Unlike any other oarlock, Oar Inspired’s IntelliGate offers three different pitch adjustment options, fixed pitch, adjustable pitch and fully variable pitch.

Fully Variable Pitch.

Variable pitch allows the pitch to be precisely set in each phase of the stroke. A quicker entry, better connection with the water throughout the stroke and a cleaner exit at the finish. The pitch can be varied between -8 to +8 degrees. Set by a cam fixed to the pin just below the oarlock, two small bearings on the pitch adjuster follow the profile of the cam and adjust the pitch of the oarlock accordingly.

Utilising the measurement capabilities of the IntelliGate, including force sweep angle and oar depth, Oar Inspired will be able to assist in creating a custom cam profiles that will help maximise power transfer from the athlete to the water.

Understanding Pitch

Pitch is the vertical angle of the spoon of the oar in the water.  Too much pitch and the oar will wash out towards the end of the stroke, too little and the oar is difficult to extract and the risk of crabbing is increased. For this reason most boat technicians compromise and set the pitch to 4 degrees as it is safe bet for most rowers. As the ideal pitch varies depending on the oarsman technique, their weight and the shape of the hull, the safe option is not necessarily the best for maximising boat speed.

The Challenge

Using traditional fixed pitch adjusters to determine the ideal pitch is just not practical for most rowing programs. Traditional pitch adjusters require you to take the boat off the water before removing the oarlock to replace the pitch inserts is a frustrating and time consuming exercise

Taking this to the next level and determining the optimum pitch for each phase of the stroke is just not practical. For this reason Oar Inspired developed an adjustable pitch insert, addressing the issue of making quick pitch adjustments, whilst on the water and making evaluating pitch much simpler.

Given that there are 200+ strokes in a competitive race, finding even a few extra centimetres of run from each stroke can quickly add up to a significant advantage and is worth perusing.

Fixed pitch inserts

Traditional Oarlocks have fixed pitch inserts that allow the pitch of the oar to be set at a constant value. With a fixed pitch setting the selection is always a compromise, too much pitch and the oar will wash out towards the end of the stroke, too little and the oar is difficult to extract and the risk of crabbing is increased. For this reason most boats are set to 4 degrees as it is a safe bet.

Laying out the Pin

Laying out the pin is an art form and very few boat technicians have truly mastered the art.

The process of laying the pin involves either installing tapered spacers under the base of the pin or bending the pin so that it is offset from vertical. The resultant pitch is a combination of the angle the pin is laid out away from the centre line of the boat, the angle of the pin forward or aft and the size of the pitch insert in the oarlock itself. Once set the result is a pitch that varies smoothly from the catch to the finish.

Those who have mastered the art of laying the pin swear by it and claim it improves boat speed, unfortunately getting it wrong can have catastrophic results.

Oar Inspired’s Variable Pitch

Oar Inspired IntelliGate has the option of replacing the pitch insert with a variable pitch insert. In this mode the pitch is determined by a machined CAM, giving precise control of the pitch throughout the stroke.

Oar inspired is working on providing the analytics to evaluate boat performance taking into account, force, oar depth, sweep angle, hull stability and boat speed to recommend the optimum pitch profile. Without the measurement capabilities of Oar Inspired’s IntelliGate this analysis would not be possible.

Oar Inspired’s variable pitch provides +/- 8 degrees of adjustment