Rowing and Your Health
|Expedition Model Rowboat|
Currently the two main types of human-powered recreational craft in usage are canoes and sea kayaks. There is no reason, however, why rowing can’t be used for touring, and the sport offers several distinct advantages:
Exercise: Sliding-seat rowing allows use of the largest muscles: legs, back and shoulders. It is low impact and balanced, offering an excellent workout with very little stress to your back and joints. Each draw on a finely tuned rowing system feels like a cross between a stretch and a satisfying yoga move – slow, smooth and powerful.
Speed: Rowing allows access to the largest muscle groups meaning more power and greater speed than other forms of propulsion. In competitive racing, rowing shells are fastest, followed by kayaks and then canoes. Our touring rowboats will travel approximately 1.5X the speed of an average sea kayak.
Longevity: Even though more energy is being expelled and more calories burned (than paddling or canoeing) it is possible to travel further in a rowboat without feeling fatigued. This is because larger muscles (primarily legs and back) are being used. Imagine the difference of pedaling a bicycle using your arms instead of your legs.
Size: Rowboats can be made larger and more capacious than sea kayaks without interfering with efficiency of the rowing drive. The immense power generated by the oars helps overcome drag from increased wetted area. Our Expedition model rowboat has 3X the volume of a sea kayak with a cruise speed 50% faster. Additional size allows for longer unsupported excursions and the ability to carry a bicycle and trailer.
Are their any disadvantages?
There are some characteristics with rowing that might be considered drawbacks:
Rear Vantage - With rowing you face backwards and it is necessary to do frequent shoulder checks. Alternatively, mirrors can provide forward visionExpense: Due to their larger size and complexity, the cost of manufacturing a touring rowboat is higher than canoes and kayaks. This issue can be overcome by building the craft from a kit, significantly reducing costs.