4 Easy Steps to Take Care of Your Oar Rope Wrap
Proper Care and Maintenance of Your Oar Rope Wrap
Taking care of your oars is more than just looking after the shaft and blades. It means looking after your rope wrap too. The wrap is there to protect the oar shaft, but what’s going to protect the rope from wearing. Below I’ll discuss 4 ways you can give the proper care and maintenance to your oar rope wrap.
The first place rope care begins is in the oar locks. Before you start rowing, make sure your oar locks are clean and smooth. Many times, oar locks can have sharp edges and/or burrs. Prolonged rowing will begin to pick your rope apart, fraying and weakening the strength of the wrap. Rewrapping an oar is not an easy feat without help and the proper equipment. To prevent having to prematurely changing out your wrap, sand and smooth the surface in and around the oar locks. Get rid of hard edges and nasty burrs. Give your rope wrap a fighting chance.
Angle of Rowing
Once you’re sure your oar locks are smooth and ready to go, by all means, go, go, go. Get out on that water and display your swagger. One thing to remember, however, when your rowing all over those wild rivers, is to keep your rowing angle low.
Rowing standing up or from too high a vantage creates a steep angle in the oar lock which in turn creates more friction and more of an edge to work against your rope wrap. That’s not to say there aren’t times and situations when standing to row is necessary and expedient. Only that doing so will break down your rope wrap more quickly, and the more you do it, the earlier you’ll need to replace your rope wrap.
Keep Your Oar Rope Wrap Clean
A little bit of dirt doesn’t hurt, right? Wrong. Think sandpaper. Dirt on the surface of your rope wrap and embedded in the rope acts as an abrasive on the fibers. You got rid of the sharp edges and burrs on your oar locks to protect your rope from shredding, so don’t let dirt build up replace those edges.
Rinse your oars off with clean water after each use to prevent dirt, sand, and silt from building up on your rope wrap. If it’s been awhile since you’ve taken care of your oars, wash them thoroughly with clean water and a mild soap. In fact, you might as well use that soap on yourself as well. You know you’ve justified not taking a shower one to many times because you already took a dip in the river.
Store Your Oars Out of the Heat and Sunlight
After taking all these steps to protect your oars and their protective rope wrap, you wouldn’t leave them baking in the hot sun all day, would you? But the oars and rope have a UV protectant, won’t they be fine, you ask? Think of the oars UV protection like a long-lasting sunscreen. Sure, sunscreen will protect your skin from burning but the more you’re in the sun, the more you need to apply.
Likewise, UV protection should be applied to your oars appropriate to usage, though you should avoid the use of chemicals with your rope. The absolute best way to minimize the maintenance while maximizing the life of your oar’s rope wrap is to store them indoors, or out of direct sunlight. When transporting them or storing them, use a portage and storage bag. Enough said.
Take and keep these four steps to properly care for your rope wrap and you’ll get a lot of miles out of your rope. Remember: check your oar locks for sharp edges and burrs, make sure your angle of rowing is not too steep, keep your oars clean, and store them out of the destructive UV rays of the sun. Caring for your rope is easy and can save you a lot of time and money when you put in the little effort required. Happy rowing.