Our time leading worship and directing media efforts at Life Port Church has sadly suddenly come to an end. If you need help with your worship band or technology, give me a shout! I have some spare time at the moment.
Nearly 2 years of regular sculling
The collars/sleeves on my oars are getting a bit rounded and the stabilizers are off all the time now. I've been reading a delightful little book "With Two Oars" by William B Irvine (About $9 on Amazon) - in it he focuses on "set". I think this is huge. He has some great exercises to cure flipophobia which he thinks is the root of all bad technique. I tend to agree! Great read.
The Oartec Slider is installed next to the wife's elliptical and I've had a couple of goes so far - trying to calibrate it to feel like the Edon which of course has a bit more drag than a 1x. The Florida summer is well and truly here and the option of air-conditioned rows if I get up too late is great. It's not the same as on-the-water though - I'm very fortunate to be able to launch in my back yard.
I've just ordered an Oartec Slider rowing machine for the bad weather days down here in Florida. I was initially going to just get a used Concept2 D with a PM4 and started looking on eBay for one - I was attracted to C2 by their holding their used prices and the ability to use RowPro. Then I looked at the C2 Dynamic the started googling opinions then discovered dynamics and sliders in general and a few opinions on the rowing boards (on the water people). Then checked out the Oartech videos. I think in the end, the balance of opinions on the Oartech’s perceived superiority with ref to on the water swung it. I like the feet together thing and also the overall size. Plus, it looks cool :-) The one big and only negative point was the clunky looking monitor and no RowPro hookup - any outlook/intent for an upgrade in the future I wonder? I look forward to delivery and will be blogging on my progress with it. I’m an old person just rowing for fun/fitness really and am using an excellent Edon TS515 which is a robust "kayak-material" training scull that fits your garage. I’m hoping the Slider will compliment the Edon nicely and help my on-the-water times.
I thought I'd mention a great USA made product I've been using - New Grips - they basically save your hands from blistering - especially if you have some time away from rowing then come back (as I did with my 4 week trip to UK).
They are at http://www.newgrip.com/rowing_gloves_oars.html, are very reasonable and they have great customer service. I tried them at first and they felt a bit awkward. If you get some, once they have been used a few times, the neoprene conforms to the grips and everything feels much better.
I have no connection with these guys apart from being a happy customer.
Temptation.. temptation... ok, I was in UK and spotted one on Row2K not far from where I live. Got extremely excited about it - reading everything I could - the ideal next boat!
However when I got back to the US I measured my boathouse/garage and the Maas would only fit diagonally! I'd only just be able to open the door if it were in there.
Rats.. Still the seller was kind enough to show me around the Sarasota Rowing Club and I got to actually try and lift it. It was extremely unwieldy with a fragile fin and no handholds - really a two man job to be safe (especially in a wind). And, although it was only 38lbs, I found it much harder to pick up. So, I'm kind of glad it was too long. Back to the Edon :-)
I've been eyeing up websites lately - I've been rowing just over a year and am thoroughly enjoying it. From a former couch potato who skived off PE at school and never did anything other than a bit of golf and lazy tennis, this is quite something. Every other day at daybreak, plop, in goes the Edon and off I go to challenge my heart and the Speedcoach to get that average stroke rate down. A Concept 2 rowing machine would be more cost-effective and convenient but does it leave a bubbly wake, reward a good stroke technique or provide ever-chaging scenery and close-ups of fish jumping? No.
Now the Edon is by definition a training scull, it's only 5.13 meters long, is relatively draggy compared to a true racing scull so thoughts on the back straight usually turn to something thin, long and pointy, made of carbon and kevlar and impossibly fast.
Then common sense sets in - for me? No. Completely daft. I'd break it, fall out of it and get eaten by an alligator, and it wouldn't even fit in my garage. It would cost a few times more than the Edon and I couldn't row it about the little "kayaky" inlets all over our coast. All in all, even if one day I can afford the carbon fibre shell and find somewhere to store it, I'll still be using the Edon regularly for what it does so well - keep me dry and get me fitter day after day after day - bangs, scrapes an' all. Those Edon ozzies did a good job.
Fastest time ever today - must be the new red grips.
We have a couple of Audio Techica M series In-Ear Wireless systems. We've both got through two sets of their earpices - these are not cheap either. This time around we've both dipped for Westone UM3X in-ear monitors. While not cheap at about $400 they have three drivers and are truly full range. I used to hear the bass from the PA subs but no more - with these stuffed in you get the real dynamics the people are hearing. One nifty thing the Presonus does is you can allocate 2 channels to your IEMs and with the ATs in stereo, utilise the pan and level to set up a stereo listening field in your head. This is SO useful - the click is way out on my right and my stereo guitar effects are in stereo along with the stems. Another cool thing about the Westones is that you can just unplug the cable from teh earpiece - no returning to factory for new wir.
Whistled round my 4.6miles in record time today. Hadn't been out for a couple of days, got up earlier and it was cooler, almost dark. Didn't get as hot as usual (pretty humid down in in Fl) and after setting my best time over the first 3rd decided to ignore my heart monitor's beeps and go above the training rate. I normally slow down at 136bpm but let it drift (Ha) up to 148. I could see from the Speedoach the difference it was making to ave pace so carried on; After 41m06s crossed my finish line with my best time so far. I got on one of these HIGI monitors at the local supermarket yesterday and it wasn't impressed with my weight or blood pressure so I think I'll up my training rate band on the watch permanently. There can't be many more pleasant ways of taking vigourous excercise than bashing away on an Edon in the early light with complete calm and the sun lighting up the horizon in salmon pink. Onwards!
Just got back from my 100th row in the Edon. Pretty pleased as my time was my 2nd best ever and conditions wern't ideal. I've lately been feeling that my hands have been on too high a plane and accordingly I tried raisng the oarlocks about 3/8" - feels much more horizontal and the times have generally improved with less exertion (well lower HR avg anyway).
Although I had the training floats off for a while, I put them back on just for safety's sake and they are still on. I wouldn't like to fall in right now - I think it's alligator mating season :-)
Thinking about something else and forgot about the last piling before clear water. Struck the oar first between orarlock and hull then the rigger. Luckily I'm still using the floats or I would have got wet (and there are alligators in the lake).
From the sound of the impact I thought I'd ripped the mounting out of the hull. Apart from a tiny mark on the (Dreher) oar, no damage. Try that in a regular composite shell.. I'm further impressed with these Edons.