Grow Your Rowing Club

Our sport needs to be more inclusive, to enable more types of participation from more people of more age groups. Oar Board® is the perfect solution to grow your rowing club and serve your community better!

QUICKLINKS

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The Oar Board® Rower adds a new dimension…

  • Novices

  • Disabled rowers

  • Recreational rowers

  • Drop-in rowers

  • People who rowed 25+ years ago in college or high school
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Oar Board® One year payback period… (Assuming $4,500 per Oar Board® Combo)

  • 9 Recreational rowers at $500 per year
  • 18 Campers at $250 per week
  • 36 Community Corporate Challenge participants at $125 a participant
  • 9 Birthday parties with average 9 people at $50 per head
  • 180 Rentals at $25 per hour

The Revenue Positive Rowing Club!

  • PAYS FOR ITSELF
    Case studies show that Oar Board® purchases can be offset in one year.
  • INCREASES CLUB MEMBERSHIP
    Early independence and stability increases retainment rate, new members no longer need an 8-week learn-to-row program.
  • GROWS THE SPORT
    An accessible opportunity for drop-in rowing rentals to non-rowers.
  • LASTS FOR YEARS
    Equipment backed with a service guarantee.
  • PAYS FOR ITSELF
    Case studies show that Oar Board® purchases can be offset in one year.
  • INCREASES CLUB MEMBERSHIP
    Early independence and stability increases retainment rate, new members no longer need an 8-week learn-to-row program.
  • GROWS THE SPORT
    An accessible opportunity for drop-in rowing rentals to non-rowers.
  • LASTS FOR YEARS
    Equipment backed with a service guarantee.

The success of your rowing program depends on how you attract and bring new athletes into your club. Single sculling is repeatedly shown to be the best way to bring new members into the sport and into your club.

  • Training novice rowers takes time & resources.
  • Novice rowers drop out because they are scared of balance, can’t commit to a full learn-to-row program, or are relegated to a rowing machine.
  • Kid camps do not provide enough time to feel the joy and independence of single sculling.
  • UNMATCHED STABILITY – flat, wide hull removes balance fears

  • REINFORCED PVC HULL – inflatable, rugged and resilient

  • FLAT DECK – will not get swamped with waves or wake

  • RESPONSIVE HULL – turns quickly, tracks straight

  • LEGS FOCUS – sliding rigger brings the focus away from the shoulders

  • CANADIAN QUALITY – designed and hand-assembled by skilled Canadian craftsmen

  • EASY TO STORE – tucks easily into a boathouse corner

Case Studies

Once upon a time, there was a cash-strapped rowing club concerned about how difficult it was for new people to start the sport. One day, they purchased a few Oar Boards for their boathouse. Because of that new members joined at any time of the year, and fell in love with the sport – not just during scheduled learn-to-row programming. They chose adventure, and built a new pathway into the sport and built fun, easy-to-access programs to serve their communities. Then, interest in their club increased, they attracted a more diverse membership, and financial stability increased. Until finally, they built a strong community of people united by rowing, which other clubs around the world used as a model to grow the sport.

FEATURE STUDY

Argonaut Rowing Club, Lake Ontario, Toronto, Canada

In spring 2021, the Argos club purchased six Oar Boards using a Rowing Canada grant incentive program. They were able to pay for the costs of this equipment with increased summer camp enrollment.

Club managers noticed increased retainment in new members exposed to this equipment.

Highlights

  • Big increase in entry-level access: 107 more new athletes exposed to rowing through Oar Boards through Camp Argo and learn-to-row, over previous year’s numbers.
  • Popular alternative to rowing for day-long camps where kids might need more variety than simply sculling.
  • Excellent tools for teaching basic boat handling – steering in particular.
  • Oar Board is eager to identify problems with the equipment and address them promptly and quickly.
  • Hulls are more resilient we anticipated – we will put them directly down on the dock for demonstrations, and they have hit rocks, launches, other boards, debris without visible damage.
  • Interest has been shown in using them for corporate events and birthday parties, so we are investigating that as a potential revenue source.

Challenges

  • Rental schemes were difficult due to COVID regulations and requirements.
  • Rental insurance was also a challenge – it took quite some time to track down an insurance provider that did rental schemes like this.
  • There is a subset of users that simply don’t like them, or feel that using them is somehow lesser than a traditional recreational scull.
  • Learning curve understanding how to market rowing effectively to walk-by traffic.

http://www.argonautrowingclub.com/camp-argo/

https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautRowing/photos/pcb.4083117991725229/4083117898391905

https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautRowing/photos/pcb.4083117991725229/4083117891725239

OTHER CASE STUDIES

Weybridge Rowing Club, Thames River, England, UK

Weybridge Rowing Club bought two Oar Board® strap-on units in 2020 to introduce new rowers to the sport, when learn-to-row programming was not offered.

  • The club manager loved that the equipment was affordable, and “stores in a cupboard”.
  • Use as a 1x or a 2x.
  • Easy way to introduce new rowers to the sport, requiring less coach supervision.
  • Uptake from members who want to retire from racing to row recreationally, but want to remain independent in small boats that they can lift themselves.

https://www.oarboard.ca/a-tale-of-two-sup-boards-by-weybridge-rowing-club/

Oklahoma City Boat Club, Lake Hefner, Oklahoma, USA

OKC Boat Club purchased ten Oar Board®s in 2020 to be part of their community rental fleet and used the equipment to increase engagement in their Junior rowing program.

