BalancePoint Oar Handles

A Natural Improvement
The BalancePoint™ handle is a replacement handle for sweep oars that will make sweep rowing healthier and faster. The patented design allows the athlete to make a more balanced and natural stroke that decreases strain and fatigue, while increasing power transmission from the athlete to the water.

BalancePoint ergonomic oar handleA Safer Stroke
By allowing the handle of the oar to pivot, the athlete can keep his or her shoulders square to the direction of effort. This reduces the asymmetric loading of the back and we have measured 50% reductions in the rotation of the trunk at the catch. Asymmetric loading of the back and twisting of the trunk have been linked to increased risk of back injury in biomechanical studies.1,2

A Stronger Stroke
The BalancePoint handle also allows a full extension of the inboard arm at the catch, thereby transferring the heavy initial load from the small muscles of the arm to the larger muscles of the back. This not only reduces strain in the arm and shoulder and equalizes loading across the back, but it also decreases fatigue and allows for a stronger finish.

How does it work?
Operation of the BalancePoint handle is intuitive and natural. After a day or two of practice it will probably feel more comfortable that rowing with a fixed handle.
Click for movie of BalancePoint Oar being rowedTo row the oar, simply exert equal pressure on both hands and pull normally. This will probably feel very similar to rowing on an ergometer.

How do you feather?
At the finish, press down on the handle to pick the blade out of the water, then twist the handle to feather the blade. The pivoting design of the BalancePoint handle actually makes the feathering motion easier than a fixed handle, because the handle can be rotated slightly to give the rower better leverage when feathering. Returning back to the catch, the rower has only to extend both arms to square up the blade before starting the next stroke.

Future of the project
The BalancePoint handle was banned by the international rowing organization FISA. We are working to to have this decision reversed, but we have discontinued production until the ban is lifted. Limited quantities of the BalancePoint handle remain available for purchase.

Further Reading

Medical Literature Review by Seamus Woods
Review of BalancePoint handle by Dr. Michael J. Totta
Review of BalancePoint handle by Dr. Erik N. Nelson