It is never a bad time for a pro-Hydration Hack, but we think this week might just be the perfect time to share another great way to keep your fluids handy, especially if you are, say, a single-sculler braving the Sarasota sun this weekend -- it's the South African Hydration Holder.
It is a simple, elegant take on pretty popular trick, all the way from Victoria Lake in Johannesburg, where Bernd Jülicher has done a bit of slick engineering at Ravens Boat Club to add a water bottle cage to his single.
Bernd, inspired by such Rowing Hack classics as the Water Bottle Holder Hack and the Zipped Bottle Holder, added an aluminum bracket to the end of the foot stretcher track to add a bit of hydration help to the cockpit of his ride.
The aluminum bracket gives Bernd an easy way to attach the bottle cage at a height where he can easily grab the water bottle between pieces...and the whole thing is, he assures us, adjustable if he wants to move his foot stretchers.
Bernd is actually making use here of some prime hacking "real estate"--foot stretcher channels offer great hard points for attaching all sorts of things, from speed coach brackets to coxbox speakers in bigger boats. We have even seen them used to affix weight at races where the "scales are open" and the boat weight rules are in effect.
All you really need to start putting those channels to work holding stuff is an extra foot stretcher bolt and (of course) a wing-nut, which will keep it all easily-adjustable in case you want to move your feet, or the shell is shared with other rowers.
Bottom-line, though: keep some water in your shell and stay hydrated out there. Whether you go all fancy like Bernd to attach your water bottle permanently, or just throw a sock on it, you are going to want to have your water with you when you row.
Do you have a water bottle hack that works for you, and might inspire some other scullers? If so, share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.
If you have a great rowing hack to suggest for future inclusion, send it to us like Bernd did here, and we will feature your idea in a future column.