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How to purchase rowing equipment – Part 1

A step by step guide on how to purchase the correct rowing equipment for your needs at a … read more

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A step by step guide on how to purchase the correct rowing equipment for your needs at a price you can afford.

Space Saver Rowing Systems writes articles about managing your rowing club organisation. Realising that most clubs are volunteer-run, we know you need as many free resources as possible to keep the club running smoothly.  SSRS wants to be the source of good quality information that you can use and share with your club and committee members.

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Read Part 2 and Part 3 of ‘How to Purchase Rowing Equipment’ at Space Saver Rowing Systems –

Purchasing the correct rowing equipment for your needs at the right price:

Yes, rowing equipment costs money, is a problem to move around, and of course, to store. But those are problems you’re willing to face because quite simply, you need rowing equipment to row.  This article will teach you how to buy the right equipment for your needs at the right price.  This is a great tool for all parents out there with children wanting to start rowing or for coaches or club organisers looking at purchasing equipment for their rowing club.

3 very important guidelines:

  • Rowing equipment must fit.
  • Rowing equipment must be safe (e.g. boat must have bow balls; if the shell has shoes, they should have heel ties that are attached; and if you row at dusk or at dawn, you need lights).
  • The equipment itself doesn’t make you fast – the five basic elements of boat speed in order of importance are: athletes, training, technique, equipment and rigging.

Step 1 – What are your needs?

Before you dash off to the local sporting goods store, or get out that credit card and go mad online, the most important thing is to work out exactly what rowing equipment you will need. One thing that has a large impact on the rowing equipment you need is the type of rowing you do or are planning to do. Open water rowing, disabled rowing, competitive rowing, and recreational sculling all require different types of shells and safety equipment. If you are new to the sport or unsure what type of rowing you will be doing, you will need to do some homework. Speak to a coach, other club members or a manufacturer and get their suggestions. A key tip is making sure you buy the equipment you need, and not the equipment you want. There is a big difference between those two words.

To begin with, take a quick inventory of all the rowing equipment you currently have. This can be done on a small chart such as the one shown below.

Inventory Checklist: What I have and what I want / need

  1. Oars:
  2. Shell/boat:
  3. Safety:
  4. Clothing:
  5. Electronics:

As you can see, there are 5 main categories of rowing equipment. The bare minimum you need in order to row are the top 2 rows; Oars and a Shell. By adding items from the other categories you will become safer, more comfortable, and more serious about your rowing. After filling in the table above you should have a good idea of what you have and what you need, which brings us to our next step.

Step 2 – Prioritise Your Needs

After deciding what type of rowing you will be doing and sorting out what equipment you already have, it will have become obvious what you now need to buy. But for all of you out there like me who cannot afford a complete new wardrobe of rowing equipment in one go, prioritizing becomes key.

Write a list of all the items you don’t have, for example, safety equipment, rowing clothing and rowing electronics equipment and assign each item a grade.
Items which are safety related get an A, items that will have an impact on boat speed get a B and items that effect enjoyment for rowers or coaches get a C. The A’s will need to be purchased immediately, what is the point in participating in this great sport if you are not safe while doing so?  Schedule the B’s to be bought after the A’s and the C’s last.

I know this all sounds very simplistic, but it is an effective way of working out what equipment you need at what stage in your rowing career.

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