7 Bits of Rowing Kit Every Rower Should Have

When it comes to rowing you can’t go wrong with the right bit of kit. One of the most important things you have to be is prepared with any rowing kit that you need at any session. On water session? You need kit. Off water session? You need kit. Are you going to a regatta? You need kit. Any time you’re going to be doing anything rowing related you’re going to need the suitable kit. I’m going to be going over the 7 most important pieces of kit that you need to bring with you to any session.

The Importance of the Right Rowing Kit

I can’t stress enough how important it is to use the right type of rowing kit for the right session. If you’re going to be going on the water in the winter months you’re going to want to make sure that you’re as warm as possible for the session. Using the right kit for the session is a sure-fire way to make sure that you can get the most out of your training session. If you’re going to be off the water, it’s likely that you’re going to be indoors where you won’t need to be as warm and therefore you can go for the lighter clothing option. Let’s go over some of our recommended essential bits of rowing kit.

Different Types of Rowing Kit

What kit do you need for rowing?

Short and Long Sleeve Tech Top

This piece of rowing kit is essential for a nice summer session on the water. If you’re planning to go out at any time in the warmer weather it’s imperative that you don’t overheat. One of the steps you can take towards this is by getting a short-sleeved tech top. These are typically made out of Lycra and are fantastic for keeping the fabric close to your body. They have excellent heat retaining properties and will keep you at the optimum temperature while you’re rowing. One of the benefits of a short-sleeved tech top is that you can use these both on and off the water and still retain the same benefits.

Rowing in the winter months? Live in a colder climate? A long-sleeve tech top is perfect for you! Personally, I found myself wearing these most of the time. The climate here isn’t always nice and most of the time it was quite cold when I was rowing. I found that wearing these to most sessions was the most beneficial because the weather could change at any moment. Whether you’re going to be on the water or in the gym these work well. As before with the short sleeve tech top, these are typically made out of Lycra and have excellent heat retaining properties so if you’re worried about being too cold you shouldn’t feel it too much on your forearms.

Lycra Leggings and Shorts

You’re going to be using your legs a lot when you’re training. One piece of advice I can give you is that you’re going to want to be prepared for any weather. In warmer weather, I’d recommend going for some lycra shorts. These are fantastic for keeping your legs at the right temperature during a session. You don’t want to be too hot and uncomfortable after all. I found that an added benefit of wearing shorts during an on-water session is that you can feel the boat better. Where you can feel the boat with your legs in shorts you can feel if your legs are in the right position at backstops based on where your calves land on the slide rails.

Most of the time I would be wearing shorts when I was in the boat but every now and then you’re going to need to wear some leggings in the boat. If the session is going to be cold I can’t recommend wearing leggings highly enough. This will reduce the likelihood that you’re going to cramp up in a session if you get too cold too quickly. One of the benefits of wearing leggings during a session is that you will keep them warm and also keep them clean of most slide gunk that would usually get all over your calves.

Pants (underwear) and Socks

This one is pretty self-explanatory but I’ll go over it regardless. It’s so important to wear both pants (underwear) and socks when you’re working out. Pants, more so to protect your modesty and keep yourself looking decent, but they’re also there to prevent any uncomfortable rubbing when you’re training. I always found that wearing pants were more comfortable when I was in a boat as I was able to gain an additional layer of fabric between me and the hard rowing seat.

Socks are easy to explain. Why would you want to risk getting super painful blisters on your feet from uncomfortable rowing shoes? One of the biggest issues that a rower will face pretty much all the time is a blister. Whether it be on your hands or on your feet, a blister is always really uncomfortable to deal with. If you’re going to be doing a gym session it makes sense to wear socks as your feet may rub against uncomfortable fabric in your shoes.

Rowing All-In-One (AIO or Onesie)

By far the most useful, and widely used piece of rowing kit by rowers all across the world is the All-In-One (AIO). This is probably the piece of kit that I wore the most to pretty much any on or off water session. I can’t stress the amount of use you can get out of an AIO. They are super versatile for any training session and will allow you a full range of movement when you’re in the boat. You’ll find that most clubs will have their own kit that shows off their colours and club emblem. When I was rowing I probably had about 7 different onesies that I would change between throughout the week as I couldn’t get them washed and dried in time for the next session.

Check out our other kit bag essentials

10 Rowing Essentials