No but really, the thing stopping me from buying an RP3 is about £1300. I can’t splash for one. So we need more RP3’s being made, which will push the price down, which means more people will buy them, which means more RP3’s being made, which will push……
And the cycle goes on, but in order to start the cycle we need to build demand in one or two ways.
- Like every single manufacturer of any type of exercise equipment Rowperfect needs to become social network or sorts, or at least needs to allow its users to socially network their achievements as quickly and as widely as possible. And have those achievements compared with the achievements of others. Like C2 to Strava (which is a little crude but is still fun) or indeed like the C2 logbook which is just such wasted opportunity, thousands of people, none of them talking to each other. People like feeling like they are part of something bigger and like having a way of connecting with that bigger thing.
- Like every other single manufacture of any exercise equipment Rowperfect needs people with six packs to be photographed using their machine. Pretty people, who can lie about their actual scores on the machine.
- Become the Gold Standard. In rowing clubs, sooner or later someone will ask you “what’s your 2k?” and they don’t mean what you 2k on an RP3 or a C2 on slides. They mean “what’s your 2k?” on a C2, fixed head, ergo. Most of them know that below seven minutes for men is passable, below six and a half is good, all the way down to below five minutes and forty seconds being a near superhuman barrier. The RP3 needs to get some of that action. Rowperfect needs to make racing on RP3’s a thing. And right now there is a golden opportunity to do this…….
Olympic Indoor Rowing!!!!!!
Last year 40 men and 40 women went to Rio as Olympian rowers in the lwt 2x category. This will not happen in the 2024 Olympic Games. There will be no more pepperami men and wlwt’s. So that is a hole of 80 rowers to fill in the the Olympic Village. At the same time rowing is constantly being told that it needs to broaden its reach and appeal and most people out there can’t afford a rowing lake, and a boat, and some oars, and a boat house. There are considerably fewer people that cannot afford a rowing machine. And thus we tick the diversity box. Also most people how have ever been to a gym know how hard it is to row on a rowing machine for five or so minutes, so we have the accessibility box firmly checked out too. We don’t need any special facilities we just need an air-conditioned shed, 45 RP3’s in a row and a big screen to watch the action on. Have a chat with RowPro and get them to make some fancy graphics. My suggestion is for a 2 day event, with four races held, morning and afternoon, each day.
- Day 1 AM – 8000m , proper stamina work out but a bit like watching paint dry. No medals on offer, but if you don’t finish in the top two thirds (15 out of 45), you don’t get to compete the next day, you don’t get to race the 2000m and you don’t get to go for the overall title. This will split this race into three factions,
- – The leaders going for the Overall Title (GC contenders effectively)
- – Those who just want to make it Day 2 and win medals in the first event there and are racing not to come 21st out of forty (the equivalent of the Green or Polka Dot Jersey contenders)
- The Sprinters who are just using the 8000m as a warm up for the first medals race of the afternoon…..
- Day 1 PM – 500m, the first medal event – One for the strong men. And fat men. And short (by rowing standards) men (and women). One of the diversity issues in rowing is that it favors beanpoles with big lungs. Speaking as a beanpole with big lungs this is no bad thing, but such a physical characteristics are not distributed evenly around the world. The 500m sprint relies less on aerobic stamina, and less on stroke length as it does on raw strength, rate mechanics, lactate tolerance and a batshit appetite for pain. Again we are ticking a real diversity box and extending rowing (albeit indoors) to the half of the world that has very strong people that don’t necessarily have a huge aerobic capacity.
- Day 2 AM – 2000m, the Blue Riband event, the one that everyone wants to see. This is for the guys who came twenty ninth in the 8k, and last in the 500m and are ready to bury themselves now. Look for sub five minute and forty seconds fireworks. Also, if you are not in the fastest 15 rowers for the three pieces overall at this point at this point (from a starting field of 45 cut to 30) you don’t progress any further
- Day 2 PM – 5000m, no medal for this event but this is a race for two types amongst the last twenty. The real stamina merchants who are going for the the overall title, this is real Eric vs. Mo stuff. Can you row 15,500m in four sets, faster than anyone else anywhere, on a row perfect! Then, there should be another category. Power to Weight Champion. Not a weight category, just the average wattage for the four events divided by your average weight as taken in THE 10 MINUTES before each race. This is where the Alex Gregory‘s and Henrik Stephansen’s come to the fore. The key idea is that you have four different races going on from the first piece to the last with differnet competitions and different . It will be a lot more interesting than a straight 2k.
So why am I wasting bits with this advice (which is really just to proselytize my own ideas about Olympic Indoor Rowing) to Rowperfect. Why should they. Well the manna that has fallen upon Concept2 since the Heathen Barbarians of Crossfitaria started having very big competitions with the Ergo should say everything that needs to be said. The Olympics is now, still, the greatest show on Earth and there is an opening for a new event. If Rowperfect gets in there, persuades FISA to persuade the IOC to throw Rowing a bone after taking away our lwt diversity figleaf, then the Rowperfect gets the biggest outing since the WaterRower helped Francis Underwood into the Whitehouse.