Bont Project B Shoes
We're really pleased to have available Bont Project B Shoes. A World first split sole carbon fiber rowing shoe utilizing the lightest, highest quality and best performance materials, researched, innovated and built from the ground up for rowers, by rowers.
Design direction from the largest foot force data pool ever collected, a shape formed by 20,000 athlete foot scans and the expertise of Bont Rowing and BAT Logic.
It's been a busy winter for SL Racing. Along with keeping up with boat orders, we've also put our mind to refining some aspects of our boats. Below are just a few of the improvements we're excited to be bringing to our skiffs:
The most obvious (and quickest) place to start when rigging for athletes of different heights and sizes is the gate. In fact, a lot of crews will now set their boats up with spacers that can pop in and out to make a quick height change between rows or on the water. As always, before making a change to the gate it’s important to understand what the change will mean for both the rower and the crew.
There are really two levels to think of when you change the gate height. We’ll call them the drop out and the catch. The drop out is the lowest point the handle drops in the boat. That point needs to have the blade clearly out of the water, while the handle is in a comfortable position for the athlete (not digging into their quads for example). The catch on the other hand is the ‘high’ point the handle reaches. It’s a bit more variable because there aren’t body parts to stop it like the drop out, but it’s equally important to the balance of the boat.
When you change the gate height, you’re effectively moving both the drop out and the catch height up or down. That’s really important to remember – if you raise the height to make your drop out more comfortable, that will also have an effect on how high your catch, drive and finish height will be. For that reason, a bit of a balancing act will be had – and for some athletes you may need to look to other parts of the rigging setup to help out.
Let’s take three different athletes as case examples. The proportioned rower, the tall lean rower, and the short stocky rower:
The proportioned rower is a bit of an oxymoron – there’s no such thing as a perfect shape. But what you’ll find in your crew is usually ‘the norm’ amongst them – several rowers who are similar heights and have similar length limbs that you can apply a ‘conventional’ rig to. You’ll give them the gate height the text books tell you to and they’ll feel great.
Then comes the tall lean rower with a long torso. They’ll catch high and draw in high on their body (just like you’ve coached them to) and that will send their blade deep into the water and throw the boat over to the opposite side…or, if they’re smart and have adjusted their blade level through the water, they’ll complain about having a really uncomfortably low finish. That rower is the perfect candidate for a gate height change. You’ll be able to pop the height up, moving their blade level in the water and making them comfortable with an overall beneficial impact on the boat.
Lastly comes the short stocky rower with big thighs and a shorter torso. This is the trickier rower to rig with just gate height. When rigged ‘conventionally’, they’re likely to be washing out a little bit, dragging the boat down on their side. They’ll probably feel like they are catching high and doing their best to keep their handle high into their body, but it will feel like they’re pulling into their throats at times. A straight drop in height might seem like the obvious answer, but these rowers often have powerful thighs as well, so you might find that if you drop the height they start getting their hands caught at the finish as they try to drop out. They might be a candidate for a high seat or seat packer, or may need a change in foot stretcher height – which we will talk about in a later blog.
Overall the gate height is a great place to start for different body shapes. Whether it’s giving more clearance for a rounder stomach, making an athlete more comfortable at either end of the stroke, or aiming to help the boats balance issues in general, it’s a good, simple place to start with rigging. Next up we’ll look at stroke length – so check back soon.
Weight Range: 85kg average
Construction date: January 2016
Reason for selling: Want to sell this to purchase another eight to match the newest eight brought over the 2016/2017 season.
Great performing hull in great condition, would be a great asset to any club.
This hull won the Boys U16 Eight at the 2017 Maadi Cup in the second fastest time of recorded history.
Price: $25,000 + GST and SL Racing will help with delivery as this is currently stored at SL Racing's workshop
We are always trying to make our boats faster, smoother and easier to use for you as customers and for us as manufacturers.
Here at SL Racing we build all our own componentry, from the seat chassis to the pin and backstay. We use our local machine shops to produce items that aren't only cost effective but also work extremely well. These are not stock items and we pride ourselves on continuously thinking outside the box so that no else builds a boat like we do.
Foot steers are a component that is sometimes overlooked but is very important. After a few years of trial and error, in September of 2016 we developed and released something that not only looked great but works perfectly as well.
Our foot steer is made fully of stainless steel so fatigue and corrosion isn't a problem as it is with aluminum.
A packer on the non steering foot ensures that the rowers legs are driving off a level platform.
The locking hole let's you lock the steering in place when you don't require steering.
Importantly, our foot steer uses a 10mm bolt to lock the wire in place so you can use your 10mm spanner.
For the rowers out there - you'll be really happy to feel a very smooth steering motion.
It is a separate component so the steering system is bolted to the foot plate. This can be brought separately to fit any shoe plate.
This month we're excited to offer two second hand boats which are basically new for sale. With each only being rowed six times each at the World Masters Games - they are a real steal & can be delivered with our next trailer load of boats.
For more information please see below, or contact Simon on 027 424 3831.
Rowed a total of 6 times at the World Masters Games.
