User Review: Magik Oarlocks for sculling

We think that the products we sell help athletes and coaches to move boats faster and improve rowing and sculling technique – but it’s important that you find this out for yourself and that’s why we encourage customers to test out our products.

We requested Martin Tweedie from Trentham Boat Club who tested our Magik Oarlocks for sculling to tell us what he thought.

What comparable equipment do you usually use?

I used standard oarlocks with plastic thumbscrew nut.

How long / how many outings did you do?

I did approximately 15 outings, in the region of 120km in total.

What were your first impressions?

Firstly the oarlocks look very nice and compliment my carbon rigger. They were easy to open and close, and were quicker than the standard screw lock items used previously.

For my first 1km, I noticed that it took slightly more effort to turn the blades from square to feathered (and vice versa) and they had a noticeable ‘clunk’ when turning to a locked position. I expected that this would become irritating, but I quickly got used to it and as I became more relaxed I found that it was in fact mainly due to my tight grip and thus fierce turning of the blade handle.

When you did your first outing was it easy to use?  And if it was not easy, what did you find hard or not intuitive?

I found that the oarlocks gave me confidence that they were locked in position. This was even more apparent when starting with hard strokes from stationary (a racing start). After a couple of km I started to relax more and noticed that they had helped to make my finishes cleaner, which in turn improved my balance.

Did you do any tests to compare to your previous equipment?

No comparable tests performed, but subjectively the oarlocks improved my catches due to clean and early squaring, and gave me sharper finishes.

What did the coach think?

My coach liked the product overall but felt that it caused such a drastic change that the rowers may become dependent on them, which could create problems when changing to crew boats with standard items fitted.

What did your crew members think?

6 other rowers tried my boat and liked them, I am unsure if they intend to purchase them, but the product was certainly well accepted within the club.

Anything else you want to tell us that could help us improve our service or product range?

I wanted to try the Magik oarlocks but I dismissed the likely benefits due to cost, and the significant potential to upset my rowing stroke and end up switching back to my standard ones. Maybe more demo opportunities could be pro-actively promoted to clubs to prompt testing in crew boats.

All in all the Magik oarlocks are a great product which have definitely improved my rowing – I’m keeping my pair and will buy them at once.

Would you like to follow Martin and try before you buy?  Get in touch and ask how.

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2 thoughts on “User Review: Magik Oarlocks for sculling

  1. David Hope says:

    I have a set I purchased for my single 4 years ago. They improved my sculling but I have always had such difficulty opening the yellow clip on top at the end of an outing that I gave up using them. Are the new ones any better – in which case I would be interested in using them again, just so long as I don’t have to take a screwdriver with me in the boat in order to open the gaste on the water side at the end of an outing.

    David Hope
    07967 720 544

    • Rebecca Caroe says:

      David – the ‘new’ ones are the ones you already have. The Yellow clip is optional – you do not have to close it for the oarlocks to work. The manufacturer introduced it because the original design had the tip of the closure designed to act like an electrical fuse. that is, it broke off if you had a collision and allowed the gate to take the force of the impact and hopefully prevent the rigger or oar from breaking by being the first part to take the strain. Since this caused some people to fall in from singles, they preferred to break a more expensive part of their boat and stay dry. Therefore, if you don’t mind that caveat, please try them out and just don’t slide the yellow clip across to ‘lock’ the gate closed. After your outing, the gate opens with a thumb and finger pressure vertically applied to the ridged part of the top of the gate which squeezes together the two parts of the closure and enables them to glide through the opening.

      I guess you still have your old pair – why not try them again without closing the yellow clip?
      Best wishes in rowing, Rebecca

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