The Ultimate Coxswain Gift Guide

As a coxswain, you may wonder what to ask for as a gift-giving event like a holiday or your birthday nears. Relatives, friends, and significant others may wonder what to get the coxswain in their life. While you certainly don’t need most of the items below in order to perform the duties of a coxswain, holidays, birthdays, and other celebrations can be excellent opportunities to upgrade your coxing game. The people in your life want to give you gifts that you’ll actually use; sometimes all that’s needed is to point them towards the right thing to get.

 

We’ve categorized the following items into clothing, tools, books, experiences, and other miscellaneous items. Each item falls into one of three price tiers:

  1. $ - If you’re on a tight budget or are working with a price maximum for a team-wide gift exchange, there are lots of useful items that can be purchased for under $20 USD.

  2. $$ - This mid-range tier has a ton of potential for making serious improvements to your coxing life.

  3. $$$ - If someone wants to spend big on a coxswain gift (think $250+ USD), there are a lot of meaningful places they can direct those funds.

 

Where possible, we’ve also provided links to places where you can purchase these items online. These should not be considered an endorsement of any particular product or store, unless explicitly stated. We encourage you to support companies that align with your values!

 

 

Clothing

Dressing for success is critical for being the best coxswain that you can be. If you’re dressed appropriately for the weather, you’ll be able to focus on delivering what your boat needs. Conversely, if you can’t steer well because you dropped your sunglasses in the water and are holding one hand up to shield your eyes, or if you slowly start succumbing to hypothermia during a long, cold practice, you certainly won’t be coxing at your best, and you may even hurt yourself or others. This section outlines ideas for apparel items that would make great gifts for a coxswain.

 

Waterproof Jacket

Price: $$

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/514953?page=waterproof-jackets 

If we were to label any clothing item as a must-have for coxswains, it would probably be a waterproof jacket. These items are made by rowing and non-rowing companies alike. Look for a jacket that is fully composed of waterproof material; beware the kinds that have ordinary fabric panels on the side and boast features rowers might want like “breathability” or “flexibility.” You’ll also want to look for a model that has zippered pockets, so that anything you bring out on the water with you can be protected. If you plan to use the same jacket for rowing and for avoiding the rain in your regular life, be aware that getting constantly splashed with water can make fabrics smell, and that being in the rowing environment risks getting things like stains or tears on your clothing. With that in mind, if you have a rain jacket for everyday wear that you already love, you may want to ask for a coxing-specific jacket in your life.

 

Waterproof Pants

Price: $$

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/121906?page=mens-trail-model-rain-pants-mens-regular

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/122082?page=trail-model-rain-pants-misses 

Waterproof pants are useful for all types of coxing, especially in bowloaded boats and in rainy climates. Even on a sunny day in a stern-coxed boat, these can totally save you in those instances when a wake comes over the gunwale of your boat. When looking to invest in a pair of waterproof pants, look for a style that has zippered pockets, which increases the number of things you can bring with you on the water without worrying about losing them. Also consider that this may be your outermost layer on a cold day, so you may opt to purchase a larger size than a company’s size chart suggests for your body measurements. If you want waterproof features and also warmth, you may consider going for snow pants.

 

Survival Suit

Price: $$$

https://regattanorthwest.com/products/regatta-active-911-flotation-suit

A survival suit, also called a safety suit or floatsuit, can be a game-changer for coxswains who are routinely on the water in cold weather. Those who have coxed in freezing weather without one of these have no doubt had the experience of bundling up 7 or 8 layers deep just to survive on a cold morning. If you spend several months of the year coxing in temperatures below 45°F, this could be a worthwhile investment for you. Survival suits also have tons of pockets for you to store your phone, keys, wrenches, tissues, gloves, sunglasses, extra spacers, and anything else you might want to keep safe and nearby during a practice.

 

Sunglasses Strap

Price: $

https://www.amazon.com/Eyeglass-Adjustable-Glasses-Sunglass-Retainer/dp/B097Y4LC12/ 

A game-changing yet extremely cheap item. If you’ve ever unwillingly sacrificed a pair of sunglasses to the bottom of your body of water because you lost track of them as you tried to climb out of the boat and onto the dock on a shady day, you’re well acquainted with the pain that this simple item can help prevent.

