A reader asks us What to look for when buying second hand oars and sculls
- Wear – check the sleeve and button – run your finger around them both to feel for spots where the plastic is worn. The less the better
- Spoon tip – is it split along the tip or intact? Are the cornsers sharp or worn? Is the carbon delaminating from the core material?
- Flex test – put the tip onto the ground upside down, hold the handle and push down on the shaft to see whether it flexes a lot or a little. More flexion can indicate that the oar has a softer shaft construction OR that it’s been used a lot and is no longer stiff
- Handle size – is this right for your hands?
- Shaft stiffness – ask the vendor what they purchased – stiff, medium or soft. Does this match your needs?
- Pitch – if you have the means, check the pitch – the link tells you how to do it. Both sculls need to be the same pitch