Why Row?

by Peter Dreissigacker |   Date Released : 04 Dec 2006
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Peter Dreissigacker

About the author: Peter Dreissigacker

Peter Dreissigacker, along with his brother Dick, founded Concept2 in 1976. The idea for the company grew out of a graduate course they took together at Stanford University – combined with their love of the sport of rowing.

In 1976, the two brothers were competing for a spot on the U.S Olympic Team, and they saw a need for a lighter, stiffer, faster oar. After a series of kitchen experiments with carbon fiber and fiberglass, they developed the first viable, affordable composite racing oar to hit the market. In 1992, their innovation again changed the face of rowing with the introduction of the “Big Blade,” an asymmetrical hatchet-shaped blade that offered a speed advantage of several percent. The brothers continue to race on the water themselves, using that experience to continue pushing the frontiers of oar design.

Meanwhile, Peter and Dick have also changed the face of indoor rowing. In 1981, they developed the first Concept2 Indoor Rower, known familiarly as the Erg, short for ergometer or measure of work. Winters are long in Vermont, so rowers needed an indoor training alternative that would offer the same challenging workouts as rowing on the water. It turned out that plenty of non-rowers were also looking for a challenging, versatile, total body workout, impact-free workout such as rowing provides. The Concept2 Indoor Rower rapidly became the standard for wind-resistance indoor rowers.

In addition to his work at Concept2, Peter continues to row competitively both on and off the water, with some back country skiing for variety in the winter. He also makes time for painting and drawing and, at 55, is a novice piano student and closet accordion player.

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