At the moment of writing this review, I was following a coaching course of the Dutch National Olympic Committee (NOC/NSF). For this course I was searching for information about rigging. In this quest I stumbled over this book written by Mike Davenport.
The title of this book was challenging enough to see if it would satisfy my needs.
I just started reading and at first I was a little ambiguous about the book. But 200 pages later, I became more enthusiastic over it. First I thought the writing style and layout was a little bit too popular and sometimes ironical. But now after finishing the book for a while, I think it's a good manner to keep the readers attention. On the other hand I can imagine that there are experienced Riggers (i.e. the persons who do the rigging) who find it a little too much.
Mike divides Riggers in four dimensions and there is even a little quiz in the book (which is fun!). Here you can find out which dimension you're in.
I made it just to the fourth dimension (very experienced) and was curious what the book would offer me and what not.
Where was I looking for? First I wanted information about how to explain to a rower, simple and clear, how to rig a boot for his personal need. At this point the book is superb, you can find all the information you need, about why, about your numbers and how to do it with the right karma (as the author calls it).
Second, I wanted to know if my own ideas where sound ones, seek a little confidence. The book didn't let me down.
And last, I was hoping to find some ideas to make my rigging faster. This is where the book doesn't give concrete answers. What you can find is how you should experiment and find your own fast rigging numbers. In a way this point of view is a reasonable one. There are so many technical styles of rowing and even more differences in the physics of rowers. Covering every aspect of those differences, would result in a huge encyclopedia of rigging.
Luckily the book gives hints and tips how to do it and where to find the necessary information including the writer's website: maxrowing.com.
So how do I rate this book, well it's a book that everyone who has to do a rigging job should have read. It should be present in every boathouse. Therefore I disagree with the cover text "The book I NEVER lend out". I would say: "The book I'll lend out to everyone who wants to do some rigging and wants to know how".
The last thing I like to say about the book, it's a pity that it's not translated into Dutch.
JD van den Berg
Dutch rowing coach