In the classic tradition Rowers Rub came about when, as a rower, I couldn’t find an effective answer to the chafing and sores caused by hard training and endurance events. I wanted something that was both natural and environmentally friendly but would also continue to work over long or intense sessions. Rowing traditional fixed seat Cornish Pilot gigs has its own set of issues with the oar between pins and a long laid-back stroke style, but the principles of serious training and exercise in all conditions applies to all rowers. After trialling various blends in different conditions, the final test was the Great River Race, a 21.6 mile slog up the
Thames with over 300 rowed boats against the clock lasting over 2 ½ hours; stroking the gig has the added problem for me of fabric sores on the upper arm from the narrow rowing position. We finished 14th fastest overall but Rowers Rub proved its worth; having applied it to both areas of friction contact with the seat and arm, I finished with hardly any sores or friction rawness, including where my skin rubbed on clothing.
Rowers Rub is effective because the natural waxes allow the skin to breathe, but the salts and other by-products of sweating can’t come into contact with the skin and cause further irritation, and the fine layer helps fabric to move easily over the skin. The clove essential oil not only smells great, but the antibacterial qualities help keep skin clean when rowing on river or still water, and to recover after being subjected to stresses. Although it can be applied after exercise, application before will reduce the risk of serious sores which can interfere with training and competing. Rowers Rub simply washes off in warm soapy water.
Rowers Hand Rub is a different blend of waxes and oils to help the hands recover when they are subjected to tough outdoor conditions–
the ingredients act as humectants to restore the suppleness of the skin and the Bergamot, Star Anise and Rosemary essential oils have antibiotic, disinfectant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities and to prevent the skin cracking. The Hand Rub has also been used successfully by builders, landscape gardeners, kitchen staff and others who experience dry, irritated or chapped skin, as well as rowers with gnarly hands.
Leaping Fish’s Rubs are balms, not creams or lotions as these by definition contain water, so the Rubs are made just from plant waxes (some contain beeswax) and essential oils, and our intention was to make them as simple as possible and chemical and Paraben-free (Parabens are commonly used as stabilisers and preservatives and some studies have suggested a link with cancers). Their simplicity makes them hypoallergenic and are concentrated so a little goes a long way, making them cost effective – prevention is better than cure, and so every rower should have some in their kit bag.