row2k Features
Coach Tricks
Rowing Hack: The Up-Cycled Catering Tote
April 7, 2022
John FX Flynn

The 'Wa's got yer shoes covered.

Here's a trick we've seen making the rounds on the launch floats: take the ginormous catering bags you get from Wawa, Panera, and other box-lunch spots and use them as your shoe bags. Meet the Up-Cycled Catering Tote.

If you order your team lunches from one of those big sandwich chains these days, odds are you will find yourself awash in these big, non-recyclable bags after a regatta or two, so why not put them to work.

Sturdy, well-made, easily able fit an eight's worth of footwear and they even come with handles--perfect for shoe-duty on Race Day!

Plus, despite the fact that these fancy pick-up bags are re-usable, most chains won't even take them back--and we know eco-conscious coaches who've tried--so you might as well find another use for the ones you are accumulating.

IKEA bags also do this trick--no lunch purchase req'd
IKEA bags also do this trick--no lunch purchase req'd

If nothing else, this bit of upcycling can help out your team run their 2 minute drill on the launch dock, and the collapsible bags won't hog up real estate in your trailer the way those darn shoe buckets will.

Don't order fancy team lunches much? Well, the Rowing Hackers still have you--and your shoes--covered if you want to upgrade from the standard milk crate: just hack up a shoe-carrying strap, some Laundry Shoe Bags, or even stick with the old, rubber-made standby, The Shoe Bucket, if you have the trailer-space.

Any of these tricks will keep your crews shoes in a tidy, easily portable package as you make the trek between the launching and landing docks, race after race.

Do you have a shoe-gathering trick, or maybe a neat "get-em-launched-fast" hack that you rely on? 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, too, and we will feature your idea in a future column.

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04/10/2022  4:12:57 PM
Similarly, I have seen a lot of "IKEA" shopping bags used as such. Cheap, huge and pretty durable.

04/19/2022  4:48:28 PM fact we snapped (and added) this photo of IKEA bag at work shortly after your comment--great idea! Those blue bags probably deserve a column of their own soon: they are great for carrying shoes, getting an 8's worth of water bottles to the dock, and even for protecting the fans and monitors or ergs that travel in the trailer.

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