Paddle attachment to Erg / COncept 2 rower


Anyone out there used the Vermont Waterways Canoe Paddling Adapter for a rower.

Are there any other adapters that you have seen or used and liked?

I have tried an older version of this and it worked ok but a second bench was used and it took up too much space.

Thanks for the guidance...

Submitted by Just Paddle on Sat, 10/24/2009 - 6:06am

I have the kayak paddling conversion to the Concept 2.

It does take up a good deal of room, but it has that digital display that give you some feedback on your paddling and allows you to do consistent workouts.

I've seen single blade machines sold out of Canada that give you no digital feedback at all. I can't recommend them at except for the small space they occupy. I think to get your money's worth, you need to know how long and fast you're paddling.

#1 Sat, 10/24/2009 - 7:00am

I have the older version (have had it for about 10 years). It works great...although paddling it for over an hour gets boring as hell. It does take up a lot of floor space since there's an added bench for the seat. The newer ones mount the seat on the original Concept 2 erg the whole set up is no longer than the erg itself.

#2 Sat, 10/24/2009 - 7:20am

The other indoor canoe/kayak trainer I know about is the Vasa Ergometer:

I have no experience in either, but would like to hear reviews too. I have limited aspirations on what these trainers can do, but for the ice or land bound athletes it seems much better than not paddling and a way to compete with other northern/land-locked brethren in something analogous to the Crash-B on Concept-2. I like the idea of power readouts so you could develop your Base accurately as well as your Power/Sprint capabilities. The major pitfall I see is developing poor technique, but that could hopefully be prevented by concentrating on proper form.

What I would really like to see is a trainer with sort of a "fixed" paddle that you pull yourself too, with the resistance coming from whatever your sitting on. Sort of like the Total Gym concept.

#3 Sat, 10/24/2009 - 9:58am,shop.product_details/flypage,shop.fl...

Think this is the Canadian machine you are referring to.

We have made something similar, very good in small spaces but the Vermont adaptor I have for a Model C rower is better for actually paddling.

#4 Sun, 10/25/2009 - 12:33am

I have a Concept 2 with the adapter justpaddle described. It is used primarily for one portion of my dragon boat team's selection process.

The guy that runs Vermont Waterways is great. We burned through a few wheels when I first bought the adapter a few years ago and he redesigned the wheel and bearings just for us. Since the redesign, I've had no issues with the wheel/bearings.

The wheel and adapter are very durable - it can take quite a bit of abuse (100% sprint-like pieces). The only things we have had to do for maintenance are lubing the wheel and bar and replacing the string periodically.

Occasionally, I'll do a few longer pieces on it but as drewp said, it is quite boring.

#5 Sun, 10/25/2009 - 4:44am

Not to steal this thread...but for those who have significant experience with Vermont Waterways Paddle Adapter (or others), how has your fitness improved and/or technique changed after training for a while on adapter once you start paddling a boat in water again? Are there just improvements or are there drawbacks? Many thanks.

#6 Sun, 10/25/2009 - 5:07am

I have a Concept 2 Model E with the Vermont Waterways adapter installed. It's a useful tool for sport specific fitness but no substitute for being on the water.

On the plus side:
- Provides a comparable workout when you can't get on the water.
- Resistance (wound up to 10) is quite high and can be used for force training.
- Seat position on the E is quite similar to an OC1 if you just use the ergo's foot plates as your hips are not too much higher than your feet (in comparison to an OC6).
- You get great bio-feedback on your splits, etc. Plus you can use the Suunto HR strap and get your HR displayed on the screen.

On the minus side:
-The rope only lasts about 10 hours before it wears out and you have to get a new one.
-The 'action' does not exactly match what you feel in the water and can (in my view) over-emphasize more effort at the back of the stroke. After a while you can 'game' the machine in a way you could not do on the water.
-Difficult to choke your lower hand position right down the shaft as your knuckles get rubbed by the rope.
- The new seat restraint keeps slipping off until you stick it on with velcro or tape.
- Sure it's boring, but you can watch TV or listen to your iPod.

