What Every Rower Dreams of This Holiday
What do you buy for a rower for Christmas? Top to bottom, rowers put their bodies to the test during training and they need the foundations to recover well. Here are eight ideas that will make sure the rower on you list gets some holiday cheer.
The Ultimate Rower's Holiday Wish List
1. Seat Pad
To prevent a sore bum, especially during longer sessions, every rower should own a seat pad. The Sorenomore Sorbothane Seat Pad creates a cushion for your sit-bones, and at the same time sticks to the seat, so you don’t have to worry about it staying in place. They are around $40, but last for years.
If your rower is on the shorter side, or has really long legs and is looking for a little extra seat-height, the best and most comfortable butt pad would come from an easy DIY project. Buy 12” x 12” x 1/2” EVA Foam Exercise Mat and cut out the shape of a rowing seat. The foam comes in packs of 12 connecting mats, so you will have enough to make one for every rower at your boathouse or gym. Only $12-16 for the whole pack.
2. Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is an important part of training. An excellent way to tell the rower in your life that you care about them and their training is to get them a water bottle for the holidays. My personal preference is a 32oz BPA-free Nalgene. It stores the perfect amount of water to keep you hydrated during your workout with only one trip to the drinking fountain. And the easy to carry loop attached to the lid makes it easy to cart to and from the boat or ergometer. Each Nalgene is about $10.99. A Powerade squeeze water bottle is $4.99 and is quick and easy to use. It is great for interval workouts on the erg where your rest is less than 30 seconds.
There is no better gift than the gift of music, especially for an athlete. All of the hours spent inside the gym on the machine or in the weight room go by so much quicker when listening to music (and it’s a lot more fun too!). An iTunes gift card or a subscription to Pandora ($4.99/month) or Spotify ($9.99/month) will supply the tunes and a new set of waterproof bluetooth headphones, like the Plantronics BackBeat FIT for $129.99, will keep your rower from lugging his phone around and dripping sweat all over it while training.
4. Sweat Bands
A very important part of rowing and erging technique is the grip. If you are too sweaty to hold on to the handle properly, you are not going to be able to row properly either, and you might even get injured. Wearing sweat bands around your wrists is a great way to prevent this from happening, and they look cool, too. Cosmos Sweatbands come in a 12 pack for only $10 and make great stocking stuffers.
5. Heart Rate Monitor/GPS
A heart rate monitor is a great fitness and training tool for rowing. By helping you to stay in the proper heart zone, a heart rate monitor can help prevent overtraining. A Polar A300 fitness watch and activity tracker with heart rate sensor is $139.99. If your rower is also a runner or needs to track speed and pace while on the water, a GPS watch with a heart rate monitor would be an awesome gift. A Garmin 235 is a great product and costs $329.99. Both of these devices allow you to connect with your computer to help your rower easily track her workouts. Another great product for use in the boat is a SpeedCoach GPS Model 2 with Heart Rate for $499.00. It is a stroke coach (gives your rower the stroke rate), GPS, and heart rate monitor all in one device.
6. Anti-Chafe Stick
Nothing is worse than sitting down in the boat or on the erg to row and having to worry about irritated skin. Every rower experiences this at some point in their career. And once they do, they go out and buy an anti-chafe stick. My preference is 2Toms Butt Shield and Sport Shield. They make two different easy to use, no-mess roll-on sticks to prevent bacteria transfer, and each is a slightly different formula for different sensitivity of skin. The Butt Shield helps to prevent my shorts from irritating my skin and the Sport Shield protects me from my sports bra seams. They make great stocking stuffers and are only $13 each.
7. Exercise Bands
Rowing is great exercise. It uses over 80% of your muscles. But how do you work the other 20%? Exercise bands are a great way to strengthen the smaller and opposing muscle groups that help to stabilize the bigger rowing muscles. Blue Mountain Products Stackable Resistance Band Set comes with five different resistance bands, and a booklet of suggested exercises (which you can also find on their website) for $32.99.
Rowers work hard and at the end of a hard day or week their muscles are tired and sore. There is nothing like a good massage to help them to recover for the next workout. A gift card for a massage is a great present for your rower. Usually $80 will cover the full cost of a sport massage. If you are looking for something more expensive, a subscription to Massage Envy is about $60/month. If you are looking for something less expensive, three great self massage tools are a great choice: a lacrosse ball for digging into knots in your back or bum ($2.99), a RangeRoller massage stick for massaging your legs ($25-40 depending on the length), or a foam roller for a full body self-massage ($29.99).
More gift ideas for the athlete on your list: