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Why are spanners important for rowing coaches

Why are spanners important? As an avid rower and coach I learnt the importance of having enough 10mm … read more

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Why are spanners important?

As an avid rower and coach I learnt the importance of having enough 10mm x 13mm spanners (aka rigger jiggers) the hard way. Most coaches are familiar with the problems that happen arriving at regattas when athletes are excited and ready to race.

The problem; it takes an eternity to rig the boats because only one or two of the athletes have spanners with them. Worse still is the end of the day because everybody is now tired and wet and anxious to get home, yet the fleet of boats still need to be de-rigged using the small number of spanners.

This problem also exists on the water, like when 8 athletes try to make changes to their riggers with one spanner on board while the coach sits idle in a launch trying to do exercises with two people at a time!

Spanners for Rowing

So why is it that so few clubs have enough spanners?

After asking plenty of coaches and athletes here are the top three reasons:

  1. 10 x 13mm spanners can be expensive and parents are tired of buying them for their children to lose a week later.
  2. Coaches are tired of buying expensive spanners from them to be “borrowed” and never returned and
  3. They get lost in the river very easily.

The solution is to package spanners in bulk and sell them to coaches instead of athletes.

This way the coach can sell the spanners onto the athletes at a good price whenever they are needed.

So how many spanners do you need?

We recommend:

  • a club of 20-30 would purchase 25 spanners
  • a club of 25-50 would purchase 50 spanners
  • there are also large boxes of 100 for the really big clubs.

Ideally, there should be a spanner for every athlete who actively trains plus a few extra spare.

Coaches can help their athletes keep track of their spanners by asking them to store them carefully, colour them in club colours using electrical tape or by following the advice here – the Coach Wrench Carabiner – a rowing hack 

Buy your spanners from The 10 x 13 Guy

You can visit for more information on spanners including information on bulk purchase orders.

About Rebecca Caroe
Rebecca is the host of RowingChat podcast and is a masters athlete and coach. Passionate about helping others enjoy the sport as much as she does. View all posts from Rebecca Caroe

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