row2k Features
Coach Tricks
Depth Tape
September 12, 2012
row2k hackers

Depth Tape in action

Are folks in your crew washing out or "digging for clams"? Afraid that when coach barks about bladework that you might be the one to blame? Then try this hack for keeping your blade set just right: the Depth Tape Trick.

We covered this one in our Electric Tape Hall of Fame a while back, but this really is a cool, quick trick that could be extra handy this time of year for all sorts of crews, from novices encountering blade work for the first time to getting your throw-together alumni/masters crew coming through the water together.

In its simplest form, you just wrap a bit of yellow or white (i.e. high viz) tape around the shaft to mark where the waterline should be when the blade is buried at the correct depth. If the tape is visible, you are not keeping the blade covered enough -- and in danger of washing out, in all likelihood. If the tape vanishes altogether, then you've gone too deep either at the catch or mid-drive.

A more advanced set-up involves two or even three rings of tape, with the idea being to have the tape closest to the blade covered and the "ideal depth" tape visible.

Of course, whether or not you can see the blade during the drive is a visual cue as well, but these bits of marking tape really highlight what is happening in a slick way that the rower, the coxswain, and even the video camera in the launch can keep easy track of--and there are any number of drills that can be tweaked to use "seeing your tape" as a focus to promote better blade work.

Have a great way to help set blade depth--or another nominee for the Electric Tape Hall of Fame? Share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.

Have a great rowing hack for future inclusion here? Send it to us!

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bytown dave kealey
09/12/2012  11:20:05 AM
very cool! something else that has helped rowers at the Bytown Boat Club with visual cues is 'half blade submerged rowing' or 'air shots' and a variance on the regular stroke with these other two in varying numbers depending upon the level of rowing.

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