Rowing is both an outdoor sport and a water sport. Two pretty darn-simple concepts.
And just about every coach, rower, and Rigger that we've ever met is well-versed in both those notions.
So why, why, why is it that so many rowing folks seem to forget these simple concept when it comes time to rig?
We see coaches, athletes, and Riggers who just seem to ignore that we do our thing out-of-doors in what is commonly know as the environment — and they seem oblivious to the fact the environment plays a very big factor in what we do and how we do it.
Let us clue you in on something — as a Rigger, the environment is going to have an enormous impact on what you do — and if you want to rig well you will be best served to keep that in mind.
HOW THE ENVIRONMENT IMPACTS WHERE YOU RIG
The environment — in essence your surroundings — will impact your rigging in basically two ways.
The first way the environment is going to play a factor is by the level of PRE.
What the heck is PRE? you ask.
Simply, PRE is short for Positive Rigging Environment, and it is absolutely essential to rigging well. The best way to explain what PRE is is to look at it in terms of minimums and maximums. The level of PRE is usually the greatest when:
- The knowledge you have about your rigging is at a maximum
- The mental pressure on your rigging is at a minimum.
- The time you have to do your rig is at a maximum.
- The distractions on you while you rig are at a minimum.
- The tools you have for your rigging are at a maximum.
Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?
Regardless of how simple it may seem, oftentimes the mental environment we surround ourselves with is far from conducive to good rigging. It boils down to this, when the mental environment is positive, when you have control of those five items (pressure, time, distractions, tools, knowledge) almost everyone seems to do a much better job of rigging.
The second way your rigging can be impacted by the environment is by the SRE (yes, I know . . . another acronym).
SRE stands for Safe Rigging Environment. Safety should be a critical component of your rigging, however, often folks (especially Riggers) tend to forget about safety. Some of the things you should look for in a rigging area are: good lighting; protection from the environment–for both your sake and the boat's; and being out of the way so you can work with a minimum of distractions, hassles and aggravations. If you must put your boat in slings outside be cautious of the wind–even a slight peeze can
knock the boat over and then you’ve got major repair work in addition to your rigging.
With all that information now in hand, let’s try to answer the question of the day, Where should you rig?
Usually the most convenient place to rig is inside the boathouse. Usually, but not always. We've seen some pretty crowded boathouses where leaving a boat in slings for more than five minutes causes major hassles. So you have to find the place that suits you best, preferably a clean and safe area.
And from experience Rowperfect can tell you that sometimes you'll find yourself doing rigging in some pretty weird spots.
From rigging standing in water up to my chest, in a barn, in a Russian Army tent, in a parking lot with the shell on stacks of life jackets, in a hotel ballroom, in a parking garage, in the hold of a ferry boat, and on the top deck of a freighter in the Caribbean — just to name a few.
The lesson here, make do with wherever you find yourself rigging. Just use common sense and be safe — no need to get hurt in pursuit of good rigging.
That pings us to our last lesson, #7. It is about How You Should Rig.