We've said it before, but those now-silenced boat bays while athletes are off doing winter erging (or COVID-caused virtual classes) offer the Hackers out there time—and space!—to get to work on hacking up some cool tricks to make rowing and coaching easier when the spring rolls around.
In that "holiday break spirit," here is a look back at a Rowing Hack that was sent in from a place that knows a bit about long winters and quiet boat bays overlooking frozen lakes: the upper mid-west. This week's redux that might be worth throwing together for yourself? It's the Clam Stacker.
This one first came to our attention thanks to Scott Sitek, up in Wyandotte, MI, and even he admits borrowing it from another Midwest program—you can read the original article and back story here, and get yourself caught on the definition of "CLAM" while you are at it.
The photo above, though, is what reminded us how cool this hack could be. Spotted by our own Adam Bruce at the Hooch in 2017, this set of stackers both proof of the concept - and a sign that this was a good enough idea to escape into the more southern latitudes of rowing. After all, once another coach takes your idea and adds it to his own tricks arsenal, then you know your hack is primo.
(Quick aside: the boating and trailer area at any half-way decent sized regatta is the best place to spot new ideas to take back to your place… and we've found that you find the most innovative hacks at the high school and club-heavy regattas, like the Hooch - those are the places where the folks who really know how to do more with less are meeting up…unless, of course, you are looking for hacking of the truly rarified variety, just to play a little Wackamole.
This anonymous Hooch Hacker, of course, did The Clam Stacker one better, in true adopter fashion: note the rope handle, which we are guessing works for both carrying and for hanging these gems up on the boat bay wall for daily load-adjusting use--and the clever use of the PVC Tee fitting to make handy end-caps that keep the CLAMs, well, stacked.
Of course, there are other ways to keep CLAMs organized, but it is hard to beat this simple discovery: that a simple length of 2 inch PVC is a perfect fit - and a pretty sweet hack - for a bucketful of CLAMs.
Have a slick way to keep the small but useful items organized in your boathouse? Share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.
Have a great rowing hack to suggest for future inclusion here? Send it to us!