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Author: Danielle Cantor
Welcome to our round-up of the best rowing pads for every type of rower on your list. For this latest edition of the Rowing Pad Holiday Gift Guide for Rowers, we’d like to get a little sentimental about our products and why a rowing pad is truly a top choice for the rower in your life.
Why Gift a Rowing Pad Boat or Erg Pad?
- Rowers LOVE our pads. Nothing warms our hearts like receiving positive feedback from athletes who have discovered our products. Visit our testimonials page or check out our Instagram to read how our pads improve a rower’s form and enjoyment of the sport.
- No two rowers are exactly alike! With differences in height, body proportion, strength, flexibility, preferences, seat cushions cannot be one-size-fits all. Our pads come in a range of thicknesses and densities to suit rowers of all sizes, ages, and experience levels.
- Construction matters! Our pads are made of the highest quality foam to withstand regular use and maintain their form much longer than other seat cushions on the market.
- Our pads were engineered with input from some of the sport’s most respected coaches and athletes—people who know from rowing. Trust that our pads are designed to cushion, protect against impact, and enhance rowing form.
- We now offer personalization on all pads! Add a special touch to your gift by adding a rower’s name, nickname, college, rowing club—anything goes. Just customize your engraving at checkout.
- “Experience” gifts are tops on our list, too. What better experience is there than rowing down a scenic river while the sunset blazes in the sky? Or feeling that rush of endorphins as you set a new personal best on the ergometer? Make a rower’s experience of rowing much comfier—and much more rewarding—with a Rowing Pad.
- Rowing Pad LLC is a small business run by lifelong rowers (with enormous heart) from our headquarters in New Hampshire. #shopsmall
Here we present, the RowingPad gift guide for rowers, indoor rowing fans, and fitness buffs of all types. We’ll kick things off with ideas from our newest line, the Extra Soft ErgPad collection.
FOR THE INDOOR ROWING PRO:
20MM Soft ErgPad with Non-Slip
No mistaking the indoor rowing pro: His or her tribe consists of their super-intense (but fun!) 6 a.m. class at the local rowing studio. They might even casually insert their current meter count into regular conversation. A gift relating to the erg is 100% guaranteed to delight. Take it from Rowhouse coach Jen Bauer, who teaches at studios in California, “What I love about Rowing Pads is that they not only provide extra comfort, but the ‘lift’ they offer is unique. Most other cushions compress over time. Rowing Pad is made of a dense material that does not seem to collapse.”
The 20MM Soft ErgPad with Non-Slip is the ultimate erg training tool, featuring Rowing Pad’s new soft-soft density design along with a layer of proprietary non-slip technology. Textured rubber grips the rowing machine seat for improved slip resistance—even when things get sweaty in the rowing studio. Want to add an extra special touch? Personalize the pad with your recipient’s name or personal best—they’ll cherish the engraving and it will make their pad easier to spot in the dark studio.
THE ULTIMATE COMFORT SEEKER:
20MM Soft ErgPad Solid
Does the rower on your list tinker endlessly with their rowing equipment, trying to find the setting at which rowing 2,000 meters feels like heaven? If they’re still searching for a cloud-like erg experience, the missing ingredient just might be Rowing Pad’s new solid 20MM Soft ErgPad. This soft-soft twist on our classic dual-density design provides that extra comfort factor many rowers crave during rowing machine workouts. In fact, this ergometer seat pad is so soft, their sitz bones will feel total relief (no comfort cutouts necessary)!
FOR THE LONG-HAUL ERG LOVER:
20MM ErgPad with Comfort Cutouts
For some people, there is no “erg season”—the ergometer is a year-round passion. In fact, they’re probably on the erg, racking up those meters for Concept2 Inc.’s 2022 Holiday Challenge right now. Rowing Pad’s 20MM ErgPad with Comfort Cutouts is specially designed to fit the ergometer seat and features relief holes to accommodate the sitz bones—a game-changer for long endurances pieces. (Note: The pad comes with plugs for the holes in place, so you can actually choose to use it with or without the cutouts, depending on the workout.)
With Rowing Pad’s classic dual-density layer construction, this pad gives your recipient the flexibility to flip it soft or firm side up, depending on the workout or how much give they like in the seat.
Alternate product: 20MM ErgPad
Fairly sure your rower prefers a solid cushion? Shop our 20MM ErgPad, which comes without cutouts for a solid ride on the erg.
