row2k Features
Coach Tricks
The Oar-Carry Strap
May 16, 2012
row2k hackers

Off to the races, hands-free

contributed by John FX Flynn, row2k

This hack, sent in by Fordham assistant coach Nick Dawe, combines two of a Rowing Hack's favorite things: it is simple & makes things easier -- heck, it even makes good use of another of our favorite things: the boat strap.

To get all full eight's worth of oars to the dock, Dawe doesn't need spare rowers or more than one trip: all he needs is a boat strap, and a set of neatly stacked oars. He cinches the buckle end to the inboard end of the oars, then runs the strap down and ties a knot about 3 feet from the blades.

With the little bit of play in the strap, he can hoist the whole thing on his shoulder and make it to the dock in no time, with his hands free for shoes, tools, or even just a nice cup of coffee--in other words, pretty much any of the other things you might wish you could also be bringing with you to the dock when your hands are full of blades.

This neat bit of strap work has to come in pretty handy at races like the Vails and Stotes, where you--and the oars--can be in for a pretty long haul between the docks and your trailer. We bet though, that this would be a godsend at any race where you find yourself carrying oars back and forth all weekend, which is to say, at pretty much every regatta.

Dawe's trick comes with a few tips: the knot up near the blades needs to be pretty tight and, if the oars are not stacked neatly, they could shift and loosen the knot. Like any good trick, this maneuver probably requires a few practice runs. Once you've got it down though, Dawe assures us, you can tie and untie the bundle pretty quickly on the dock…probably faster than it takes pretty much any nine rowers to put on all of their shoes.

Have a hack that helps you on Race Day? Share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.

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Shift, not settle
05/20/2012  6:47:21 AM
I tried this out for the first time at Stotes this weekend. Overall a great hack, and here are my observations: 1) The strap is much tighter if you put half the oars facing the opposite direction. You probably won't have enough time to do this on the recovery dock though. 2) You don't want too much slack in the carry strap, maybe just a little looser than taught. Otherwise it will sag down to your waist and start to hurt your hips on repeated trips. Tough on the plus side, you'll look like you're holding a heavy machine gun. Ratatatatat!

05/16/2012  2:27:10 PM
I taught the kid everything that he knows. Glad to see that he is spreading the word. If you are really crafty you triple down and take that same strap and string all the rowers shoes on the strap and carry them right off the dock. Turns you into a one man launching machine.

05/16/2012  2:09:38 PM
As a rower, I always enjoy carrying oars to the launching site. Gives me a chance to get a little more in the groove, take a look at the launching scene and so on. Great idea for the return trip though!

05/16/2012  10:10:16 AM
Nice Hack. Seeing many people carry 1 or 2 blades at a time this past weekend at Quinsigamond, this could be a time saver.

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