Stuart Harrison has done a comprehensive review of the ProW Rowing seat pad that helps to relieve back pain on an ergo.
I came across the Citius-Remex ProW seat pads on the internet and went ‘holy cr*p batman’. They are not cheap, a brilliant idea though.
But then there are two of them – which one is for me? The high seat pad is for the heavier rower and the low seat pad is for the lighter rowers. [Note both types come with stiffness adjustable and non-adjustable stiffnesses so you can choose].
I ended up with one of each to try out, thanks.
The seats arrived in a well-packed box with a very informative and colorful A4 brochure. It included a seat pad bag and 3 different density stiffness adjustable inserts that go under the raised center saddle to adjust the hardness of the seat pad. Citius-Remex offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not happy with the seat and a 1-year warranty for faulty workmanship.
So off to the ergo we go to start testing! Do these rowing seat pads really help with back pain on ergo?
Starting with the high seat pad I removed the insert so it sat better on the Croker seat that is on the ergo. After 15 minutes I learned, that my extra thick rowing shorts with a thick seam through the middle were not a wise fashion choice. Sores appeared where I haven’t had sores since being a hero rower in the 80s. After swapping to the low seat pad I was a little more comfortable. I ended up removing the ergo seat and replacing it with a flat piece of wood cut to the shape of the ProW seat pads which made a huge difference.
High Seat Pad ProW
The high seat pad took some getting used to. After your bum adjusts to having all your weight in a totally different place you eventually notice there is virtually no weight on your sit bones. The back of the high seat pad is a little higher than the back of the low seat pad. I found the lower back and softer feel of the low seat pad to be much more comfortable than the higher back and harder feel of the high seat pad; but then, I am a scrawny lightweight. The holes proved to be extremely comfortable.
Low Seat Pad ProW
The low seat pad was just, jump on the ergo, and away you go, you still have weight on the perineum and a little on your sit bones. It only took me a few minutes to adjust to the different feeling of this seat pad, it felt a little bit spongier than the high seat pad.
I kept swapping the seat pads around and the inserts and honestly, I could have kept either seat pad. I’m keeping the low seat pad.
NOTE: There is also a mounting block for putting the ProW into your boat – it’s not just for ergos.
After 40 plus years of rowing, my lower back does not cope with more than 20 minutes on the ergo. After that, it takes days to recover. I dread doing ergos. After getting used to the ProW seat pad I am now punching out hour-long ergos and the back isn’t complaining.
The more I use the seat pad, the better my back is starting to feel. If you do a lot of ergo training or have the dreaded rowers back, the ‘holly cr*p batman’ price of the seat is a worthwhile investment.
- Buy Citius Remex ProW seat pads
- Seat pad solves hamstring pain article
- RowingChat podcast episode with John Faulkner who was on the development team for ProW
- Rowing physiotherapists and ergo pain
- Tailbone chafing on ergos – cures for rowers