Which Oar Grip is Best (For Me)?

Aug 13, 2018

Oar and scull grips are the athlete’s connection to the oar. Comfort and security are important as the athlete suspends from the oar and feathers on the recovery. Concept2 offers seven different materials in varying diameters. What fits best? The best grip is one that you prefer! There is no one grip that fits all hands. That being said, here are some things to consider:

  • Changing grips can often aggravate hands. If you frequently change boats and oars, using the same grip between sets can help you build calluses in the same spots.
  • Tape can wear down grips quickly. Avoid taping hands except with open wounds.
  • Smaller hands need smaller grips and bigger hands need bigger grips. You’ll want a grip that allows you to feather easily. For sculling, it is particularly important to use a grip that allows you to connect lightly in the fingers. Our diameters range from 32 mm (Thin Green Rubber or Microfiber Suede) to 37 mm (Thick Green Rubber) in sculls. Diameters range from 32 mm (Thin Green Rubber) to 39 mm (Wood Veneer) for sweep outer grips and 40 mm (Microfiber Suede) to 46 mm (Blue Cellular Foam) for inner grips.
  • Durability may be particularly important if the oars are used frequently or stored outdoors (outdoor storage is not recommended). Our smooth green rubber grip is popular because of its durability. It is an excellent choice for clubs and programs that have a variety of athletes.
  • All of our grips work in a variety of conditions. The materials are designed to feel “grippy” even if sweaty and hot or wet and cold. We offer a variety of textures to accomplish this. There is no consensus on which grip is “grippiest”!
  • New grips can make an older set of oars feel new again. If your grips feel slippery or slimy, you notice wear, or there is residue building up, try cleaning or replacing them.

With any grips, it is important to keep them clean for both hygiene and so they maintain their feel. Grips should be cleaned after every row. Keep a vegetable brush with your rowing supplies to make this simple and easy. In team boats, it is particularly important to disinfect grips with a 10:1 water:bleach solution to prevent illness and infections between boat mates. Make this a habit to keep your athletes healthy.

Grips need to be matched to your handle. New oars and sculls with our Length Adjustment System handle allow you to easily (and affordably!) change out scull and outer grips. We recommend trying out a few grips to find the best fit. Offering over a dozen different options for grips is just one way to personalize your own set of Concept2 oars.

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