This time of year at Concept2 our Regatta Service Team would normally be preparing for a whirlwind regatta season, packing parts and loading the trailer with tools and snacks for life on the road.
In “normal” times, the team travels around the globe to many regattas, supporting athletes and coaches with oar service needs. Not only does this provide athletes with confidence and assurance that their equipment is race ready, it provides our team great satisfaction to know that we’re giving athletes one less thing to worry about on race day. We miss you!
This will be the second year that the Regatta Service Team is staying home, as COVID-19 restrictions are still in place for events and gatherings. If and when COVID-19 restrictions change, we will re-evaluate our travel plans. While we're disappointed, we will do our best to support our athletes as best we can from our Morrisville, Vermont oar shop. So, as you prepare to get back on the water this spring, our Regatta Service Team has these tips to get your oars and sculls in shape for your rowing season.
- Inspect your oars. It is important to catch damage as soon as possible; it can be dangerous to row with a damaged oar. Inspect for blade dents, shaft cracks, or water in the shaft. Feel for soft spots on the shaft; this could indicate invisible cracks.
- Look for signs of wear on the sleeves. A worn sleeve will affect feathering, your roll-up, and pitch. Sleeves should be replaced as needed, but a clean and well-cared for sleeve will last a long time.
- Store oars and sculls in racks with the handles up, when possible. Avoid scratching blades in gravel, on concrete, and against docks and other hard surfaces. Blade damage most often occurs at the edge of the blade due to scuffing or hitting against something.
- Do not store your oars long-term in continuous sunlight. Ultraviolet light will eventually degrade the carbon surface and shorten the life of the oar.
- Transporting oars on unprotected metal roof racks can cause serious damage. Tie down oars with adequate padding, or use the Concept2 scull case for protection.
- If you must lay your oars and sculls on the ground or on a dock, lay them down with tips up to avoid wearing. Keep oars out of the way of being stepped on.
- Do not push away from the dock with your oars. Practice pushing away as a crew or walking down the dock.
- Rowing in salt water? Rinse equipment after every use. Pay special attention to sleeves, collars and oarlocks.
- Give your grips special attention, especially if you’re sharing oars. Clean and disinfect regularly.
This past fall we hosted Zoom webinars of some of the most common repairs. Watch the oar repair webinar videos here. (Warning: Video quality is poor due to Zoom bandwidth restrictions)