FOR THE JUNIOR ROWER:
10MM Boat Pad with Non-Slip
Congratulations! You have a future Olympic rower in your crew. (Right? Dream big, Mom and Dad!) If your young rower frequently complains about a sore rear from all that carbon fiber contact, a new boat pad is just the solution. With firm-density foam, comfort cutouts, and protective non-slip technology to keep the seat pad in place, practice will be a breeze come spring training time. Inflexibility is also very common in junior rowers, who are growing fast and furiously. A RowingPad 10MM Boat Pad can help increase their range of motion so they can overcome tightness in the hips, hamstrings, and lower back and row a longer, more complete stroke. Give them the competitive edge and a little TLC—a winning combo!
Alternate product: 20MM ErgPad
Many young rowers are still spending a lot more time on the erg due to Covid precautions and seasonal illnesses, which can spell major back pain. Why? Our bodies absorb some of the pressure from the hard ground when we work out on a rowing machine. Protect their spine with a technical-level foam seat cushion, like the 20MM ErgPad.
FOR THE GRAND MASTERS ROWER:
30MM Triple Decker ErgPad
For those in the know, “Grand Masters” is code for super tough rower of a certain, elevated age. Showing up daily at your local Rowhouse studio or barreling down the Charles River at the annual HOCR, these veteran rowers push things to the max. But the inescapable realities of aging can make workouts extra tough on the joints, back, and sitz bones.
As we age, our range of motion can decrease, and rhythms that were once second nature can suddenly start to feel out of whack. But that shouldn’t keep career athletes from enjoying their preferred form of exercise. Rowing Pad’s 30MM Triple-Decker ErgPad—featuring our exclusive soft/medium/soft three-layer polymer foam construction—can help restore a rower’s range of motion, thereby maintaining the most effective body angle. The extra benefit is the additional comfort on the rear. This best-selling ErgPad is available as a solid pad or with comfort cutouts.
FOR THE ROWING CLUB ENTHUSIAST:
A Personalized Boat Pad
Does your rowing friend or family member wear club colors at all times…and carry a coordinating keychain, tumbler, and duffle bag? Take their rowing pride one level further with a personalized boat or erg pad! That’s right, you can order a custom Rowing Pad seat cushion with the name, nickname, or inspirational motto of your choice emblazoned on the front. It’s a special touch, and it also helps keep track of gear on the crowded boathouse dock or in the dark training studio. Ordering gifts for a group? Contact us for a quote on logo engraving.
FOR THE DISPROPORTIONATE ROWER:
30MM Triple Decker Boat Pad
If your distinguishing family trait is long legs, short torso, chances are the rower in your life could use some assistance getting their body weight in front of their hips. Why is this important? A powerful drive depends on a rower’s ability to get their shoulders in front of the hips during the recovery, and for rowers with long legs, that can be a struggle. A RowingPad 30MM Triple Decker Boat Pad gives just the right amount of boost to help perfect that geometry, with three layers of soft/firm/soft density foam for comfort and preferred level of firmness. The non-slip add-on protects against slipping and skidding, even in wet conditions.
Take it from national champion masters rowers Laura Nowacki and Ann Panagulias, who are affectionately called “munchkins” by their New Haven Rowing Club mates: “[RowingPad’s] rowing pads not only boost our stature in the boat, they boost our confidence, too! In a sport of technical detail and proficiency, a RowingPad gives us an undeniable edge on the competition. And every millimeter counts! We LOVE them!”
Alternate product: 30MM Triple Decker ErgPad
Where the #Hydrowshorties at? Shopping for an indoor rowing enthusiast who could use a few extra millimeters in the seat of their preferred rowing machine? Give them the ultimate boost in the form of the 30MM Triple Decker ErgPad. It’s compatible with almost all rowing machine brands on the market (Concept2, Hydrow, Water Rower, Ergatta, NordicTrack, and more) and will make a world of difference in their ability to row with proper form.
THE UNIVERSAL STOCKING STUFFER:
Non-Slip ErgPad Add-On
If the rower on your list has already discovered the joy of Rowing Pad, you might still be able to surprise them! We recently introduced a new version of our boat pad non-slip add-on for the ergometer. With the the Non-Slip ErgPad Add-On, your lucky rower can add an extra layer of slip resistance to their trusty Rowing Pad ErgPad. The peel-and-stick application will improve a pad’s slip resistance, gripping the seat and protecting against skidding, even in sweaty conditions. Just maybe don’t actually “stuff” it…treat this baby with care.
Alternate product: Non-Slip Boat Pad Add-On
Shopping for a rower who is rarely off the water? The original Non-Slip Boat Pad Add-On is an excellent choice for Rowing Pad users to upgrade their pad.
