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Stop my hand slipping on oar handle

Dear folks at RowperfectI just read your note regarding fixing oar-grips. I use Concept 2 oars the ultra light … read more

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Dear folks at RowperfectI just read your note regarding fixing oar-grips. I use Concept 2 oars the ultra light ones. I find that while rowing my hands slide slowly away from where they should be. Are those Stampfli Grips preventing and profiled to keep the hands in the proper place. If that is the case I wish to buy a pair or 2. How much are they, how do I order. Please let me know. Thank you.

Tom, no the Stampfli grips are not ‘profiled’ at all. They are the same width all the way down. Croker scull handle grip

Croker sculling grips have ridges to match your fingers. However, I use them myself and it doesn’t stop my left hand riding down compared to my right.

Rowing oar handle grip

First – you have to know what the correct technique is for gripping the oar handle.  Read our Rowing Technique article series which explains the Rowing Stroke Cycle and Grip is part 6.  Good Grip helps get you a fast catch and to manage the oar(s) skilfully.  Here is an extract from that article on grip written by Duncan Holland and Raf Wyatt.

The handle is loosely held with the fingers wrapped around so that the second knuckles are in front. The thumbs are underneath and the handle is held so that there is space between the webbing of the thumb and the handle. Both wrists are flat.

In rowing the outside hand has a static grip. The wrist stays flat, the fingers stay still. In effect the grip is a hook, and the handle is free to rotate in this hook when the blade is free of the water and there is no pressure being applied. Hand separation is to some extent personal and what is comfortable

How to stop your hand moving in rowing

The best fix for preventing your hand sliding down the oar handle or the scull handle is to put a tight elastic band onto the handle near where your little finger SHOULD sit. When you hand starts to drift, you will feel the elastic band and that will act as a reminder to stop it slipping further.

Here are two pictures where I have inserted red arrows to show the recommended position of the elastic band.

Elastic Band position on the sweep oar handle Elastic Band position on the sweep rowing handle

Elastic Band, rowing, scull handle Elastic Band position on the scull handle

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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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