row2k Features
Rowing Hack: Using row2k Pics to Coach Yourself
November 4, 2021
John FX Flynn

This hack came to us courtesy of a thank-you note for row2k's recent photo coverage of the Secret City Head Race, wherein a grateful sculler noted that row2k pics from races are one of the only ways he gets feedback on his own rowing. We have to say, that is a pretty clever way to use the row2k Galleries, so here it is as this week's hack: The row2k Photo Coaching Trick.

Sure, the photos in row2k's ever expanding galleries are part historic record, part public service and part souvenir shots, but we can also see how they might also be a way to get a read on how your rowing is looking, or even to get some feedback on some rigging changes you might be testing out. This is especially true if you don't have a coach who goes out with you regularly, or even just if you are the one in the boat who never seems to get videoed by the coach you do have.

As regattas have ramped back up--and especially with the return of the big fall head races with heaps and heaps of entries--row2k's photogs are back at it full time, grabbing shots of the boats going by at as many regattas as they can get to, so there are lots of chances to get snapped.

Now, obviously, this hack is no substitute for actual coaching, or even just having a rowing buddy take some quick cell phone video--perhaps with these Hacker tips in mind--but if you happen to be racing at a regatta where row2k is in action and we get a good shot of you, it can be a great way to see how you were looking on the day.

We do offer one caveat, though; row2k has learned over the years that folks prefer to look good, so we try to stick to posting just the most flattering photos in the Galleries: if you are looking to see if the two-seat really was taking air strokes or even just to see if your finishes look rough, that photo is not likely make it into the gallery at all.

There is also no guarantee we'll catch you at every race, of course, let alone get the perfect angle to see what you are working on, but if you are a lone sculler--or even a master's crew that meets up on site without a chance to really practice, let alone get coached--here are a few tips to boost your chances of getting a photo that can "coach" you:

Check the Galleries from Past Years
row2k tends to hit the same races each season, so you can look at galleries from previous years to see where we are likely to be and plan your race entries accordingly

Race in the Fall
Head racing season is definitely where single scullers and masters crews get the most row2k exposure (pun intended), plus anything you pick up in a fall photo is something you can work on before you get back to spring and summer racing.

Pick Courses with Bridges
We can't promise that we'll be up on bridges at the regattas that have them, but when we are shooting from overhead, those photos are a great way to check your angles and your rig. Just head over to those past galleries to get an idea of which races to pick to try your luck at scoring that birds-eye view.

Dress to Impress
Let's face it, when you are taking shots of hundreds of boats all day long, the best way to stand out might just be to wear something really photo-worthy, like this for example, to make sure you get snapped.

Check out the Competition
Okay, so this would not be "coaching yourself" per se, but you can definitely have a look at what the folks you raced are doing technically, and maybe find some adjustments to focus on for your next chance to race those guys.

Of course, if you prefer not to get too much feedback, well, we have a classic hack from wayback for that, too--Hiding Technique with Darker Kit--or just pick the photos taken from that magical distance at which all rowing looks pretty darn good.

Have you thought up a cool hack we could all use? If so, share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.

If you have a great rowing hack to suggest for future inclusion, then please send it to us and we will feature your idea in a future column.

During these unprecendented times, row2k is working hard to keep rowing coming to you; please help us keeping it coming by supporting our work!


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