Ever had to regatta in "passing thunderstorm" season? Well, then here is a simple hack that we could definitely file under "why didn't I think of that" but, now that we've shared it here, you don't have to: you just have to get out and find yourself the right size bag and slap it on your handles before the rain starts. Here's this week's slick Rigger Trick: The Oar Bag.
Since the odds are, well, high of at least a few drops headed your way if you are amongst the nearly 200 programs gathered in Sarasota for the return of Youth Nationals this week, we thought this trick would be timely--and there is definitely still time to high-tail it to the Home Depot on University Parkway to pick up some bags that could serve this pretty nifty purpose.
Now, the hackers who taught us this trick are clearly pros, using an old North Sails jib bag. A cover originally designed for blue water weather would certainly handle just about any Floridian downpour and keep your handles dry and ready to go when the sun pops back out. But, just because a hack is pro-grade and even a bit over-built does not mean you can't steal a great idea and make it your own with just about anything you can find that will make it work--and you can even adapt it to the size of crew you are coaching.
These guys used this 24x36" bag to take care of a full eight of oars, but an old camp chair bag would serve for a single or double scull's worth of handles, and quad and sweep coaches could us anything from a handy garbage bag to those those cheap but super-waterproof blue bags you can pick up at IKEA--and we've seen those IKEA bags put to all sorts of uses on regatta day, from serving as the shoe "bucket" (if, of course, you don't already have any of these hacks ready to go) to wrapping the fans on the travel ergs to keep them dry and road-grit free.
At its simplest, this hack is a way to keep handles out of the weather between races, but the real rigger pro-tip here is using these bags in-transit as well: keeping the all important contact point of your rigging sticks dirt and grime free, no matter how many trailering miles lie between your place and the next big race. That ranks this trick right up there with the Handle Handler and those sock-ed boat straps as ways to make the trailer ride even gentler on your gear.
Got a cool hack that makes your crews weather-proof and more ready to rumble after the storm passes on by? If so, share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.
Have a great rowing hack to suggest for future inclusion here? Send it to us!