the Coxswain Encyclopedia, written by Laura Simon, Stew Stokes and Margot Zalkind]

NK Stands Behind its Warranty

Due to a recent increase in our warranty replacement of speakers, we have identified a production issue with our long-time vendor partner for the speaker components.  We are working with the vendor to identify the exact source and extent of the problem and make corrections.  We know any failure of our equipment is at best an inconvenience, and at worst a real problem in a racing situation. Please remember that we stand behind our speaker warranty just as we stand behind the warranty on any of our control units.

If an NK speaker fails within two years of manufacture, WE WILL REPLACE IT free of charge.  Every speaker is marked with a clear date code on the connector wire – refer to the  image below.  (Note that the recently discovered defect appears to be limited to speakers produced within the last year, and will be entirely covered under warranty.)



NK’s warranty and upgrade program are there for you. Not sure if a product is still covered under warranty?  You can look it up here  by product name and serial number.

The Benefits of Paying Attention to Breathing

legareBy: Legaré Smith

Since breathing is an involuntary action, we do not focus on each breath as we go through our day.  However, when you begin physically exerting your entire body, like in rowing, it can be beneficial to pay attention to it. Many say to exhale at the end of the stroke, because it feels natural. You have just pressed your legs down and drawn the arms in; all the work is done and it is now time to relax, right? Although I agree with this methodology for most weight lifts, in rowing, your core needs to remain engaged to support your torso until your back is over on the recovery. If you lay back and exhale, your core collapses, you slouch and your body weight is solely being held up by your back, which can lead to injury. The finish is not the relax point; it’s the catch.

Rowers will drill and drill to make the catch as calm and smooth as possible, but it is difficult to truly accomplish this if you are taking in a deep breath in anticipation of an explosive drive. Instead, I give a full body exhale as I calmly drop the blade(s) into the water. On the drive, I try to time the inhale where I complete it just before the finish. This way, I will not be holding my breath through the finish, but rather timing it so the exhale comes naturally on the recovery. The finish feels stronger as the body is supported by the muscles that were designed to do so. I also find that this forces me to take a proper full breath that starts from the stomach as it is hard to breathe from the chest with the core engaged. When I am rowing hard enough that two or more breaths per stroke is required, I give a quick and sharp exhale and inhale at the body over part of the recovery and then give a long exhale as I come up to the catch, consciously relaxing more as I near full compression.

It took several practices to perfect this technique, but I liked the feeling enough at both the catch and the finish to keep at it. Now, it is just another part of the muscle memory that is the stroke.

Legaré begin rowing in 2001 at the Phillips Exeter Academy where his father was the varsity coach. He has been exposed to the sport since he was young when he would join his father on the launch on special occasions. He spent a year in New Zealand rowing with the Auckland Rowing Club followed by 4 years of rowing as a lightweight for the University of Delaware. Legaré now rows out of Undine on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, PA.


There are no monthly specials at this time.

Kestrel NIST Calibration

Did you know that Nielsen-Kellerman offers NIST certificates of calibration for all of our Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meters? NIST stands for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an organization that requires each unit to be tested and approved within strict guidelines to ensure accuracy and quality of conformity. NK offers testing for barometric pressure, temperature, humidity and wind speed. NIST calibration is available for both new and previously purchased units. Call NK for more information at 800-784-4221.

Note: Please factor in a lead time of one week when placing an order for service.

SpeedCoach GPS with Heart Rate Troubleshooting Tips

My SpeedCoach GPS with Heart Rate is Not Displaying Heart Rate, What Can I Do?

Written by: Joe Racosky, NK’s Technical Support Engineerspeedcoach_wheartrate

If you’re like most NK customers, you just purchased a new SpeedCoach GPS with Heart Rate and can’t wait to take it out on the water. Make sure you follow the appropriate steps outlined here to ensure you successfully pair your GPS unit with the heart rate monitor for the most accurate readings.

To pair the heart rate belt, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to the main menu and select the HRM Pair (Heart Rate Monitor) option.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, you should observe the “—“ lines.
  3. Change to your HR Belt ID.
  4. If after several attempts, the unit still reads “—“, it may be that the Bluetooth module needs to be activated.  This should automatically happen when the belt is connected but every so often you may need to activate the belt buckle.
  5. Remove the belt buckle from the belt and rub your thumbs on the silver connectors.

