row2k Features
Coach Tricks
Rowing Hack: Float a Floor Tile To Rig OTW
March 28, 2024
John FX Flynn, row2k

Tired of dropping parts and tools in the drink during an on-the-water rigging adjustment? Turns out there's a hack for that: use a foam floor tile.

While it was once a given that any rigger fiddling that involved leaning out of the launch would cost you at least a washer or a nut, Eric Catalano at ARION has solved this common coaching conundrum with a little bit of ingenuity...and, yes, a floating foam floor tile.

It makes a perfect safety "net" for the coach who doesn't trust himself/herself not to spill all the spare parts when making that mid-row refinement that won't wait until you get back to the dock.

Once Eric floats the tile in the water under the rigger, he can make whatever tweaks or fixes he needs to, without worrying that anything might drop into the deep.

Of course, it would be great if we could do all our rigging on land, but for those inevitable mid-outing adjustments or outright repairs when something breaks on a backstay, it is hard to top this trick.

Pretty much any floating mat small enough to fit in your launch will do the trick, but the two-foot square tiles you might find in a kids playroom--or in the boat shop waiting to be cut into seat pads--works perfectly: just thick enough to float, just big enough to catch stuff, and easy for the athlete to hold in place while you work.

Then, when you finish and have all the parts and tools back safely where they belong rather than at the bottom of the lake, you can use the tile as a seat cushion yourself.

Between this idea and the Erg Room Fan Hack that Catalano sent in a few weeks back--a hack that we've heard has already been adopted by other teams--ARION and the Saratoga boathouse is one well-hacked operation.

Do you have a genius coaching trick like this one? If so, share your ideas--and hacks--in the comments below.

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

If you enjoy and rely on row2k, we need your help to be able to keep doing all this. Though row2k sometimes looks like a big, outside-funded operation, it mainly runs on enthusiasm and grit. Help us keep it coming, thank you! Learn more.


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