The Versatile Durable Bantam Scull
Concept2 Bantam Sculls are low-cost and durable; they are also proving themselves to be a versatile option for athletes of all ages.
Narragansett Boat Club (NBC)—also known as America’s Oldest Boat Club (in operation since 1838!)—offers rowing for recreation and competition for athletes of all ages. Member Ruth Berenson considered the Bantam as a good club oar because of the price ($350 per pair), durability, and their ease of handling. The small and efficient blade size on the Bantam is a nice fit for many of their athletes.
“The coaches are very happy with the east of the catch and release for newer rowers” explains Ruth. She describes them as “surprisingly powerful. No one has felt that they are getting less out of each stroke. I suspect they are able to row more effectively and efficiently with the Bantams.”
Bantams can be a great novice oar. Many boat clubs reserve their best equipment for their fastest boats, leaving novice athletes with used, older equipment. The Bantams are competitively priced to offer these athletes a better first rowing experience. Skilled athletes also may enjoy the feel of the Bantams. “Our oldest, long standing members (aged 70+) are eying them and will be trying them!” Ruth laughs.
NBC rows on the tidal Seekonk River. Ruth reports that while the first reaction to the smaller-sized “funny-shaped” Bantam blade was”what are those strange things!,” the oars perform well in “bumpy” water. “They definitely have a different look to them and give the impression that they are shorter than our other Concept2 oars, which is not the case” Ruth confirms. And while they are less expensive, they are made to Concept2’s standards and “do not look or perform as a less expensive alternative. Well made; well designed.” The Bantam is built with the same carbon fiber shaft at the same weight and balance as our other sculls.
The transition to the Bantam was simple: “I was really surprised that they didn’t take any time to get used to” says Ruth. “They felt natural and although I thought, at first, that I would not be as fast as I usually am, it was not the case and they moved the boat very well.”
Who Should Row with Bantams?
NBC’s youth coxed quad program is brand new, and the Bantams are a great fit. Older athletes also report preferring the Bantams. Ruth has rigged her sculls so she can get longer at the front end of her stroke. “I would definitely recommend them for club oars for their stability, strength and ease of use. I think they are excellent for most levels with the exception of elite rowers who have very specific goals.”
Concept2 is happy to help configure the best fit of oars for each athlete. The Bantams provide one more option for clubs and individuals to find their best stroke.