We receive many questions regarding oar pitch and checking pitch on oars, so we have pulled together some oar pitch tips and information.
Pitch check fixture
All Concept2 oars are pitched at zero degrees at the time of purchase unless otherwise specified. The most accurate way to check oar pitch is by using a Pitch Check Fixture or similar fixture. Small corrections to the sleeve pitch are easily achieved by using a good quality scraper tool or a small sharp hand plane.
Plumbline and ruler
A number of coaches and rowers still like to use a plumbline and ruler method with the oar in the oarlock on the boat. So a little explanation of this method helps relate it to the standard method to help reduce errors setting the pitch, as using this method gives a total pitch figure between the oarlock pitch and oar pitch.
The sketch below shows the position of an oar sitting on an oar pitch fixture and the measurement across the blade face at right angle to the shaft.
Zero degrees of pitch
If a zero pitched oar is held against a vertical surface and is horizontally level, and a plumbline is dropped between points ‘A’ and ‘B’, the line would touch both edges of the blade on a zero pitched oar.
Four degrees of pitch
If the same scenario was set up in an oarlock on a boat with 4 degrees of pitch, and a plumbline is dropped between points ‘A’ and ‘B’, the line at point ‘B’ would be 19mm away from the blade edge at point ‘B’.
Ten degrees of pitch
However, coaches will measure the pitch with the oar at an angle approximately the same as when the oar is buried in the water which is around 10 degrees. If a plumbline is dropped from point ‘A’ with the oar at an angle of 10 degrees to the horizontal, the line will not cross the blade at point ‘B’, but rather parallel with point ‘A’ 25mm. And due to the contour of the face of the blade, the measurement between the plumbline and the blade edge on a typical Smoothie 2 blade would be 9mm. Measuring this accurately when taking into account ‘play’ in the oarlock bushings, simulated angle to the water of the shaft, worn blade edges etc., is difficult. It’s easy to see how errors can creep in using this method to check oar pitch.
Find details of oars available at Sykes.