We caught up with David Walker, the founder of Paddle Logger, a mobile app enhancing your experience on the water by providing a simple and easy tracking solution.
What is your brand story and vision?
At Paddle Logger we are all about enhancing people’s experience on the water. With the services we provide we want to help make better and responsible paddlers.
The brand really started in 2014 a few years after I started paddling. I wanted something that would tell me how far I had gone simply using the technology I already carried around. There was nothing out there for watersports that was well designed and easy to use. I had looked at GNSS watches and using other mobile services, but they were either too expensive and overloaded me with unnecessary data (at the time I wasn’t paddling for fitness!) or they simply weren’t designed well enough for people on the water. Simple things like small and fiddly buttons are not ideal on a mobile touch screen when you have cold wet hands! So rather than opt for a lesser solutions I decided to make something that paddlers wanted to use.
Since then Paddle Logger has followed a slow growth model as I have worked on it as a side-project next to my other work. This has enabled features to be developed as paddlers have asked for them. I absolutely love the fact that the community has been so supportive and willing to engage with the development of something for them. At the end of 2017 I secured some funding to develop the app further and in early 2018 I took the leap and been able to grow the brand further. Cut to now we have developed a new model and are looking to expand further offering a broader range of services across more devices.
What is the most challenging aspect of building a SUP brand/app?
The truth of the matter is that it is difficult to build a wildly successful startup around mobile apps alone. There has been a lot of late nights and hurdles to overcome including dealing with issues that are not necessarily watersports sector specific.
The sport of SUP is growing as are the number of participants of all paddlesports globally. We definitely feel we are rising with the tide and as such the sector is becoming more competitive, especially compared to where it was 4 years ago. With that in mind continually innovating in the space and staying ahead of the competition is a challenge.
What’s innovative/disruptive about your app/software?
Originally straight off the bat at launch we were the first tracking app, across all sectors to implement something as simple as a delay to start allowing you to stow your device in a waterproof pouch. It sounds simple but it is little things like this that have allowed us to create an almost frictionless product, one button, stow and go. With the press of one button you are off and tracking leaving you to concentrate and enjoy your time on the water. Sticking to minimal styling, quality design and frictionless functionality allow us to innovate further in the space. Our next batch of features introduce services which allow the paddler to remain connected whilst still allowing them to explore further and escape from the everyday stresses of modern life.
Who are you developing the app for?
Paddle Logger really is for everyone, specifically we are targeting those who want to get more from their paddling, but do not necessarily wish to invest heavily in more technical electronics. While we recognise pros and those training will invest in more expensive pieces of sport specific hardware. The new model will allow us to introduce APIs that allow these paddlers to enjoy the easy to use functionality of the Digital Logbook to easily track their sessions.
The new connectivity features is aimed at all paddlers, including those who train alone, to help should they get into difficulty. As we should all be taking phones with us when we paddle to keep in touch, we have built a system that with no extra effort from the paddler to give peace of mind to their significant others.
What’s next for Paddle Logger?
As I have mentioned we have some really cool new features that are in the final stages of intensive testing and these should be with the user soon. We have grown the software beyond the iPhone to use the latest Apple Watch technology, these services are now available globally. Beyond that we have plans to grow and scale all future services across the globe and across more platforms and hardwares. There are also some really exciting things we can do with the software we have built that extends to other businesses and clubs. However right now it is all about on boarding users and getting more people using the system and becoming better paddlers.
Paddle Logger is available to download now for free on the App Store. Get access to tracking and see how far you have been paddling! Want access to more? Check out subscription options, where you will unlock the full potential of Paddle Logger including access to new features as and when they are released!