Dreher Apex Sculls Review

Rowperfect UK encourages customers to try out our products before they buy.

We think that the products we sell help athletes and coaches to move boats faster and improve rowing and sculling technique – but it’s important that you find this out for yourself and that’s why we encourage customers to test out our products.

Steve Clarke of Dart Totnes Rowing Club, one of our satisfied customers, took a trial demonstration before he bought the Dreher Apex Sculls. Below is the review provided by him before he bought the product.

Which product(s) did you try?

Dreher Apex Sculls

What comparable equipment do you usually use?

My old sculling blades were a set of Concept II Dreissigacker oars

How long / how many outings did you do?

I used the sculls for about a month which was approx 10-12 outings in my single, all of which would be about 45-6o mins long

What were your first impressions?

Firstly, the blades are very light, not like my old blades which were comparatively heavy and ‘clunky’. Due to the lightness, it was very easy to control the blade height during the recovery.

I also found it was much easier to sustain a higher rate. With my old blades I was reaching perhaps rate 34 when doing bursts. When I tried a series of bursts with the Apex Sculls, I could reach rate 36+ with ease and it was easy to sustain. Again, the reason I think it was easy to sustain was due to the lightness. It also felt completely effortless. I could place the blades in the water and drive and it would feel like all the power was coming from the legs (as it should do) rather than using my arms which I feel I may have been doing with my old blades.

Ultimately, I suppose using these blades has encouraged me to use my legs to push rather than my arms to pull, so they have improved my technique.

Finally, the catch felt much lighter. The entry of the blades into the water felt quick, smooth and efficient.

When you did your first outing was it easy to use? And if it was not easy, what did you find hard or not intuitive?

Of course, using new equipment for the first time is going to be different, which is was when I used the Apex Sculls, however, I could definitely feel the difference. It didn’t take me long at all to adapt to the sculls and I really felt the difference.

I have to say, one thing I found with these sculls is that they are not “forgiving”. What I mean by this is that, at the finish, the sculler has to tap down correctly and evenly making sure the blades are square as they come out of the water, if they do not do this, the boat will be off balance for that split second. I definitely do not find this a problem. I believe that it teaches you to be more disciplined and make sure the finish and tap down of every stroke is perfect so that the boat is not unbalanced, so ultimately, it improves your technique.

Did you do any tests to compare to your previous equipment?  And what did the tests show?

I did not do any tests as such, however, I did notice certain scores on my speed coach had improved.

As I mentioned, I could sustain a higher rate for longer periods of time using these sculls. Also, my average split for when I was sculling at normal pressure, rate 18, had dropped approx 5 seconds per 500m. Which is a very good improvement. Also, I could reach very low splits during high rate bursts and pieces, in fact, I actually hit the lowest split I have ever reached in a single scull in my 4 years of sculling.

What did the coach think?

My coach was very open minded about it. After telling him my improved splits while paddling he was pleased. He just suggests that when I am in my single, only I know equipment feels good or not and I feel the Apex Sculls improve my sculling.

What did the athletes / cox think?

In my opinion, these sculls are the best set of sculling blades I have tried and I would recommend them to any sculler looking to buy a set of sculls. I feel that in the short time I have used these blades, the have improved my technique and boat speed already and can only hope that when I continue to use them, my boat speed will increase further and that I can have a lot of success with them.

Anything else you want to tell us that could help us improve our service or product range?

As I said, I am more than happy to tell all other scullers how much I enjoy using the blades. Perhaps advertising in the Rowing and Regatta magazine if you don’t already. Also, going to the regattas at Dorney with a stall could help to sell more of your amazing product.

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