What's the Skinny?
Our new oar was developed in collaboration with elite women athletes looking for a softer feel when testing the Fat2 blade. The result is a skinnier shaft with reduced wind resistance and opportunities for smaller outer grips. It is also available in standard flex options.
The Skinny was specifically created in response to women's crews who desired the efficiency of the Fat2 blade but felt our standard shaft with the Fat2 blade was too stiff for their style of rowing. Since the Fat2 blade slips less in the water, some athletes describe the shaft as feeling stiff. This makes sense; the athlete's sensation of stiffness is related to the movement at the handle as pressure is applied to the blade during the drive. Stiffness is felt in the combination of shaft flex and blade slip. A more efficient blade slips less so the athlete has the sensation that the oar is stiffer.
To create an extra soft shaft, we tried a smaller diameter, which allowed us to achieve the decreased stiffness while maintaining durability and providing the additional benefit of reducing wind drag. Preliminary testing demonstrates measurable savings, particularly in headwind conditions.
Who is Rowing with the Skinny?
The Canadian Women's 8+ raced with prototype Skinnys to win a silver medal at the 2010 World Championships in New Zealand. These initial prototypes were built and compared with Fat2 blades on our standard soft sweep shafts. The characteristics of the prototypes were deemed an advantage for this crew.
How is the Skinny Constructed?
The Skinny sweep shaft is created with a diameter similar to our sculling shaft. Additional high-modulus carbon is required to tune the stiffness. We have designed a sweep handle for the Skinny that will accommodate a wider range of outer grip options—standard sized sweep grips in four materials, plus grips sized for smaller hands. The overall weight is comparable to our Ultralight sweep shafts.
Who Should Row with the Skinny?
The Skinny was specifically created in response to women's crews who desired the efficiency of the Fat2 blade but felt it was too stiff for their style of rowing. However, any crew desiring the efficiency of the Fat2 blade might consider it for the softer feel. The savings in wind resistance, which are currently being evaluated, may also be an important factor for any crew considering rowing with Skinnys.
Will the Skinny Shaft be Available with Other Blades?
The Skinny shaft was created specifically for the Fat2; testing this new shaft design with other blade types will continue through early summer 2011 to determine performance benefits.
How to Order
Skinny Sweeps are £450 each and at the moment are only available to order over the phone. Please call 0115 981 8183 for more information.