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Author: Danielle Cantor
Rowing Pad LLC has introduced a new rowing machine seat cushion: the 10MM Soft ErgPad Solid with Non-Slip (#7800). Constructed from our unique soft-density foam, #7800 is a low-profile pad for rowers who want a soft, solid cushion on the erg but do not need extra height in the seat. A non-slip layer comes already applied to the underside of the pad, providing a sturdy ride during workouts—even when things get sweaty.
As with all Rowing Pad products, the Soft line of rowing accessories is constructed from durable, high-quality polymer foam that can stand up to regular use and still provide incredible cushioning and protection. The 10MM Soft ErgPad joins two other Soft products: the 20MM Soft ErgPad (#8000) and the 20MM Soft ErgPad with Non-Slip (#8500). These pads pair two layers of our soft-density high-performance foam—a soft-soft twist on the classic Rowing Pad dual-density design, which features one firm layer of foam and one soft layer.
The #7800 has a unique origin story. Our pads are designed for rowers by rowers—with input from some of the sport’s most revered collegiate rowing coaches as well as professional and Olympic athletes. The crew at Rowing Pad also continually seeks feedback from customers to learn how we can improve our offerings. We know, as all rowers do, that no two bodies are the same…yet the equipment we use, both in the boat and on the erg, has limited capacity for adjustment. This is why Rowing Pad offers pads in various thicknesses and density levels.
But the Soft ErgPad line was inspired by customized pads our founder, Northeastern Men’s Rowing alum Victor Pisinski, created for his own personal erg training. He wanted the softest cushion we had in a 20MM height, and at the time, we offered only the dual-density pads. It wasn’t forgiving enough on the sitz bones. That’s how the soft-soft design came to be (we later incorporated comfort cutouts in the design, based on customer input).
After a while, though, Victor realized he did not need the full 20MM in height. He’s a tall, fairly proportional guy—his rowing geometry was fine without a boost. But he didn’t want to sacrifice the cloud-like ride of the Soft 20MM or 30MM Triple Decker pads.
So the 10MM Soft ErgPad Solid with Non-Slip was born. Judging by the immediate response, we are pretty sure many other rowers out there having been waiting for erg pad bliss in a low-profile package as well. We are delighted to provide yet another seat pad choice for indoor rowing enthusiasts and rowers who train regularly on the erg.
RowingPad designs, manufacturers, and distributes all of our products from our cozy corner of New Hampshire, right here in the USA. It is our mission to continue to provide the highest quality products and attentive customer service as we support the rowing community.
Indoor rowing is a fantastic exercise option for people of all ages and athletic abilities. Rowers use ergometers, or rowing machines, year-round as a training method, particularly in the winter when on-water rowing is not possible. Outside the sport of rowing, indoor rowing studios exist across the country, providing fun, low-impact workouts along with motivational instruction. Cross-fit gyms also frequently incorporate the rowing machine into their workouts. Why? The erg builds strength and endurance, gets the heart rate pumping, and burns calories. It’s efficient but also low-impact. Very few other workouts pack as much punch into a session.
Of course, getting started can be tricky. Before you can enjoy your time on the erg, you need to get yourself comfortable, and that’s no easy feat. Rowing machines are rough on the posterior, especially if you have a bony butt. The rowing motion can also feel awkward for beginners, and that’s normal! Finding your ideal rowing form takes a bit of tinkering. If you are short-waisted or short in stature over all, the geometry of rowing for you will be different than it will be for someone who is tall or has a longer torso.
A rowing seat pad can help with many of these issues. Rowing Pad specifically developed our ErgPads to provide comfort, increase flexibility, and improve a rower’s form by adjusting their height in the seat. While other options on the market are made of gel, silicone, neoprene, or memory foam, our pads are made from a unique, durable high-performance foam that provides support and comfort. Our construction provides a variety of density levels from firm to extra soft, and each pad is available with non-slip technology for ultimate grip in the seat.
Competitive rowers at all levels—Olympic, collegiate, masters, junior, club—swear by our pads, for more than one reason. Read on to learn the key benefits of using an erg seat pad.
Benefit #1: Range of Motion
Finding proper alignment on the erg is an ongoing process—as your body gains or loses strength and flexibility, your ideal rowing geometry changes. Range of motion on the erg involves your seat-to-heel compression and effective body angle—both key to achieving proper body position at the front end (entry).
We often think of flexibility as something we naturally possess in our youth but lose as we age. But youth does not always equal greater flexibility. In fact, many high school and collegiate rowers struggle with flexibility—something to do with those fast and furious growth spurts!
When Rowing Pad first developed our pads, we worked closely with coaches at some of the sport’s top rowing programs to ensure our pads do what coaches and athletes need them to: cushion those bony rears, protect the back from impact (see below), and help rowers find their ideal stroke form by adjusting the height of their hips as they sit on the machine.
A few millimeters can make a huge difference on the erg. A rowing machine seat cushion adjusts your height in the seat. This can help increase your range of motion so you can overcome tightness in the hips, hamstrings, and lower back and row a longer, more complete stroke. A more complete stroke is a more powerful, effective stroke.
Benefit #2: Back Pain Relief
Have you ever thought about what happens to back muscles when rowing on water? In the boat, there is a constant up and down motion happening. This is due to the buoyancy of the boat in the water and the changing of your body weight (up and down the slide) and speed of the hull. It provides an opportunity for your back muscles to load and unload throughout the stroke.