Selling for NZ$9,200 including GST, so a very sharp price.
We can drop off the boat with our next trailer load.
Heavy men's Coxless Four/Quad
Rowed a total of 6 times at the World Masters Games.
Selling for NZ$22,168 +GST Normal RRP NZ$25,200
We can drop off the boat with our next trailer load.
As part of our commitment to the rowing community, we're always happy to post notices on behalf of clubs who need to get a message out. This month North End Rowing Club has got in touch and want to get the word out about their 125th celebrations - see below!
We're constantly looking for new ways to make our boats faster and more enjoyable to row, and today we're please to announce the full launch of our latest piece of innovation.When we first created SL Racing one of our big focuses was making fast boats that rowers really enjoy rowing. We put a big focus on the little things that would make a difference to us as rowers, and as we move into a busy winter of boat building, we are pleased to announce that every new shell from 1st May 2017 will be fitted with our new, innovative, Carbon Fibre foot stretcher.
The key lies in the leg drive. The foot stretcher has a 10 degree angle change in the lower half of the footplate, allowing the heels of the feet to push down earlier in the drive, increasing your athlete's power output by activating the larger rowing muscles sooner through the leg drive. We have also made the shoes wider apart to give a better platform for boat stability. Like everything in our boats, it's about combining comfort with performance, and already St Peters U-17 8+ has shown that you can get great results with the new stretcher - taking out gold at National Secondary School Champs.
Orders are coming thick and fast into our workshop, so make sure you don't get left behind over the winter and get in touch with us soon about improving your fleet with an SLR.
If you've just finished your last year of Secondary School Rowing you'll be in a really exciting time of your life - the world will be your oyster. But that raises the question about what happens next with your rowing? Globally there tends to be a real drop off in participation in most sports after High School, and that definitely applies to rowing in New Zealand. We think that's a shame, and really want to encourage every high school athlete to stay involved in rowing in some way post Maadi. Right now Maadi Cup no doubt seems like the biggest event in your rowing life, but there is so much more to be gained if you stay in the boat in some way...it doesn't need to be hardcore or elite, but try to keep your rowing ticking over for a couple more years and we guarantee you won't regret it. Here are a few ways to do that...and a few reasons why you should!
You want to make a New Zealand squad
This is the most obvious reason to keep rowing - but too many athletes just think it's out of their reach. What you'll quickly learn is that no matter how many races you won (or didn't win!) at High School...that doesn't mean a whole lot once you move into Club rowing. They say it takes 10 years to row properly, and for some of you, you won't get your strength, your endurance, or your boat feel until post High School. In fact, if you look at the top rowers globally - people like Mahe Drysdale - a huge amount of them didn't necessarily do amazing things at High School. We are lucky to compete in a sport where results come from hardwork...so stick with your goals for a few more years - Maadi is just the first step on the ladder.
If you're already at the top of the pile and in the selectors' gaze, then that's even better! Our big piece of advice would be to seriously consider a move to Karapiro over winter. You can still break into the system if you study and work elsewhere in the country, but you'll give yourself the best opportunity if you can be in front of the NZ coaches and athletes regularly up north. If you are at that top level now, then strike while the iron is hot - you've got your whole life to explore the world, but a limited window to be a professional athlete and row for New Zealand.
You want to get your University degree
After High School, often the first thing to tick off the list is your University degree. It's a great time - you'll meet new people, no doubt party hard, and come out the other end with a tertiary qualification. It's also somewhere that alot of people stop their rowing...as socialising and study takes priority. Well...don't let it. University Rowing is incredibly fun. Even if you are just in it for the social side of things, it's a fantastic way to meet new people in a new place, and the training can be as easy or as intense as you make it. Throw in the fact that alot of the Universities send crews all over the world, and it makes for some of the best memories at uni. Plus...it's a great way to stave off the fresher five kg that every new uni student seems to stack on!
You want to do an OE
More and more our first step post high school is to do an OE or work abroad for a year. Hat's off to you if you are thinking of doing that - it's a brilliant life experience. But again, there is no need to ditch the rowing, and in fact it's an easy way to make local friends that will show you around your new town as only locals can. Let's be honest, rowers tend to be good sorts, and that goes worldwide! Along with keeping fit and having a blast, you also might get to race in regatta's like Royal Henley in the UK... and if you thought Maadi was fun - wait until you see how awesome racing at some of those regattas can be. Be sure to use your rowing to your advantage. Lot's of places around the world will pay for kiwi coaches - from Camp America, to London, to Australia, our rowing pedigree is known, so keep rowing, and you might end up earning a dollar from coaching as well.
You've got a trade and want to stay in your hometown
Congratulations - you've just become the life blood of New Zealand club rowing! If you've set up shop in your home town, you've now got a great opportunity to become a leader in your club. While the uni students are off boozing, you can up your strength and get on the water every now and then over winter and get ahead for next summer. You'll make some great contacts at rowing clubs that will set you up for anything from jobs, to a place to live, so if you've only rowed for a school, don't be shy in heading to your local club now.
