Conversion of FAT2 top Smoothies

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Conversion of FAT2 top Smoothies

Postby dave2013 » May 22nd, 2018, 8:26 pm

I currently row with FAT2s with an overall length of 278 and inboard of 87.

How should I configure a set of Smoothie 2 w/vortex edge to an equivalent load?
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Re: Conversion of FAT2 top Smoothies

Postby gregsmith01748 » May 23rd, 2018, 7:43 pm

I went from Fat2s at 278 to Smoothies at 282. It's hard for me to judge the difference in the load because I also went from ultralight standard stiffness shafts to soft skinnies. I really prefer the feeling of the smoothies on the soft shafts. The load on the front end is less and I can feel the power building through the drive.

If you're interested I did a comparison of the two oars here: http://analytics.rowsandall.com/2017/06/18/using-rim-and-empower-to-compare-oars/
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Re: Conversion of FAT2 top Smoothies

Postby dave2013 » May 27th, 2018, 12:03 am

Thanks for the excellent article Greg.

My experience is the same as yours with the exception of the last point:

At the catch, the smoothies felt like they loaded up more gradually. I liked this because I felt I could control stroke pressure a bit better.
I didn’t notice much difference at the finish
The boat seemed to set a bit better. This could have been due to slightly cleaner finishes or because I had an extra 10cm of “wing span” due to the extra length. But in any case, I noticed that my blades were off the water on more recoveries.
I had a bit less backsplash with the smoothies. I suspect that’s because I would be squaring up about a cm higher above the water. With the fats, I tend to nick the water as I square and send a bit of water back.
I’m not sure if it’s because of the extra length or something else, but my forearms felt a bit more tired at end of the first row with the smoothies. That might actually be the difference between new collars and the ones on my fat2s which have 3 years of wear on them


I like the FAT2s, I like the way they feel in the water. I am an "F" oarsman (63 years old) and I think old guys are partial to them. I have 2 problems with them though: 1) the only people who I know who use them are old American masters scullers. I don't think any elites use them. And I don't think they're popular outside the US. I rowed in the Henley Masters Regatta last year and was hosted by Upper Thames Rowing Club. They did not have single set of FAT2s in the club. 2) Like you mentioned, the protruding lip on the blade causes me to nick the water as I square up for the catch. I saw a video of myself recently and it was a bigger problem than I realized. It's almost every stroke. And it prevents me from optimal blade preparation before placement.

BUT....I haven't done as objective testing as you have but everything I've done indicates I'm moving the boat faster using the FAT2s than with a conventional blade.

I keep hoping I can find a gearing that will equate the load on the FAT2's withan equivalent load on the Smoothie2s.

BTW, the blade area on the FAT2 (857cm2) is about 5.9% greater than the Smoothie2 (809cm2). See Volker Nolte's "Rowing Faster", page 135
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Re: Conversion of FAT2 top Smoothies

Postby dave2013 » May 27th, 2018, 12:17 am

This may be a question for the engineers at Concept2:

Is there a mathematical formula that can relate the load on a FAT2 blade with that of a Smoothie2?

It seems like the variables would be inboard, outboard, blade surface area and blade center.

Given these inputs, couldn't we calculate, or at least estimate, equivalent gearings for different blade designs?
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Re: Conversion of FAT2 top Smoothies

Postby c2KevinS » May 29th, 2018, 11:01 am

We receive requests like this quite a lot, and unfortunately the relationship between load and oar/rig is not straightforward enough to be defined by a formula. The load itself is difficult to define: peak force, average force, and total force applied (i.e. area under the force curve) could all be meaningful factors to different rowers. Our various blade options interact with the water in different ways, which makes surface area alone an often misleading characteristic.

As mentioned earlier in the discussion, the load builds more gradually with Smoothie2 Plain Edge blades than with Fat2s. A peak load of 150 lbs halfway through the drive will have a very different physiological toll than the same load at 30% of the drive. We offer guidelines on rigging changes to customers that are meant to serve as starting points, but these are based largely on our own subjective evaluation. We really try to emphasize experimentation and repetition to find the best combination for each unique customer. Hope this helps to explain why such a relationship isn't readily available.
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Re: Conversion of FAT2 top Smoothies

Postby dave2013 » May 30th, 2018, 1:07 am

Thanks Kevin.

I can appreciate the difficulty trying to compare. But the comment below is encouraging. Do you have a link to the "guidelines?"

We offer guidelines on rigging changes to customers that are meant to serve as starting points, but these are based largely on our own subjective evaluation.
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Re: Conversion of FAT2 top Smoothies

Postby dave2013 » May 30th, 2018, 1:18 am

Is there a "recommended" shaft and stiffness option for the FAT2 and Smoothie2 blades?

To me it looks like the following are popular if not recommended options:
skinny/ extra soft for FAT2
ultralight/soft for Smoothie2
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Re: Conversion of FAT2 top Smoothies

Postby Citroen » May 30th, 2018, 3:16 am

Dave, you're probably best off giving Concept2 a call at 1-800 245 5676. They're in Vermont, Eastern time.
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