Rowing shoes are the single most vital use of hook and loop when it comes to rowing. Rowing shoes are secured in place to the shell of the boat itself and are almost always fastened with hook and loop. This is because in the event of an emergency a rower needs to be able to get out of the boat as quickly as possible. The shoes need to be secured in place because the motion of the rowing stroke requires it. If the feet weren’t fixed in place, it would be much harder to generate power and increase the speed of one’s stroke. So since the shoes need to be secured in place, there needs to be a quick way to get out of them if the boat crashes or takes on water so the rower doesn’t sink with the boat.
Some rowers install a belt system that helps secure them to the sliding seat in a rowboat. This belt system, for the same reason as the shoes, uses hook and loop so the rower can get out quickly if needed. The strap helps keep the rower in their seat so they don’t compromise their stroke or slow down the boat overall. It also provides added control to make things a little easier for the rower.
Some rowers use gloves for several reasons. One is cold weather. Often, the water temperature and wind combine to provide inhospitable conditions for a rower’s bare hands. Another reason is to avoid hand fatigue, blisters, splinters, and other issues that can result from wooden oar handles.
Hook and Loop Straps
In addition to these most common uses, hook and loop straps can also be used by adaptive rowers, to secure oars or boats in the boathouse or when trailering for a race, and tons of other applications.