The bottom line
The bottom line is that no matter what your next step in life, continuing to row is a great way to enhance that step. Some of the closest friends you make in life will be made in a rowing boat, and one day they'll be the people who you visit all over the world. They'll help you in your career, make your travels more exciting and generally just add to your life. If you keep rowing you'll be one of the fittest people wherever you are, and you'll continue to have that great satisfaction that comes with a beautiful row. You'll also learn that there is something called social rowing out there in the world - so you can be as intense or as cruisy as you like in our brilliant sport.
Throughout our lives we have met lots of people that have rowed at school and not continued. They always look back at rowing with the biggest fondness and most say they want to get back in a boat now...but if you stop, it's that much harder to get back. So we like to think that you'll never regret continuing to row...you'll never regret a training session, but one day you'll definitely regret not continuing on for at least a few years post high school.
So from those of us who have been there and done that - wait until you are at least twenty before you decide to pull the pin on rowing - at least then you would have gained some mates, stayed fit, and found out what rowing post high school is all about. It's only two more years right?!
Over the years our team has sat at the start line of many a 2km race, plenty of 5kms and even the odd 20km one! Some are one day regattas while some are held over a whole week, so along the way we've found out just how important diet can be to the final results. Just like a car, if we get our fuelling wrong, we can run out of gas at the most crucial times - so it's important to at least have a basic understanding of how the food you eat affects your energy systems. Below are some of the little snippets of advice that we have picked up along the way - we certainly aren't dietitians or nutritionists though, so if you are serious about knowing how YOUR body can perform better with nutrition, it would definitely be worth contacting a local expert in the field.
Carbs - the conventional thought
For as long as we can remember, we've been told that the important thing to do before race day is to 'carbo-load'. The logic behind this is that by eating carbohydrates you maximise the storage of glycogen (energy) in your muscles, ready to explode into use on race day. A true carbo-load would see you increasing the amount of carbs (foods like pasta, fruit juice, potatoes, vegetables and the like) over a 2-7 day period while reducing the amount of protein you're eating. This comes with a bit of a proviso though, in that as rowers we are only racing for 2km, so never really get into the true endurance zone that a full blown carb loading approach is designed for. Knowledge is power though, so make sure you have a read of some articles about the science behind carbo loading so you understand what you are doing before you do it. Below is a wikipedia article just to get you started, as well as a little extract from the BBC:
When you do start reading, you'll definitely gain an understanding that given the length of our races, rowers don't need to be super extreme in our approach. The rule of thumb we used at club and school level rowing was to not change what we ate too much in race week. Having a healthy diet the rest of the season was important, and so by maintaining that good quality diet that our body was used to (and slightly increasing the carbohydrate elements of that diet), we avoided any stomach surprises! Everybody is different - for some people a high fat diet is currently in vogue, while others are all about paleo living...so again, we'd just remind you that this isn't our area of expertise and a dietitian or nutritionist should be able to give you an insight into how your body operates.
Recovery and hydration
Regardless of what diet you do end up going for on race week, two hugely important factors (particularly in a full week regatta) are keeping hydrated and eating for recovery. From a hydration point of view, just keep an eye on your urine - make sure it's not dark and murky - but again, don't go overboard and drown yourself in fluids to the point of making you feel off! Just keep a drink bottle in your hand, be sensible, and aim not to get to the point of being super thirsty.
From a recovery perspective, a good rule of thumb is to have something with a hi GI factor (white bread, jellybeans...basically something sweet) - at hand as soon as you get off the water. You've got a 20 minute window to really benefit from that energy input. If you can't rush that food in, just make sure you eat something in the 2 hours after your race.
What about caffeine and supplements?
When you hit the top level of rowing you'll start to notice some of the athletes will use things like caffeine, sodium bi-carbonate and other supplements to boost their race day performance. For a club or school rower, taking these supplements is a risky business. Even the veteran rowers who have used those supplements for a few years still run the risk of not getting the dosage, timing, or method of consumption right. Get any of those things wrong and the supplement goes from giving a slight boost, to leaving you possibly needing bowel movements in the boat, or completely zonked out and crashing. We've included them in this blog because we know that they get discussed around the boat park and athletes might decide they want the boost they give - but we just want to emphasise that there are definite downsides involved and certainly at club or school level the juice may not be worth the squeeze. If you do look to use any type of supplement, consult a dietitian or nutritionist, and be sure to have done a dummy test of using it well before your big race day. Personally - we never went near them!
Know your own body
The bottom line for us with food and drink on race day is it's something you have to figure out for yourself over time. The top athletes in New Zealand have had years of experimenting with what works for them and even they are constantly tweaking what they do to get it perfect. As a club or school level rower, just be sensible come race week. Hopefully you will have had a high quality diet all season, so when race week comes around don't change it too much. Keep your fluids up, eat a few hours before your race, and top up with something straight after and you should be on track to keeping your body fueled through a race week. Again, these are just things we have picked up along the way, and your local dietitian or nutritionist will be able to give you far more specific expertise for what will help you in particular.
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