The Skinny shaft debuted at its first Olympics in the 2012 London Olympics. 19% of all medalists were rowing with the Skinny shaft.
The Skinny shaft was created in response to women's crews who desired the efficiency of the Fat2 blade but felt our standard shaft with the Fat2 blade was too stiff for their style of rowing. Stiffness is generally felt in the combination of shaft flex and blade slip. More efficient blades, like the Fat2, slip less so the athlete has the sensation that the oar is stiffer.
To create an extra soft shaft, we tried a smaller diameter, which allowed us to achieve the decreased stiffness while maintaining durability. The skinnier shaft also offers reduced wind resistance. Preliminary testing demonstrates measurable savings, particularly in headwind conditions. While the Skinny was originally designed to be extra soft, it’s also available in our standard stiffness options for people who want to take advantage of the reduced wind resistance it provides. Additionally, the smaller shaft offers more opportunities for outer grips, because both our sweep and scull grip cores will fit on this shaft.
How We Build It
We build the Skinny sweep shaft with a diameter that is similar to our sculling shaft. The Skinny scull features a diameter narrower than our standard scull shaft. Additional high-modulus carbon is required to achieve the correct stiffness. Available in extra soft, soft and medium flex.
The Skinny shaft was developed specifically to soften the catch of the Fat2 blade while still taking advantage of its low slippage and efficiency. Other blade types can also be used with the Skinny to achieve the benefit of reduced wind resistance.
The Skinny uses a standard sleeve, fitted to the narrower shaft with a custom insert.
We have designed a sweep handle for the Skinny that will accommodate a wider range of grip options. All standard scull grips fit the Skinny scull.
Who Should Consider It
Any crew that wants to improve performance by using more efficient blades should consider the Skinny for the softer feel. The savings in wind resistance, particularly in a headwind, may also be an important factor for any crew considering rowing with Skinnys.
Note: Prices reflect additional high-modulus carbon required to tune the stiffness of the Skinny shaft.