Please see the figures shown below:


If this does not work, you may need a new battery in the unit.

  1. Using your thumbs, twist the battery cover off the back of the unit and replace this battery with a new one.  If you cannot open the battery door with your thumbs, you can carefully use a coin (a nickel works best).


After your unit is paired with the GPS with HR unit since it no longer reads “—“, it may be possible that the unit is still not showing your heart rate (i.e., it is still showing 0).   In this case, you most likely need to help start the electrical connection.  Heart rate belts are designed to use sweat as an electrical conduit.   When you first put on the belt, your skin may be too dry for a proper connection.   Please slightly moisten the two rubber sensors and reattach to your body.   Water should work just fine starting this connection.  Alternatively you can find heart rate monitor gel online to purchase to facilitate this connection.   Please see the figure below for where to lubricate the heart rate sensors on the belt:


Please be aware that NK only can guarantee connectivity with the heart rate belt brand that is provided.   But any Bluetooth Low Energy (a.k.a Bluetooth SMART, Bluetooth 4.0, BLE) heart rate belt should be able to be paired and used with the SpeedCoach GPS with HR.   The heart rate belt used by the SpeedCoach XL is NOT compatible with this unit however.

If you are still experiencing problems, please contact techsupport@nkhome.com.

Steps to Rebalance Your Battery

In order to optimize battery life, NK recommends balancing your battery pack twice a year. Follow these quick tips to get the most out of your battery. (Applicable for the Cox Box, Blue Ocean Rugged battery1Megaphone and stand-alone batteries).

  1. Run battery in unit until it turns off.
  2. Allow battery to sit idle for two days.
  3. Recharge battery until fill.

Protect Your Kestrel with Lithium Batteries

We ship every Kestrel 4000 Series Meter exclusively with Made in the USA EEnergizer Lithiumnergizer® Brand Ultimate Lithium AAA batteries for improved reliability, capacity, cold-weather performance and weight. We strongly recommend that you use only Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries in your Kestrel Meter. If you choose to install alkaline batteries, we recommend that you do NOT store your Kestrel with these batteries installed, and that you check your batteries for leakage and corrosion a minimum of every 30 days. Damage due to leaking alkaline batteries is not covered under warranty.

Why the switch? There are some definite benefits to using lithium batteries:

  • They are lighter.
  • They offer much longer life with Bluetooth applications.
  •  Lithium batteries offer better cold-weather performance.
  • Most importantly, lithium batteries WILL NOT LEAK in storage applications, even with the low level power drain of data logging. They protect an expensive Kestrel Meter from internal damage due to inexpensive and leak-prone alkaline batteries.


Optimal Winter Storage Conditions for your Cox Box

Keep your Cox Box in the best condition during the off season. For winter storage, NK recommends keeping the battery capacity between 40 and 60% in the unit.   In order to optimize the battery life, NK recommends storing the units as close to room temperature as possible.   The cold conditions of the unheated boathouse could negatively affect the battery life over time.

Now is also a great time to send your Cox Box or other NK products in for tune-ups! With rowing season right around the corner, it’s a great opportunity to get your gear checked out to ensure you have a winning season.

Measuring Temperature with the Kestrel

Kestrel Weather Coldthermometer& Environmental Meters are manufactured in the Greater Philadelphia region and the temperature at NK is getting colder by the day. Luckily for us, we have a tool to let us know when the temperature drops significantly.

It’s important to note the operational range of the Kestrel thermistor, especially this time of year. The Kestrel 4000 series are data loggers and will record data even when turned off. A Kestrel will remain operational at the following temperatures:

14.0.0 to 131.0 °F

-10.0 to 55. °C

This does not mean that the Kestrel will not record in colder climates. The Kestrel may record lower temperatures even when shut off.

With the exception of the Kestrel 1000, all Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meters measure air, water and snow temperature in real time. Just be sure to remove the impeller before dipping your Kestrel Meter in water or snow. The next time you want to find out how cold it is, just refer to your Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meter.

Nielsen-Kellerman Blog