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Rower Tricks: The Tape-Wrap Pitch-Fix
by row2k hackers
posted on July 31, 2012

Sometimes, your pitch just needs a bit of love...
click for full-size image!
Pinsent at stroke in Milan, 2003--a Hacker at heart
click images for full-size version

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Boathouse Hacks: Clipping Your Lines
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Trailer Tricks: The Bottle Bumper
(June 20, 2012)

Rower Tricks: The Sock-ed Water Bottle
(June 13, 2012)

Rigger Tricks: Truck-Powered Course Removal
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Tool Hack: Wakamole Implements
(May 23, 2012)

Rower Tricks: Boat-Strap It!
(May 2, 2012)

Boathouse Hacks: DIY Bow Lights
(April 25, 2012)

Rigger Tricks: The Skeg Re-Thread
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Rigger Tricks: Zip-Tied Heels
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Rigger Tricks: Theft-Proofing Outboards
(March 21, 2012)

Rower Tricks: Hide Technique with Darker Kit
(March 14, 2012)

Training Hack: The Erg Ab Roller
(March 7, 2012)

Trailer Tricks: Fast Times at the Filling Station
(February 29, 2012)

Rigger Tricks: Color-Coding with Electrical Tape
(February 22, 2012)

Boathouse Hacks: Swiss Nut Helmet
(February 15, 2012)

Boathouse Hacks: The Stick Board
(February 8, 2012)

Tool Hack: The Wing Nut Stick
(February 1, 2012)

Rower Tricks: Making SURE You're Up for AM Practice
(January 25, 2012)

Trailer Tricks: The Strap Wheel
(January 17, 2012)

Coach Kaehler - Protein Supplements and Post Training Recovery
(February 17, 2011)

contributed by John FX Flynn, row2k,
& Sir Matthew Pinsent

The Rowing Hackers got an email a while back from a bloke who knows a thing or two about winning races in this sport: GBR's Sir Matthew Pinsent--he of the four Olympic gold medals. Turns out, in addition to being a peer, a Steward, a Blue, and an Olympic Champion, he's also a bit of a Rowing Hack. As they say, over there, "brilliant."

Sir Matt writes:

"Maybe this is so obvious/common that it used everywhere: using electrical tape to adjust your pitch--especially if you travel to a regatta and find your pitch is out or something doesn't feel quite right out on the water."

Here's his run down of this "DIY" trick:

"Adjust the pitch on the oarlock by using electrical tape. Slide the oar handle towards you so the loom is in the gate rather than the sleeve--or if in a big boat take it out of the gate completely--rip off a piece of electrical tape about ten inches long."

"If you are washing out, start applying the tape to the bottom of the face of the oarlock; if you are digging deep, do the top. Three wraps of electrical tape is about a degree. Press it down with your thumb as hard as you can each wrap and make sure the last edge of the tape is wrapped around the back of the oarlock and pressed down, too. Don't let the end of the tape dangle in the water as you start."

"Job done. It's a quick fix that you can do on the water, with no risk of dropping nuts or tools into the depths, and it will last an hour of rowing easily. I've even raced with it in the past but wouldn't recommend you go for that without a bit of trial and error on the quieter days."

Even raced with it, eh? Knowing how that generally work out for this guy, that IS a well-hacked trick.

Have a quick way to tweak the pitch, or fix other stuff, when you are out on the water? Share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.

You don't have to be an Olympian to share a hack! Send your ideas to us anytime!


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Old dog
08/01/2012  5:42:31 AM
1 people like this
Rowing for Ted Nash back in the late 70's, you weren't considered a varsity athlete until you stopped practice to adjust your pitch with electrical tape. It happened daily. 10" strips of electrical tape were permanent fixtures inside the hull of every boat in the boathouse.

08/02/2012  6:10:55 AM
Yep. Same thing at Penn AC. He could eyeball pitch from a the coaching launch. 3 wraps = 1*. Oh, and good tape is worth the extra $$. Cutting costs by buying cheapo tape ends up making more headaches than it solves.