Suunto are a Finnish company who have been making top quality outdoor measurement devices for decades. I first got to know of them from my days in the Scouts – using a handheld Suunto compass. They specialise in two market spaces – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE and DIVING. Their range of dive computers is second to none. Here we are looking at their outdoor adventure watches with GPS for recording speeds while windsurfing, kiteboarding and sailing. NOTE – everything mentioned here about Windsurfers also applies to Kiteboarders, Wing Foilers etc – anyone partaking in wind powered Speedsailing 🤙
Suunto 7 – the best value All Rounder
A few true words .. sorry Suunto
Since Suunto started incorporating GPS in their adventure watches I have been a massive fan and great admirer of their innovation and quality. If you are speedsailing JUST FOR FUN – great – please consider one, I’d recommend the Suunto 7. However, if you want to take your speedsailing seriously please consider a COROS GPS. This relatively new brand has taken the world of speedsailing under their wings and given us EXACTLY what we needed with a dedicated Speedsurfing mode. So much so that GPS-SPEEDSURFING.com recommend it as their go to GPS device. Unlike Suunto – the Coros Apex Pro and Coros Vertix are recognized by GPS-Speedsurfing.com for Speedsailing Record attempts and National & International Speedsailing Competitions etc. If you want to take your speedsailing up a gear – buy a COROS GPS. Now, back to Suunto ….
Suunto Watches, Strava & Windsurfing
When out sailing select the WINDSURF / KITESURF sports mode from the Watersports profiles. This is a BASIC sports setting – meaning you will get the essential data like distance, max speed, current speed, time etc. What you will NOT see while sailing is any 2 second, 10 second or Average 5 x 10 second speeds. Unlike the Garmin watches which do have a useful third party Windsurf / Kitesurf DATASCREEN feature – Suunto doesn’t offer anything similar. You get what Suunto give you and that’s that.
Extracting Data from the Suunto to Strava
CONNECT your Strava account to the watch using the Suunto’s APPS settings. Full details on how to do this can be found on the STRAVA HELP FORUM here. Once you have connected your Suunto APP to your Strava account your windsurf sessions will be seamlessly uploaded to Strava when you have WiFi connection (or data if turned ON). When uploaded your session will look like all other speedsailing sessions from any compatible GPS device. The images below are actually from my Garmin Fenix 5 … but they look the same. If you want to upload a track to GPS-speedsurfing.com – that’s easy enough too. Scroll down this page for more information on how to Upload GPX tracks to GPS3
Suunto 5, 7 or 9 for Windsurf Sports Mode
The Suunto 5, 7 and 9 have dozens of pre-set SPORTS MODES. In fact they all have over 70 – plus the ability to add your own CUSTOM modes. In each mode the user has the option to set/view between 2 and 4 exercise VIEWS to give you access to the data that is relevant to your chosen sport. If it’s an OUTDOOR sport then it also includes a MAP view. The list below shows the latest selection of PRE-SET watersport modes.
- Pool swimming – Basic
- Rowing – Outdoor
- Kitesurfing / Kiting – Basic
- Surfing – Basic
- Canoeing – Basic
- Standup paddling – Basic
- Openwater swimming – Basic
- Sailing – Basic
- Kayaking – Basic
- Windsurfing – Basic
Please remember – when windsurfing / kiting you will NOT get LIVE access to your best 10 second speed or the 5 x 10s averages. You will however see generic speed stats like Max Speed, Average Speed etc. For analysis down to GPS-Speedsurfing level the GPX file needs to be uploaded to the GPS-Speedsurfing.com website (see below)
Upload GPX Tracks from Suunto to GPS-Speedsurfing.com
If, like me, you want to upload any speedsailing session to GPS-Speedsurfing.com then you will be pleased to know it is possible to manually upload a GPS track.
Open up the Suunto App on your phone and select the activity you would like to export.
Select the three vertical dots on the top right, and select “Export FIT file” or “Export GPX workout“. The GPX option will only have GPS and time data.
Once you select export you will see options to share the downloaded file. We recommend sharing the files with yourself in a way where you can access the FitFile from a computer since you can only manually upload an activity file from the Strava website.
Upload your file to Strava by selecting the plus sign icon in the upper right-hand corner and then selecting Upload Activity from the drop-down list.Stava.com
Example of a Speedsailing Track uploaded from a Suunto GPS watch
Using the method explained above it IS possible to upload a windsurf or kiteboard GPX track to GPS-Speedsurfing.com. However – you must remember it is NOT a recognised device for National Records and other “official” speedsailing competitions. The file below was extracted from the Suunto Movescount APP then manually uploaded to the GPS3 website. The GPS3 specific essential data like 100m run, 250m run, 500m run and, most important, 5 x 10 seconds averages is all calculated by the GPS3 software from the GPX data. But remember – for fun and local competition this is fine – but it would NOT be valid for National Competition or other official Speed Records.
Perfect for Blasting and MultiSport
If you just want to log your sailing activities for fun and racing your mates then almost any Suunto GPS sportswatch will do. All Suunto watches are made to the highest standards and are among the most robust timepieces on the market. A good friend of mine still windsurfs with a Suunto Ambit from 2011 (if not earlier) – these things are made to last. It makes sense to buy one of the new watches with Bluetooth connection to your phone’s Suunto App. For local competitions, recreational speedsailing, training and fun the GPX track can be manually uploaded to GPS-Speedsurfing.com for post race evaluation (but it’s not valid for PROFESSIONAL competition). For recreational use and sharing with your friends the track data can be uploaded to Strava directly if you have one of the following watches:
- Suunto Ambit3
- Suunto 3 Fitness companion
- Suunto 5
- Suunto 7
- Suunto 9
- Suunto Spartan
- Suunto Traverse
Suunto Direct with Amazon
This link below will take you directly to the SUUNTO STORE on Amazon. Get the latest price on the Suunto range of GPS sportswatches suitable for Speedsailing. The widgets below should display the current price for the most popular multisport GPS watch – the Suunto 7. If the widgets don’t display – please just click THIS LINK to go direct to Suunto’s Amazon store
The Bottom Line – NOT for PROFESSIONAL SPEEDSAILORS
Unfortunately – Suunto don’t have a dedicated SPEEDSAILORS sport mode. They do include WINDSURF and KITESURFING in their pre-set SPORT MODES (70 in the Suunto 5 & 7 and 90 in the Suunto 9). Sadly these modes do not provide the essential Average 5 x 10s speed runs required for competitive use. Nor is the accuracy of the GPS recognised by GPS-Speedsurfing for those looking to set records or win National competitions. For that – get a Coros Apex Pro (or Vertix / Vertix 2)
Suunto Value Pack for Strava and more
Conveniently, the Suunto 5, 7 and 9 are all powered by Wear OS by Google. This provides access to dozens of popular training apps as well as those everyday essential like Google Pay, Weather and your Google Diary. Currently these watches come with a VALUE PACK of trial apps – letting you try some of the best fitness apps for FREE before committing to purchase. Most of these APPS have a slightly “cut down” version that will continue to work even if you do not purchase the full membership when the trial is over.