(This is a signifiant update to a post first published in 2013)
Too often the straps we use to secure our rowing shells get abused to the point of revolt. The revolt can range from something small— such as getting all knotted, to something catastrophic—such as fraying and breaking at the worst possible moment.
And one reason straps revolt is that we don’t have a good rowing strap storage strategy.
Rowing straps need TLA—tender loving attention
They don’t need a lot of it, but you have to give them some. If not, you WILL have a revolt. Guaranteed.
This video shows one simple thing you can do to prove to your strap that you love it, and help it be there for you when you need it. I call it the Page Roll.
Rob Page was a coxswain of note for our team several years ago and he showed me this simple way to store our straps while at the same time checking them for problems (such as fraying) that could indicate the strap might fail at when you needed it most. (The audio may not work, so I’ve included notes below).
Effective rowing strap storage
Storing your straps can be a fairly simple process:
Step 1: Unfurl the strap, and look it over for any frayed edges. If you see any the strap needs to be replaced, and DON’T use it. Let me be clear about that. It is a BAD (UNSAFE) strap. Get rid of it (for example . . . give it to an athlete for a belt).
Step 2: Take the end and slide it through the large opening of the cam. This is NOT the opening that the strap goes through to be tightened. Pull strap through about eight inches.
Step 3: Begin rolling the strap from the fold in in that is away from the cam buckle. Gentle, and tightly, roll it until you reach the cam.
Step 4: While holding the cam buckle against the roll, take the end that you put through the cam in step 2 and wrap it around the roll. Then put the end through the slot in the buckle. Gently tighten it up.
The rowing strap will now stay neatly in a roll, ready for action when you are. A great benefit to this method is ease of storing. You can get numerous rolled straps in a small space.
And for advanced rowing strap travel strategy consider double strapping your shells.