The Birth of RowStraps – Part One

The Birth of RowStraps – Part One

When I started rowing on the erg, I didn’t slowly dip my toes in, I jumped straight into the deep end!   My plan was to row 15-20 minutes at a time, when my schedule didn’t allow me the hour/hours to go for a run or a ride.   Those short sessions lasted a week, at which point I started rowing for 45 minutes to an hour.  Simply put, I loved my newfound exercise, and the meters started to pile up! 

My initial training was guided by a series of videos from Xeno Muller, the namesake of my Signature WaterRower.  With a couple of Olympic medals, he certainly had the credentials, and his style of instruction was both motivating and entertaining.  I mimicked his style and technique, and rapidly developed some rowing aptitude!  At the end of his workouts, he would sometimes mention how many meters he had rowed.  At first, he would have a considerably larger number than me, but the margin soon started to decline, and eventually there was a negligible difference!  Now I’m not saying I’m on par with Xeno, but our meters rowed during a workout were now in the same neighborhood!  But I must point out, he was also talking the majority of the time!

In the Xeno library, I became partial to a handful of his longer workouts.  I really liked the long, drawn-out efforts, with an emphasis on power!   Power that could be achieved with good form and technique!  I would work hard to match him stroke for stroke, and noted that both of us were huffing and puffing!  During harder efforts, I started experiencing a problem where it felt like my feet were slipping around, as the straps weren’t properly functioning.  I would have to quickly pause and adjust the straps as best I could, while doing my best to keep up with Xeno.  I didn’t think much of it, as I saw Xeno doing the exact same thing.

Upon closer inspection, my stock straps were getting pretty worn from use, and a bit funky from all the sweat.  They developed a bit of a sheen that didn’t allow the nylon clip to bite into the strap.  I ended up buying a new set of straps from WaterRower, and the problem was solved…at least for a little while. 

As Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  I had bought new straps, but I knew they would only be a temporary solution.  I started doing my research and quickly realized I was not alone in experiencing this problem.  I found all sorts of references to the same issue!  Sadly, what I didn’t find was a solution.  The gears in my head started turning…

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Frank Karbarz

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