Now let’s think about the rowing machine. A favorite friend of Rowing Pad and master of all things rowing, the late, legendary coach Larry Gluckman, used to explain it like this, and we’ve never done better: “On the erg there is no buoyancy.” There is only hard, firm floor. The spine has no opportunity to unload. “But by rowing with a pad and pivoting on your sitz bones,” he would say, “there can be a bit of unloading, particularly if the athlete swings the body from body angle position to layback.”
Rowing Pad uses high-density polymer foam for our pads. Our ErgPad collection creates a thick barrier to absorb a lot of the pressure generated by the erg. This, in turn, provides some relief for your back.
Benefit #3: Comfort
Most people first discover Rowing Pad because they are looking for this critical butt pad benefit—comfort! With pads available in 5, 10, 20, and even 30MM thicknesses and choices of dual-density firmness (firm on one side, softer on the other) and twin soft layers, we definitely deliver.
Here we believe that if you are not comfortable on your rowing machine…eventually, you will not use it. Simple as that. No two rowers are exactly alike, which means what feels comfortable to one person might not be to the next. Concept2, Water Rower, NordicTrack, RP3 Dynamic, Hydrow—no matter the brand you use, the bottom line is that the seat was not designed specifically for your body.
A rowing pad can help change that. Adding a layer of cushy material between your sitz bones and the hard machine seat goes a long way in alleviating pressure.
Not sure where to get started? Try our 20MM Soft ErgPad for ultimate cushion in the seat. With two layers of our soft-density foam, it is one of our top-selling pads and a favorite among indoor rowing enthusiasts. Once you feel more comfortable, you will also feel more positive about each workout and, ultimately, able to row for longer set pieces.
Looking to order multiple pads for your gym, club, or indoor rowing studio? Reach out for a quote—we offer free logo engraving and personalization on all bulk orders, plus you save on shipping!
One of the things we love most about rowing is that it is a sport for all ages. Many of our customers are in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s! It’s incredible to see how rowers are able to keep active in the boat and on the erg, and how rewarding it is to participate in regattas, studio classes, and rowing clubs year-round.
But anyone of an “advanced age” will tell you: The rower’s body at 70 is not the same as it was at 30. While certain adjustments, like adding one of Rowing Pad’s foam seat pads for extra cushion and help with alignment, are simple and effective, much more can be done to prolong your rowing career and advance your rowing outcomes as an older rower.
Enter this unique and much-needed live webinar from the talented crew at Faster Masters Rowing! Titled “The Older Athlete & Aging,” the conference speaks exactly to the topic of how to row safely, comfortably, and effectively as you age. Rowing Pad is proud to sponsor the webinar and help spread the word to our rowing network.
Event Summary: Advancing Older Athletes
We are the first human generation to have stayed fit and active throughout our lives. And those lives are significantly longer than previous generations. This webinar showcases key information to adjust your training program and rowing technique to make the best possible outcomes for your rowing training. For coaches, learn how to better work with older athletes.
You Will Learn
- The needs of rowers through the winter months
- Adult-oriented Sport Coaching Survey findings: what masters rowers want from their coach
- 5 popular rowing myths debunked
- Biomechanics and rowing technique solutions to common problems
- The masters athlete pathway from novice to age group racing
- Systems thinking to re-shape masters rowing
“The Older Athlete & Aging” webinar features insights from some of the sports top coaches and experts on rowing form.
You Will Meet
- Jim Dietz is a leading masters coach and also a competitive sculler. He runs camps with All-American Rowing Camp and likes nothing more than sharing his huge expertise illustrated by rowing anecdotes.
- Volker Nolte is an author and sport scientist specializing in biomechanics and rowing; he’s also a former international and competitive master.
- Derrik Motz works in the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa, Canada as a senior research assistant in the Coaching Masters Athletes research group. Derrik’s research is on coaching masters athletes and examining masters athlete sport re-engagement and sport identities.
- Rebecca Caroe is a competitive masters rower and coach. She is the masters representative for Rowing New Zealand and advocates for masters rowing globally.
Register today at Faster Masters Rowing for this invaluable learning opportunity.
Spring rowing season is in full swing and so is our 10-year anniversary celebration. For a limited time only, we’re offering FREE U.S. SHIPPING and FREE PERSONALIZATION on all orders, no minimums required. Enter the code “RP10FREE” at checkout.
April 2023 marks ten years since our founder, Victor Pisinski, set out on a mission to design a better rowing pad. Armed with valuable input from some of the sport’s top rowing coaches and athletes, and using his own experience as a collegiate rower for Northeastern, Victor used his knowledge of materials manufacturing to create the ultimate foam pad. The result was a rowing pad that provides comfort but also technical enhancement. Grip on the seat. Optional comfort cutouts. A variety of thicknesses and densities. Durable foam that can stand up to daily use. Non-slip coating for slip resistance in wet conditions. Pretty exceptional, right?
Help us celebrate this special milestone in Rowing Pad’s history! Personalize a pad as a gift. Upgrade your pad to a non-slip version. Try something new—a little more height in the seat, or an ErgPad for off-season training. Maybe from our new extra-soft ErgPad collection? Stocking up for a rowing club or school program? We would love to support your team with discounted bulk pricing and free logo engraving. (Contact us here for a quote.) As always, row in good company and good health!