Guess what? RowingPad is now offering personalization services on all pads! Add your name to your pad and you’ll easily spot it on the dock. Part of a rowing club, crew team, or indoor rowing studio? Contact us to discuss special bulk pricing and engraving options for logos, team names, and more.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to add custom personalization services to your order.
…Kicking Off with Rowing Legend Jim Dietz
Every year we look forward to the Head of the Charles with the most wonderful blend of enthusiasm, nostalgia, and pride. The rowing community that turns out for this annual race is truly incredible. We count ourselves lucky to be a part of it. Some years our excitement is tenfold, because one of us will be racing in one of the regatta’s many events.
For 2021, which will be officially counted as year 56, we at RowingPad are proud for both those reasons, plus another especially great one: Our friend Jim Dietz will be rowing in his 55th installment of HOCR. That’s right…he has rowed in the historic fall head race every single year save one. What’s more, he will be bow marker #2, second out of the starting gate on Friday, October 22, kicking off an event that many rowers have been looking forward for longer than usual this time around.
A Remarkable Rowing Career
If you are new to the world of competitive rowing or more keyed in to the indoor rowing scene, you might not be familiar with the name Jim Dietz. But for the many athletes who rowed crew in college or compete in the masters circuit, it is certainly one that carries with it major renown and respect.
Since his debut as a teenager in the Head of the Charles in 1965, the first year the event was held, Dietz has blazed quite a path through the rowing universe. At HOCR alone, he has won the championship single a record seven times. He has also claimed victories in the masters single, the senior masters, and the veterans categories, plus numerous championship doubles wins.
Beyond the banks of the Charles, he was part of three Olympic teams (1972, 1976, 1980) and seven World Championship teams. He has won more than 45 national titles, and captured medals at the Pan American Games in 1967, 1975, 1979 and 1983. He was inducted into the National Rowing Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2015. There are many more accolades to list, to be sure!
Jim started his coaching career at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and moved on to coach the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for 12 years. He then took up the head coach position at UMass-Amherst, where he developed a first-rate women’s crew program over the course of 24 years. Under his direction, the Minutewomen dominated regular-season racing and captured an outstanding 16 Atlantic 10 Championships. He currently operates a traveling rowing camp and clinic company, which he co-founded, called the All-American Rowing Camp, bringing top-rate rowing training to locations across the U.S. and Europe.
Read more about Jim’s path to rowing greatness and many accomplishments along the way—with more to come!—on the CRCA website and in this Boston.com article from 2012, with a title that speaks volumes: “Jim Dietz’s trip to the first Head of the Charles in 1965 led him to Olympics and Hall of Fame.”
A Key Figure in RowingPad’s History
When we say our pads are designed for rowers by rowers, we mean it. The minds that have contributed to RowingPad’s unique design and high-performance materials include some of the sport’s most insightful people: rowing coaches. It was during Jim Dietz’s time on the men’s crew at Northeastern University, where he was also named to the Hall of Fame, that he met RowingPad LLC’s founder and fellow Huskies crew member, Victor Pisinski. The two remain close friends to this day.
In fact, it was Jim who sparked the idea to make a version of RowingPad’s original erg pad for the boat. He had seen and tested RowingPad’s original erg pad, and at the time he thought it would be of enormous aid to the female athletes training with him at the University of Massachusetts. He wondered if a version could be made for the boat. Our founder got to work, designing what would become one of our top-selling products, the 20MM Boat Pad.
Look for RowingPad at HOCR 2021
Though it’s nowhere close to the track record held by Mr. Dietz, Victor Pisinski has his own not-too-shabby history of appearances at HOCR. This year he returns to the Charles, rowing with a crew of fellow Northeastern University alums in the Men’s Grand Master Eights event, on Saturday, October 23.
As you can see in the photo below from Victor’s 2016 HOCR race, his team usually wears their traditional NU racing colors. However this year the crew will be rowing in special commemorative shirts created to honor the memory of their dear friend, fellow Husky Larry Gluckman. (Read more about the late rowing coach and accomplished oarsman here and learn how to donate to the scholarship founded in his name.)
It should be a joyful return to the Charles River for these veterans. As Jim said in the Boston.com article mentioned above, “I can’t tell you how many of my roommates and teammates are getting back into it. That’s the great thing about this regatta and about our sport. It’s a lifetime sport.’’
If you see Victor out and about over the course of the weekend, be sure to say hello and ask to test out a RowingPad while you’re at it!
Whether you are putting in the meters as you prep for a major fall head race or preparing for a successful season of indoor training, there is one essential ergometer accessory you must have at your side this fall and winter: a RowingPad 30MM Triple Decker ErgPad.
