Sports wearables you didn't know existed: Squash, surfing, rock climbing & more

Scowl at well served runners no more, wearables tech is taking on all the sports
Wearables for niche sports

There's waterproof fitness trackers for swimmers, cycling wearables and hoards of GPS running watches for those who enjoy hitting the tarmac, but that doesn't mean the rest of us have to be left in the cold.

What if your sport isn't mainstream? What if, instead of jumping on the bike or in the pool, you enjoy shredding waves or scaling mountain faces? Well, though the crop is a little thinner, a select group of devices are still out in the wild and ready for you to explore.

Essential reading: Best wearable tech for triathlon training

If there's a sport you love, there's a good chance there's a dedicated wearable that can tag along for the ride. So read on to see just how you can dive into the scene and get more out of your sport of choice.

Squash - Pulse Play

Obscure sports wearables

Whether you're out on a badminton, squash or tennis court - or even enjoying some table tennis - keeping track of the score in the heat of battle is one of the biggest issues for amateur players.

And since not all of us can make it to the professional level where the score-keeping is automatic, Pulse Play can sit on your wrist to help keep arguments to a minimum.

Designed by Grand Slam champion Andy Ram, the device is able to keep track of points in any of the aforementioned racquet sports - all with the tap of a button after each point.

Read this: Best tennis trackers and wearables

Afterwards, the companion app will also be able to display your match history, personal stats and let you compare with players from around the world. The only thing left for you to worry about will be whether or not the chalk flew up.

$129, pulse-play.com | Amazon

Skiing - PIQ Robot +1 Ski Strap

Obscure sports wearables

No matter if you're flying through the slopes or pacing through some cross-country, using a smartwatch like the Garmin Fenix 5 or Suunto Ambit 3 isn't always ideal for skiing.

That's why the the folks at PIQ and equipment company Rossignol teamed up to give you a tracking sensor that straps onto your ski boot.

The waterproof device delivers stats such as edge to edge speed, air time, G-force and carving angle, while you can also view data in real time on your Android or iOS phone if you're living on the wild side.

It's not the only device out there for your time on the slopes, though, so check out our collection of the best skiing watches and wearables.

$198, piq.com | Amazon

Rock climbing - Whipper

Obscure sports wearables

In truth, there's not a whole lot out there for those who want to track how they're scaling cliff faces. But, whether you're a beginner clinging onto the rock climbing wall at the gym or a seasoned veteran, Whipper can be clipped onto your clothes in order to help you keep tabs on your efforts.

Not only can you check out incline, pace, effort level, vertical foot gain, altitude and location through the companion app, but a coach also lives inside to give you post-climb advice based on your performance. And if you're looking to improve your climbing further, training modes and exercises are also available.

The startup completed funding around over year ago but has since hit delays in rolling out to backers. Keep an eye on this, since nothing else in the field appears to be a worthy alternative.

$199, indiegogo.com

Surfing - Nixon The Mission

Obscure sports: The wearable devices that aren't for the mainstream

Perhaps the most mainstream option on this list, Nixon The Mission is also one of the best options available for those looking for a dedicated surfing device.

In terms of metrics, you'll be able to receive information on wave size, wind, weather and high/low tide times, while the companion app can provide you with a daily report for a bevy of surfing spots. Plus it acts as a regular Android Wear smartwatch the rest of the time making it good value.

Wareable verdict: Nixon The Mission review

$400, nixon.com | Amazon

Kiteboarding - PIQ Robot + Mount

Obscure sports: The wearable devices that aren't for the mainstream

If you thought PIQ was only involved in skiing, think again - it also likes to dabble in kiteboarding, a sport which essentially fuses together action from surfing, paragliding, snowboarding and gymnastics.

And while many similarly niche sports offer a dearth of wearable options, the device from PIQ and North Kiteboarding means fans of the sport are able to access performance stats such as the height of jumps, G-force and total air time through its companion app. Interestingly, the sensor is also able to tune its powers to the likes of golf and tennis, if needs be.

$208, piq.com | Amazon


Kayaking - Vaaka

Obscure sports: The wearable devices that aren't for the mainstream

While the Vaaka cadence sensor is ideally used for kayaking, those who enjoy canoeing, paddle boarding and rowing are all able to tap into the stroke rate data and improve their performance on the water.

The device is able to sync up with your smartphone or smartwatches like the Polar V800 in order to offer GPS data, time, speed, heart rate and distance, with more specific analysis involving cadence and strokes also in tow once a session has been completed.

$225, vaakacadence.com | Amazon


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