Our sport of rowing is an acient sport, with it's modern sport of racing becoming popular in the mid-1800s. Leander Club in England was founded in 1818, with the first running of Henley Royal Regatta being held in 1839. Through all of history coaches simply had their eyes to judge how well a boat was moving, and rowers relied on their senses for feel and flow of the boat. In recent years, an influx of technology has changed how coaches and rowers assess their strokes and speed. The three pieces of technology below are Kent School Rowing Club's favorite tools for rowing power curve and stroke analysis.
This app gives coaches the ability to take video just like any phone camera, but what makes this app so helpful is all the additional features you can use to review the footage. App users can pause the playback, scroll frame-by-frame with the easy to use scroll wheel, and go into slow-mo mode. Additionally, users may also add simple line graphics to the image to better show a rower when they're lifiting their shoulders, for instance. If a coach wishes to use the app for the whole team, they can also share a recorded playback of their analysis to the team through the app. This one is a regular for the Kent School coaches during the regular season.
Dynamic indoor rowing machines are the new alternative to the traditional static C2 erg. RP3 is arguably the best dynamic machine on the market, with many elite Olympian and World Champions promoting the product as the most realistic feeling of rowing on the water they have found on land. In addition to the water-like feeling of pickup and acceleration through the drive, the RP3 spits out an incredible amount of detailed data for athletes and coaches to analyze power per stroke, the curve of that power application, length of stroke, peak power height and relative peak power, and more. As a training tool, Kent School coaches use the machine to give our athlete a visual representation of where they are losing connection or lacking smoothness in their acceleration. It is an invaluable tool for on land fitness and technique training.
While the RP3 provides power curve feedback on land, our favorite on water technology is the SmartOar system. SmartOars are specially retrofitted C2 oars with sensors on the shaft to capture power data and provide feedback to a digital screen in the coaching launch. All eight oars can be capture on one screen at one time, giving coaches real-time visualization of the individuals power curves and how they relate to each other. Coaches can see who is catching late or coming out early, who is adding power in the front half or back half of the stroke. Sessions can be recorded for rowers to review pieces and watch their strokes one after another once back on land after practice. This tool is a favorite for Kent rowers, especially in the early season. When they see the coaches grab the orange SmartOar computer box, you know they're going to be pulling hard during that practice.
Each of the three technologies reviewed above are utilized duing Kent School Rowing Camp's summer session to provide detailed feedback and stroke analysis to all campers.
Want to see how your power curve matches up with the Olympians who train on the RP3 every day? Joins us for Kent School Rowing Camp 2017: