row2k Features
Rowing Hack: Sock-Covered Boat-Straps
August 13, 2020
John FX Flynn

Still looking to fill down time before the boathouse is fully alive again and there are races to go to? Here is another quick and easy hack that, like the Gunwale Guards we told you to make back in May, could come in handy when you start transporting shells again... and we bet the 'main ingredient' will be easy to find, especially if you have a lot of abandoned laundry kicking around: Socked Boat-Straps.

The photo below is the towel version of this hack, which does have the added benefit that you can use it to show the rowers just how parallel you want the straps by where you cut the holes in the towel, but we want to keep this hack simple... and we bet you have more orphaned socks than towels lying around.

The towel version of this hack
The towel version of this hack

The idea here is as simple as the hacking: to keep the straps from rubbing on the hull, both as you tighten them down and as you head out on the road. We think this is especially useful for long-haul trips (remember those?) but the truly fastidious boatman will tell you that anything you can do to protect the business side of your shells is worth it - and this is a whole lot cheaper than the full-on boat-bag fix.

In case the photo does not suggest how this works clearly enough—and to generate a bit more copy here, tbh - here's the how: 1) find some old socks in your boathouse (abandoned lockers and the corners of the boat bay are good places to start; 2) grab your favorite sharp hacking tool; 3) cut closed-toe end off sock; 4) slide 2 modified socks over strap, pre-tightening; and, 5) position socks on strap to protect hull as you cinch said strap down.. See? When we say simple hack, we are not messing around.

Of course, old towels can do the same trick, and we have even seen carpet remnants put to this task as well. Remnants probably last longer, but you might have to hunt some down outside the boathouse or actually buy them, but if you feel like splurging on this hack by purchasing your materials instead of scavenging it, some bits of left-over carpet are a great choice.

Another variation
Another variation

While we are at it, and if you have found more socks than you can use, don't forget these hacking chestnuts that could come in handy when the rowers return en masse: Socked Riggers, Track-Bite Guards, and, of course, The Socked Water Bottle.

Are there great sock-tricks at your place that we should know about - or have you found a better way to tame straps? Share your tips - and hacks - in the comments below.

Have a great rowing hack to suggest for future inclusion here? Â Send it to us!

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