On the technique side I noticed that I was actually slower on the left and this was not due to the ama (since there isn't one). This meant I could focus more here and correct this imbalance by doing 50s on the left, etc. You get all kinds of goodies like this, primarily due to the great bio-feedback you get through the monitor. However, you then need to make sure you apply what you learn on the water - there are no prizes for winning on the ergo (at least in OC1).

Overall it's expensive and takes up a lot of room but is a good back up tool if you can't get on the water. If you are looking for base building fitness, I would take off the adapter and just use the ergo. Do 4 x 15 min pieces on the ergo or 10 x 5 min pieces at 70-75% HR Max and you will get paddle fit pretty fast. Because you are using your legs this puts more of a strain on your cardio-vascular system so is arguably better base building than using the adapter. I personally use the adapter later in the season for more boat-specific training but would only get on this say once a week when I can't get on the water.

#7 Sun, 10/25/2009 - 11:34am

Just Paddle,
It pains me to think I'm going to do anything that helps make you faster! We've got 3 newer (no extra bench required) Vermont Waterways ergs. You're welcome to come down and try them. Two are set up in a local gym, the other's in my basement to help my wife and I train for Vaka Eiva.
Positives are: It's very close to a real stroke. It's the same muscles used in paddling. The monitor can be very useful, and is quite accurate (I've compared it to a 5.33 km time trial we do on the water, and there's less than a minute difference; only seconds difference when I use it to measure sprint distances). The results are consistent, there's no tide, current, wind or waves so I can use it to monitor progress. Two people of differing speeds can workout side by side at different speeds (think bonding time with your wife....)
Negatives: It can be cheated easily with very poor stroke dynamics. It messes up your recovery - the recovery is pulled forward by the tension in the string, plus you can recover without thinking about releasing from the water. It's boring, unless you've got an ipod, a hockey game on TV or a competitor.
Some of us had a bunch of workouts that we did in jan./feb./mar. last year - lots of time trials, competitive sets where we could compare our times against each other (it's boring, so competing helps).
Think about last season. I was a little faster than you in the early races (more paddle-specific training over the winter?) and you were faster in the rest of the season (better genetics, or was it just a faster boat(?) )

Paddling purists: I do not advocate replacing real paddling on real water EVER. Sometimes our water is too cold (as in frozen, or freezing) to train safely. And I'm way too old to do the hands-frozen-into-claws after paddling thing anymore....

#8 Sun, 10/25/2009 - 6:44pm

Agree with everyone on here... the ergs aren't perfect (and from my limited experience you REALLY need to concentrate on keeping the power in your stroke up front to keep from developing bad habits), but it beats sitting on the couch when there's ice on the river.

#9 Mon, 10/26/2009 - 5:02am

Thanks for the good info. It seems from also talking to others that if you already have the concept 2 the Vermont System is the one to go with. Thanks Kahuna for your input. I may take you up on the offer to try one out but I cringe sometimes when I have to drive more than 20min to paddle on the water. To then Drive 1 hr to paddle and erg "Argh". I think I would simply default to your expertise and but the thing. That way I won't have any excuses for those early races as well.

From the boring side:
Back in the cycling race days I used a Cyclops (Bike Trainer) "vhs" movie to do intervals. It had a coach on it and about 6 other riders on trainers. It at least made you toss out a stronger effort on the days when you were low in motivation by calling sprints or false hills where you dropped some gears on the bike to increase the work load. Maybe we could get Rambo to put together a 45 min dvd of himself chasing down another paddler on an OC1 or a steers view of a 6man calling "ups" to catch waves to simulate racing.
I would buy one! Anyone else....

#10 Tue, 10/27/2009 - 6:27am

i have one, its awesome. Its great strength and cardio training, but of course nothing can beat the real thing. its almost exactly the same stroke, but you tend to over paddle. it seems to me that when people use it they pull back super far, this makes the rower go faster but not necessarily your one man. all in all its awesome to supplement with paddling, especially during regatta season. i guarantee you will be dripping sweat huffing and puffing

#11 Tue, 10/27/2009 - 11:13pm

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