TeamTalk with Jackie Kiddle – Christmas gift ideas for rowers

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My Top 10 Present Ideas for Rowers this Christmas.

 

With the Christmas train heading this way very fast it’s time for a list of present suggestions for your rowing friends and fam. 

I've tried to keep this list to things that I think are useful, not too expensive and super easy to find. I haven’t included brands but feel free to find me on social media and ask what brands I use for some of these gift ideas. 

With that said, and in no particular order, here we go:

Number One: A 10mm spanner. 

If you’ve read my article on the top 5 tools every rower needs (link below) you will know that the 10mil trumps every time. These are an absolute necessity, and often a rare commodity, around the boat park. 

*Bonus points*: If Santa can find the elusive mini ratchet version this is absolutely bonus points as these things are amazingly handy, especially if you need to use one while in the boat.

 

Number Two: A Dry Bag. 

The only thing worse than wet, smelly training clothes is putting wet, smelly training clothes straight in your gear bag. A dry bag is a great way to stop your gross training gear stinking out the rest of your bag, and especially on days where the weather is rubbish and you end up drenched. What’s also great about these is that they keep all the dirty stuff in one place so when you get home you just tip that whole bag upside down into your washing basket and you’ve kept all your socks! Also great for parents who might be amazing and do their athletes washing for them, at least it keeps the dirty clothes together, they’re easy to find and potentially save the bigger gear bag from being contaminated when they get left for days at a time. 

Number Three: A Drink Bottle. 

Fairly self explanatory, drink bottles are (well should be) on any athlete’s list of items they use every day. They are also sometimes underrated, at least until you forget them. Always needed and always appreciated during a long row or hot training session, a drink bottle is a super easy, simple gift for any athlete. 

Number Four: Slides/scuffs/slip on shoes. 

These guys are a must for any rower. While rowing is, for the majority, a water sport and the boats we use come equipped with footwear, the amount of time spent on your feet around the boatshed and boatpark can be surprising. Slip on shoes, especially the kind that aren’t damaged by water are pretty key for training and racing for both foot comfort and protection. 

*Bonus points*: Shoes that float, just incase you need to take them with you in the boat and get hit with a rouge wave. 

Number Five: Jet plane lollies. 

The ultimate race lolly, the humble jet plane can be just the sugar hit you need to be race ready or to kick start recovery during regattas and training sessions. The fun thing with jet planes is that often you can team up with someone who likes the opposite colours to you and can share a bag with your crew. I’m a personal fan of the green jet plane and not that keen on the purple. Luckily for me green is Shannon’s least favourite and she likes the purple ones. Maybe that’s why we work so well in a boat together! Whatever your favourite flavour, jet planes are a great thing to gift any rower. 

*Bonus points*: Adding a small sealed container so they can take them out in the boat without turning them into jet plane soup. 

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Number Six: The Kiwi Pair book. 

Not everyone is into reading but if you know a rower who is this is 100% the book for them. Eric Murray and Hamish Bond are some of the most successful rowers both in NZ history and globally. Having had the chance to row in the NZ team at the same time as them was very cool and I encourage anyone who enjoys biography style books to be inspired by their hugely successful rowing careers.

Number Seven: Sunglasses. 

Spending a lot of time on the water means we spend a lot of time in the sun and in the sun’s refection off the water. Sunglasses can make a huge difference to your eye health, minimise headaches from squinting and they just make seeing what’s going on around you during racing or training easier. I don’t know how I went years rowing without my sunnies but I won’t go out without them anymore! Even on overcast or rainy days they sit on my visor just in case Lake Karapiro decides to have the sun come out again, especially in the Waikato where the weather seems to change every ten minutes. 

*Bonus points*: Finding a pair with polarised lenses, I invested in a pair of polarised lenses last year and man do they make a difference to the reflection off the water! 

Number Eight: Sunblock. 

Sunsmart.org tells me that in New Zealand approximately 92,800 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. As rowers we spend hours in the sun so looking after our skin has to be a priority! Gifting sunblock is a super easy, super helpful way to make sure athletes have it on hand to look after their skin during training and racing. 

*Bonus points*: Spray sunblock is a lot easier to put on between races and sometimes easiness can make the difference between putting it on and not. 

**Double bonus points**: Reef friendly brands of sunblock don’t put oils into our waterways and are much kinder on the wildlife that live in them. 

Number Nine: Compression tights. These guys are fantastic during racing or after big race pieces. Compression on muscles can aid with soreness and faster recovery. They are super comfortable to wear and make you feel so much better when you take them off after a few hours. I wear mine religiously around racing and heavy training days. 

Number Ten: A Massage Gun. 

Nothing beats a good massage on sore muscles especially during race week or a hard training block. These things are awesome and will have you feeling fresh and ready to row again in no time. Massage guns can even double as a massage for your muscles and your sore, blistered hands at the same time! 

Hopefully these suggestions have kickstarted some inspiration in to what you can get your rowing friends and family this Christmas. If you need any help with brands or detailed suggestions contact either myself on social media or info@rowingnz.kiwi.

Happy shopping!

To see what top 5 tools I recommend for rowers here is the link to my article: