Whenever we spot an athletic person on the horizon we start the guessing game „what does he/she do”? We look at the physical appearance, height, weight and then we move to the muscle structure. Finally, clothing and apparel that's in possession of our target. Sadly, the guessing game usually ends with question“are you a basketball/volleyball/water polo player”? Stereotypes are hard to beat therefore we give you a few hints on how to recognize a rower and what are a rower's must-haves.
The Unisuit is a full body skin-tight spandex, that fits the body like a glove, showing off every single curve on rower's body. Athletes wear matching uniforms at the representing the rowing team with pride.
Interestingly, rowers have a very unique hobby, they exchange (usually used) uniforms with athletes from other schools, clubs or nations, so if you see a rower at the training session never judge him based on what's he's wearing it may be “borrowed”. They like collecting rowing uniforms like other people collect stamps.
During a rowing regatta, it's difficult to spot a rower without sunglasses. This simple object plays a very important role. Besides protecting from the sun, sunglasses work as a mask. Not only do they cover the athlete’s eyes but create a serious, emotionless, almost stone-like face. A rower and his sunglasses are one, whether it's sunny or rainy, windy or foggy it doesn't matter.
While others athletes wear sneakers, rowers tend to care less about their footwear. Since they do not take their shoes inside the boat (they already have a pair attached inside), all they need is something light and water-resistant that will allow comfortable interaction with the boat. Don't be surprised to see funky, colorful flowery designs...it's all about fashion ;)
Training on the ergometer is a necessary evil. Rowers look for different ways of fighting the pain caused by the machine, one of them is creating THE PLAYLIST. This playlist is a set of songs perfectly timed to fill the whole erging session. Songs that make you forget about the fact that there is still an hour to go. Songs that motivate you to pull stronger and bring the numbers down, songs that keep your heartbeat low and steady. Finally, songs that say “GO, when the brain says no”. Every rower owns that magical playlist. Don't be surprised to see them with earphones plugged in, looking serious and in the zone, this is real, this is a battlefield!
When rowers step into the ergroom, before every indoor-rowing session, the brain is asking repeatedly “Which one was it? Where is it? Did she/he take it already?” Yes, rowers have their favorite machines. It may sound funny, but they recognize their precious ergometer even by a small scratch, or dirty little spot. It's a real deal, don't mess with a rower, when he picks his “horse” it's his for life.
Author: Anna Wierzbowska
-Pictures: Anna Wierzbowska
-Gbuckhorn. “What's Not to Lycra?” Hear The Boat Sing, 12 Apr. 2016, heartheboatsing.com/2016/04/16/whats-not-to-lycra/.
-Buzinski, Jim. “Rowers Wear Rainbow 'Wellies' for Gay Inclusion.” Outsports, Outsports, 22 Feb. 2016, www.outsports.com/2016/2/22/11089538/york-university-boating-club-rainbow-wellies-lgbt.
-“Welsh Indoor Rowing Finals Come to Grangetown.” The Cardiffian, 22 Nov. 2016, jomec.co.uk/thecardiffian/2016/11/22/welsh-indoor-rowing-championships-come-grangetown/.