Here's a good hack for those any regatta where "shoe duty" means lots and lots of trips between the launch dock and the recovery dock: the boat strap shoe "bucket."
We mentioned this one when we looked at shoe buckets themselves as a hack, and let's face it, when it is hot and you are making lots of trips, who wants to be lugging empty shoe buckets around, or messing with stinky garbage bags--a.k.a. the poor man's shoe bucket--that might not even hold the shoes for the right crew? Not us, and a boat strap is just the thing to carry the load, especially in the summer when it is flip-flops and sandals all the way down the boat anyhow.
All you need to do on the dock is pull a boat strap out of your pocket, loop it through the flops, the straps, or the laces of the shoes your soon-to-be champs won't be needing out on the water, and then sling it over your shoulder. Now, you've got all the shoes, not one of them can "wander off" before the crew gets back to claim them, and it is easy to see whose shoes are whose and which boat they all belong to.
This hack lets you skip lugging a bucket all the way down for just a pair's or and double's-worth of shoes, but it will still handle a whole eight when it is time to launch your big boats. At a messy or muddy venue, it even saves you from dirtying an actual bucket, and--as an extra bonus--your boat strap "bucket" won't take up any room in the trailer on the way there, especially if it is doubling as an actual BOAT strap.
Boat straps are, of course, just a great hacker's friend, when you think of all the nifty ways we can put them to use. The boat strap "bucket" might not be the coolest alternate use for a boat strap on the venue--because we still like this strap hack best--but we recommend adding it to arsenal of coaches tricks for the next time you need to "get the shoes."
What sly boat strap tricks do you have up your sleeve? Share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.
Have a great rowing hack to suggest for future inclusion here? Send it to us!