A Season of Testing the Comp Blade for Coastal Rowing | Concept2

A Season of Testing the Comp Blade for Coastal Rowing

Thumbnail image of author
May 29, 2024

ben booth riding a wave
Ben Booth cresting a wave.

Ben Booth has shared extensive feedback on the Comp blade for coastal rowing, along with initial impressions of the Skinny Coastal shaft. Here, he reflects on their performance over a full season of club use in 2023, which included numerous camps and beach sprint trials.

Early Season Challenges

Booth says the early 2023 season presented extreme weather conditions. The first two camps experienced high winds, creating an intense testing environment. The first camp took place on a large lake in Cincinnati, Ohio, where winds were so strong that boats turned into tumbleweed if not properly secured. He recounts, "We had a double that was rigged with two sets of Coastal shafts that were getting ready to be secured. Before we could do that, the boat got blown across the beach and water, tipping and dragging, with the oars splayed in all directions getting significant impacts. Remarkably, there were no breakages, which was very impressive."

A similar scenario unfolded at the next camp in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. "Windy, windy, windy,” Booth noted. "Boats were blowing across the sand. The rowing was heavy, and we had to do an internal speed order, going all out. It was essentially like pulling concrete with lead shoes on while going uphill." Despite these harsh conditions, no oars broke, demonstrating their resilience under extreme stress.

Performance Under Strain

Booth observed that the shafts endured hard beach landings, surf launching, and various impacts throughout the season. They were also tested at the World Beach Games trial event in Florida, which featured heavy, dumping surf. Many boats capsized, and those that didn’t were pounded by the surf while being pulled up the beach. "We did break one oar at this event," Booth recalls. "A double flipped in the surf in shallow water, with the boat rolling over the oars. One oar split, but it didn’t snap in two like usually happens with broken oars. Instead, it opened a longitudinal crack but stayed in one piece. This shows these shafts have a lot more overall resilience than a typical shaft."
ben in heavy surf
He highlights that in similar instances with other oars, they often break quickly and thoroughly, but the Coastal Skinny exhibited remarkable durability. "We have been at events where we’ve seen teams using other oars that have gone through numerous oars per event, snapping them on the beach, in surf, and in shallow water. To have one shaft crack over an entire season of high-intensity beach sprint training and racing is very good."

Durability in Coastal Rowing Conditions

Booth says no oars showed any damage from usual coastal rowing situations, which involve heavy boats navigating through heavy waves and enduring random stresses. While they displayed some scuffs and marks, they still looked remarkably good considering their usage. "Overall, I’m happy to report that they are holding up to the demands of coastal rowing and beach sprint training. The new layup seems sufficient and effective. We're going into our second season with these oars, and we’re just as confident with them as when they were new."

Booth’s feedback underscores the robust performance and durability of the Comp blade and Skinny Coastal shaft.

The Thrilling World of Coastal Rowing
Oars For Every Boat: Coastal Rowing

RSS Icon Subscribe to RSS Feed ›

Latest Posts