RowVista: A revolutionary forward-facing rowing system

RowVista Forward Rowing System
The RowVista forward-facing rowing mechanism allows rowers to see where they are going. Images courtesy Row&Sail

Rowing, an age-old mode of travel and a modern exercise staple, typically presents an unusual challenge: the rower faces backwards, opposite to the direction of travel. Row&Sail, an Austrian company, has addressed this peculiarity with their innovative RowVista system, which enables rowers to face forward, aligning their view with their movement.

The RowVista setup is versatile, designed to retrofit various watercraft such as traditional rowing and sculling boats, kayaks, canoes, and even stand-up paddleboards. It can also be fully integrated with the ROWonAIR package, which includes an inflatable paddleboard tailored for the system.

At the heart of the RowVista system is a sliding seat mounted on an aluminum roller rail, complete with foot supports. This seat glides back and forth, enabling the user to apply power comfortably. Extending from this rail is a yoke-like carbon fiber outrigger beam, which hosts the linkage mechanism at its ends. This mechanism connects to an advanced two-piece carbon fiber oar on each side.

The operation of the RowVista is as intuitive as it is efficient. Rowers sit facing the bow and pull the handles towards them. This motion propels the craft by drawing the oars through the water from front to back. Pushing the handles away then lifts the oars out of the water and swings them forward, priming them for the next stroke. An instructional YouTube video by Row&Sail offers an in-depth look at the linkage mechanics.

RowVista Forward Rowing System Close Up View
A close look at the RowVista system.

One of the unique aspects of the RowVista system is its feathering capability. Feathering refers to the adjustment of the oars’ blade angles, which is controlled by twisting the handles. Row&Sail’s CEO, Jochum Bierma, highlights that RowVista enhances this feature, offering more blade twist with less wrist movement. A 65-degree twist of the wrist results in an 85-degree rotation of the blade, thereby reducing wrist strain and fatigue commonly experienced with traditional rowing oars.

RowVista Forward Rowing System 2-on-1
Two RowVistas can be used on one watercraft.

Convenience is also a key benefit of the RowVista system. It is designed for quick and easy assembly, taking approximately two minutes to attach to an existing craft, all without the need for tools.

As for pricing, the full RowVista kit starts at €3,876, equivalent to about $4,144 USD. While this may seem like a significant investment, it is important to consider the innovation and ergonomic benefits that come with this system. The RowVista offers an enhanced rowing experience, aiming to improve comfort, reduce the risk of injury, and align the rower with their direction of travel.

RowVista Forward Rowing System Kayak
The RowVista system is compatible with kayaks, as well as a variety of other watercraft.

In a market where tradition often trumps innovation, RowVista stands out by offering a novel approach to a classic sport. For rowers looking to upgrade their experience, and perhaps even for newcomers encouraged by the promise of a forward view, RowVista is a compelling new addition to the world of water sports.

RowVista Forward Rowing System ROWonAIR Package
The ROWonAIR bundle pairs the RowVista setup with a specifically designed inflatable stand-up paddleboard.

Source: Row&Sail