We’ve specifically engineered this cushion to protect your sitz bones from the pressure of working out on the erg. With three levels of technical-level polymer foam, stacked in a soft/medium/soft arrangement, it’s exceptionally forgiving. Yet its laminated outer layers grip the erg seat to keep you firmly in place while you are cranking away.
Just like so many of our talented rowing friends and loyal customers have shared in the Praise section of our website or on social media, you, too, might find your form improves—whether that means better alignment, a more powerful drive, or a longer finish—with the extra boost in height on the seat.
Shop the sale now with our limited time discount. Through October 31, save 15% on your new 30MM Triple Decker ErgPad. Use the code “RPERG15” at checkout. Good luck, and may your long set pieces be effective and comfortable!
On March 30, 2021, the world and the rowing community lost one of its brightest guiding lights when Larry Gluckman passed, at age 74.
An accomplished oarsman and one of the sport’s most revered coaches, Larry was a three-time U.S. National Team member. Coach Gluckman was involved with rowing programs at Columbia, Northeastern, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Trinity. Larry also coached at the Olympic level, and most recently, he was the sculling coach at the Craftsbury Rowing Center in Vermont. These are only the broad strokes of an incredible legacy of leading by example, a passion for teaching and mentoring, community involvement, and commitment to family and friends.
A Treasured Advisor to RowingPad LLC
Larry was a lifelong friend and teammate of RowingPad’s founder, Victor Pisinski, at Northeastern. When the idea of creating a better rowing seat pad was considered, Larry was involved from the start. He provided invaluable insight into how a pad, when properly designed and used, can improve rowing performance. As a coach, he saw the potential for the right pad to become an integral part of training for youth, collegiate rowers, and elite athletes in the next competitive stages of their careers.
“I viewed rowing pads during my career as a cushion for comfort while rowing. Larry instructed me otherwise,” Victor said. “Proper height adjustment for the rower in the seat is as important as adjustments made to the boat itself.”
Paying Tribute to a Truly Inspirational Coach
The highlights, accolades, and accomplishments of Larry’s rowing career and coaching legacy have been covered in wonderful detail by several publications, including Rowing News and Sports Illustrated. The websites of the many colleges and rowing programs at which he became a legendary figure also paid tribute, each sharing personal recollections from colleagues and rowers who knew Larry over the years. (See the stories from Northeastern, Dartmouth, Trinity College, Columbia, and US Rowing.)
To gain a true sense of how much rowing was at the core of Larry’s soul is this lovely passage from his obituary, which paints a picture of our friend perfectly situated in his home state of Vermont, finding reward in a routine equal parts hard work and reflection:
On early spring mornings in the far northeast corner of Vermont you’d find Larry in a single boat circling Shadow Lake. Steam rising off the cold water as a pair of loons call back and forth. After more than 55 years of being an oarsman, these movements were second nature, ingrained into his body. He still tracked his progress, jotting notes about his performance into a small notebook. Millions and millions of meters rowed. A post-workout dip in the chilly water led to a cup of black coffee and a quiet hour on the front porch.
A friend, coach, teammate and all-around inspirational human being. He is, and will always be, sorely missed.
Supporting Future Rowers with the Larry Gluckman Scholarship
On Saturday, July 17, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Vermont will be hosting a Celebration of Life for Larry Gluckman. Friends, family, colleagues, and former students who attend will gather to share their favorite memories and honor the life of one of the best people to grace the sport and the world at large with his presence.
The Gluckman family has established a fund to help introduce more people to rowing. Recipients of the scholarship will be able to apply the awards to one of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center’s wonderful community rowing and sculling programs. If you would like to donate in Larry’s memory, please do so here. Your gift will allow a young rower the opportunity to enjoy the sport that brought Larry—and all of us—so much joy.
Our annual Father’s Day listing of great races to head to with your dad this summer is back for 2021! This year we’ve included current information about favorite annual regattas along with a few new ways to share in the excitement of rowing with the guy who raised you.
We may be (just a bit) biased, but in our opinion quality father-child bonding time doesn’t get much better than sharing in the energy and excitement of a day spent watching live competitive rowing. This time of year, the East Coast (which RowingPad calls home) is chock-full of prestigious, well-run events along some truly scenic waterways, not to mention some major annual events taking place a bit farther afield.