  • Skeptical at first. Would it work with kids? How durable is the equipment?
  • Needed to adapt coaching methods for sliding rigger.
  • Once kids got on the water, the equipment was a hit!
  • Ran a race of 10 heats of 500m Oar Board races.

https://www.oarboard.ca/okc-riversport-youth-rowing-league-prevails-despite-challenges/

Hong Kong China Rowing Association, Shing Mun River, Hong Kong, China

The Hong Kong Rowing Association purchased its first batch of Oar Boards in 2019 to complement its fleet of coastal and flat water boat rentals. The club continues to purchase Oar Boards, and has integrated the equipment into their rowing skill-development pathway.

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  • Bulk Oar Boards are regularly purchased to serve growing demand from the public.
  • Rentals range from $40 for two hours and no coach to $250 for a full day and coach supervision.
  • Love the damage-free inflatable boards.
  • Find that Oar Board rowing is convenient, stable, easy to assemble and store.
  • Integrate the Oar Board into long-term member development plan.

http://www.rowing.org.hk/galaxy-course/

Is the Oar Board® right for your club?

  • Do you have a passionate member to champion this program?
  • Are you willing to work through the small challenges?
  • Do you like questioning the status quo?
  • Are you proactive and self-motivated?
  • Do you care about inclusion? Accessibility? Growth of the sport?

Here’s how the Oar Board® will ensure boathouse program success:

  • Novice scullers gain confidence, feel safe, and stay rowing longer.
  • Older rowers graduate into the Oar Board and maintain independence.
  • Grows a recreational rowing group to expand club membership.
  • Learn-to-row programs can happen immediately for new club members wanting to join at their own speed.
  • Social distancing is easy.
  • 16’ boards can be rigged as a 1x and 2x.
  • Sliding rigger teaches proper leg drive and removes the usual tense upper body in new rowers.
  • Blade technique, steering and boatmanship develop at lightning speed.
  • They glide over coach boat wake and can even surf small waves.
  • Rocks? Stumps? Boat collisions? The inflatable rubber hull will never crack or break.
  • Training continues safely in almost all weather and water conditions.
  • Easy to stack, store, put away.
  • Your EQUIPMENT BUDGET stretches further.
  • You are supported by a company with an 8-year track record in building Oar Boards and 30 years of rowboat-building experience.

A pathway to bringing new rowers!

  • Oar Board to Coastal Boat to Racing!

Growth Possibilities

  • Community rental program.
  • Rowing tourism.
  • Affiliate marketing opportunities and referral fees paid.

Fits in a cupboard! The Oar Board® unit and paddle board can be left inflated and stacked together on a rack. Alternatively, the Oar Board® rower can be detached, disassembled and stored in its wheelie bag. An inflatable paddle board can be quickly deflated, rolled up compactly and also stored in its own wheelie bag perfect for transport or travel.

Extend your rowing season! Row in colder weather – cold water, waves, or boat wakes are no longer a problem. The chance of capsize is virtually eliminated. Should it occur, self-rescue is very easy. The paddle board is totally buoyant, virtually unsinkable and it’s easy to climb back aboard.

The Oar Board® is ideal for use as a fitness trainer for novices, competitors, masters, or anyone who loves to row and wants to stay fit and in top form.

The Oar Board® unit by itself is easily attached to almost any stand up paddleboard over 10’ long. However we strongly recommend the custom designed inflatable paddle boards we supply that are specifically designed for sculling and equipped with special deck rings that make setting up simple with no strap drag while rowing.

Testimonials

Elite Rowing Coach & Olympic Gold Medal Rower Xeno Muller says:

“This is an amazing coaching tool as the sliding rigger makes it feel totally natural to drive with the legs before engaging the upper body. New rowers experience less difficulty understanding and learning a proper row stroke.”

Olympic Gold Medal Rower Adam Kreek says:

“Every rowing club needs some Oar Boards®. They are a lightweight, compact, stable sculling platform. Perfect for novice rowers to learn the row stroke or for afternoon fitness sessions even in wind and waves. Imagine a rowing-camping adventure launched from your boathouse.”

Interested in Growing Your Rowing Club Now?

Our sport needs to be more inclusive, to enable more types of participation from more people of more age groups. Oar Board® is the perfect solution to grow your rowing club and serve your community better!

Use this form to contact our rowing club representatives for more information. Provide us with details of your rowing club requirements and potential needs, or share your wish list.

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CONTACT US

The History of the Oar Board®

The sliding rigger rowing system is not a recent invention. An early patent was filed for a similar rowing unit way back in 1905 however the German Olympic rowing challenge of 1985 saw a revival of the technology. Thorough development and testing was conducted by the German Olympic challenger team.

When it was found that the sliding rigger system was substantially faster when used on a racing shell, the Olympic governing body banned the German sliding rigger technology from being used in the 1988 Olympic challenge on the grounds of an unfair speed advantage. Sliding rigger rowing systems disappeared from the rowing scene until now, with the development of the Oar Board®.

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Why the Oar Board® Rows So Well

On a sliding seat, the rower’s full body weight moving back and forth on the tracks causes a boat to slow down on the glide or recovery part of the row stroke. This does not occur with the Oar Board® with its fixed seat and sliding rigger. Maintaining steady trim as the hull passes through the complete duration of the row stroke is also what makes it possible to smoothly row with the much shorter paddle board type of hull.

Rowing at Clubs and Elsewhere

A paddle board with an Oar Board® Rower unit is not as fast as a sleek light racing shell so competition rowing is simply not relevant. What is relevant are the points mentioned above plus helping the sport of rowing to expand not only at clubs but also out onto lakes, rivers and oceans, at cottages, cabins, yachts, to benefit existing rowers and newcomers to the sport.

Contact Us

For further information regarding ordering the Oar Board® Rower, the custom designed paddle boards, or the unique two-part carbon fiber sculling oars, please contact:

Diana Lesieur
Sales Manager