Drag reduction by applying speedstrips on rowing oars

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The objective of this study was to determine the advantage of the application of speedstrips to rowing oars for a lightweight single sculler. The research method comprehended three steps: (1) the analysis of the rowing oar movement, (2) the determination of the change in drag and (3) the composition of a rowing model to establish the advantage that could be achieved. The parameters needed for the model: boat velocity, oar angle velocity and power delivered by the rower, were recorded on a real single sculler. The change in drag due to speedstrips on cylinders was determined by performing wind tunnel experiments. The rowing model (Matlab) simulates a race by using real stroke data of a world-class rower as input, while calculating the drag with the coefficients determined by the wind tunnel experiments. The output of the model is the final advantage by the application of speedstrips to rowing oars. Speedstrips induce a 0.1% advantage over a 2000 m race under calm wind conditions. The advantage increases up to.4% with a headwind velocity of 5 m s-1. For bigger boats, the advantage could be even more significant.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 11th Conference of the International Sports Engineering Association, ISEA 2016
Subtitle of host publicationThe Engineering of SPORT 11
EditorsA.J. Jansen
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventISEA 2016 - The Engineering of Sport 11 - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 11 Jul 201614 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameProcedia Engineering
PublisherElsevier Ltd.
ISSN (Print)1877-7058


ConferenceISEA 2016 - The Engineering of Sport 11
Internet address


  • aerodynamics
  • artificial boundary layer transition
  • rowing
  • rowing model
  • speedstrips
  • zig-zag strips

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