Why not enjoy a memorable family day at one of the seven summer regattas and rowing events we’ve rounded up below? Combine your outing with a special Father’s Day gift for your rowing patriarch: a new boat or erg pad. Is your pop following the #RowtoTokyo excitement? Make him the envy of his boat club with one of RowingPad’s elite-level boat pads featuring Anti-Slip Technology. A favorite training tool among some of today’s top pro rowers, the pads have a slip-resistant coating that provides stability even in wet or extra cold conditions. (They’ve even been spotted on the docks of the Olympic trials this spring!) If you’re shopping for a regular erg user, you can’t beat the quality and design of our ErgPads, available in several densities and with or without comfort cutouts.
1) June 19: The Schuylkill Navy Regatta
Stroll back in time as you check out the 15 boathouses, all at least a century old and home to the member clubs of the Schuylkill Navy, that make up historic Boathouse Row along the Schuylkill River. A planned massive dredging effort of the iconic racing river, which began last summer, has stalled, but racing is still taking place this year. Though this early summer race is lower profile than some of the other annual fixtures that take place here (see regatta No. 2 on our list), it is rich with America’s rowing heritage and set in Philadelphia’s stunning Fairmount Park.
2) July 3 and 4: The Independence Day Regatta
Make a Fourth of July pilgrimage to the birthplace of the nation—and the birthplace of American rowing. This annual regatta, one of several hosted by the Schuylkill Navy, dates back to the 1880s and figures prominently in the rich history of the sport in the U.S. Though restricted to just two days this year, the event, originally called “the People’s Regatta,” has grown into a major competition featuring upwards of 1,000 boats and numerous ancillary activities. Book a nearby hotel and spend a couple beautiful summer mornings along the historic Schuylkill River before staking out a post for Philadelphia’s own spectacular July 4th fireworks display.
3) July 13 to July 18: US Rowing Summer National Championships
If your family includes teenagers or college students who are at all interested in racing, consider a trip to watch this year’s racing showcase for the most talented under 17, under 19, and under 23 athletes in the country. The US Rowing Summer National regatta, which also includes an open category for senior and elite rowers, features five days of competition on the seven-lane course along the beautiful Cooper River. (Check out the beautiful Camden County Boathouse in the park!) Stay in Philadelphia, just 18 miles from the Cooper River, to add some arts and culture to your trip or make a beach run east to the Jersey shore before or after all the rowing action.
4) July 31: Narragansett Boat Club Sweeps & Sculls
Planning for a Brown crew alumnus? Check out the NBC’s annual Sweeps & Sculls regatta, an accessible, centrally located event to plan a family day around. This Rhody rowing club has a fascinating history (which you can read on its website) that will intrigue any passionate rower. The boathouse is perched right on the edge of the Seekonk River, in the Blackstone Park recreation area and upriver of the Brown boathouse. Graduates of that Ivy League rowing program can attest to the Seekonk’s strong currents and choppy waves—any race on this course is sure to be fun to watch.
5) August 11-15: Henley Royal Regatta
Bring your patriotic spirit across the Pond for a summer escape to this most storied of rowing events. A milestone celebration for the truly passionate lifelong rower, a trip to England for this annual international regatta, which features more than 200 races, can’t be beat (Covid travel restrictions allowing). This year might see smaller crowds due to safety regulations and fewer entries by some school and university boat clubs due to the August timing, but it’s still sure to be an excellent few days of racing. Remember to pack your pinstripes (the dress code remains quite strict) and prepare to soak in all of the wonderfully quaint riverside rowing tradition.
6) August 12-15: US Rowing Masters National Championships
Oak Ridge, TN
Looking to head south this summer? Don’t miss the opportunity to road trip to beautiful Melton Lake, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This picturesque rowing venue, the home base for the Oak Ridge Rowing Association, will host a major event for the very passionate Masters rowing community in this year’s US Rowing Masters National Championships. Cheer on Masters rowers of all ages from across the country as they compete in more than 200 categories. With Melton Lake’s 30 miles of calm water surrounded by towering mountain ranges, it’s sure to be a memorable setting for excellent racing, spirited spectating, and lakeside sunsets.
7) Ongoing, Indoor Rowing Classes
Locations Near You
Maybe your dad is less of an on-water rower and more into the ergometer. Join forces for the day (or make a commitment to meet up for a weekly class) and motivate each other for a personal best. Indoor rowing studios across the country offer first-rate instruction from experienced rowers along with innovative ways to get your muscles pumped and your mind focused. In the New England region, we love Power Rowing, in Brookline, Massachusetts, right outside Boston, which offers a great assortment of straight rowing and combo classes. (Read our interview with Power Rowing’s inspirational founder, Bryan Fuller.) Bonus: You can scoop up a new RowingPad for Dad at the studio to add some extra comfort to his workouts.
A very happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there—on the boat or off!
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