 

Polarized Sunglasses

Price: $$-$$$

https://www.smithoptics.com/en_US/sunglasses-water/ 

https://www.pitviper.com/collections/polarized

https://www.oakley.com/en-us/category/sunglasses/sport?show=Page&q=%3AoakleyRelevanceSort%3AoakleyLensTechnologyFacet%3APOLARIZED 

If you frequently lose your sunglasses to the river/lake/reservoir/ocean, you may have opted to cox only in those cheap plastic sunglasses that you get as free swag at events, emblazoned with the logo of a random company. If you haven’t tried polarized sunglasses before, you’ll find that their glare reduction properties completely transform your experience on the water, reducing the need to squint against the sun’s reflections. In the long term, foregoing the protection of polarized sunglasses can cause permanent damage to your eyes.

 

Hardshell Sunglasses Case

Price: $-$$

https://www.oakley.com/en-us/product/WA494C 

We all know that our crew bags take a beating as we drag them to practices and regattas, so if you happen to have recently upgraded your sunglasses (see above), they deserve better than to be tossed inside a backpack to jostle around with everything else that’s in there. If you’re purchasing online, make sure to measure your sunglasses and compare them to the dimensions cited in the listing, to be sure that they’ll actually fit inside the case when folded up.

 

Flip-Flops

Price: $-$$

https://www.amazon.com/Crocs-Womens-Kadee-Ii-Flip/dp/B010123EWM/ 

If you’ve tried to get away with using cheap flip-flops while coxing, you may have encountered the reality that after walking around all day at a regatta these can seriously hurt your feet, and eventually the bottoms may become so smooth that you nearly slip to your death a few times on the dock—talk about circumstances that distract from doing your job as a coxswain. The item listed here is the current favorite of CoxPod host Breana. If you frequently wet launch in an area that has sharp shells or rocks with barnacles on the seafloor, having water-hardy shoes like this to wade out in while protecting your feet can be helpful.

 

Waterproof Boots

Price: $$-$$$

https://www.sorel.com/c/women/all-boots/winter-boots/

https://www.sorel.com/c/mens-winter-boots/ 

Quality winter boots that can keep you warm and dry in the coxswain seat or on the launch during cold months are another item that can level up your coxing game. You shouldn’t count on being able to use these in circumstances other than coxing—footwear that gets soaked with river water on the daily usually comes to smell irreparably bad.

 

Wool Socks

Price: $-$$

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/32996?page=merino-wool-ragg-sock-10-two-pack 

Whether you have waterproof boots or not, wool socks can do a lot to keep you warm when coxing in cold weather. Wool is designed to keep you warm even when it gets wet. Looking for a vegan alternative? Check out these options: https://www.worldofvegan.com/vegan-wool-socks/ 

 

High-Visibility Gear

Price: $$

https://jlathletics.com/collections/high-visibility 

If you cox during the dawn or dusk hours, don’t underestimate the power of high visibility fabrics. These are fabrics in colors like highlighter yellow, orange, or pink, and are often expressly labeled as “hi-viz” or “hi-vis.” Under conditions of low light, they live up to their name by making you much more visible, and it’s easy to see how that can benefit you in terms of safety when you’re sitting in a stern-coxed boat or are riding on the launch. If you’re asking for an outer layer of clothing as a gift, like a vest or jacket, consider specifying that you’d like one in a high visibility color.

 

Cold-Weather Layers

Price: $$

https://www.crewroom.co.uk/collections/womens-hoodies 

https://www.crewroom.co.uk/collections/mens-hoodies 

Coxswains at the start of their careers in a cold climate may need to expand their collection of base layers for staying warm at practices and races. There is a lot of variability in price here: at the cheap end, you could build out a very respectable collection just from the clearance athletic attire sections of stores like Ross, TJ or TK Maxx, Marshalls, Target, Goodwill, etc. At the expensive end, you could ask for cold-weather gear from companies that specialize in it, like Patagonia or Columbia. If you feel like you don’t have enough clothing to get through every practice you have between laundry days in the winter months, or if you’ve found yourself freezing on the launch in a cotton hoodie because that’s the warmest thing you own, this would be a great gift idea to add to your list. CoxPod hosts Sally and Breana are fans of the Crewroom brand linked above.

 

UV-Shielding Shirt

Price: $$

https://www.rei.com/product/203303/tyr-sundefense-hooded-shirt-womens

https://www.rei.com/product/203290/tyr-sundefense-hooded-shirt-mens 

Conversely to the above situations, maybe you cox a lot closer to the equator and have no need for survival suits, winter boots, and multiple layers of clothing. If you’re looking for protection from the sun without extra bulk, you might explore something like the long-sleeved, hooded shirts linked above, which are designed to protect you from UV rays while remaining light weight and breathable.

 

Unisuit

Price: $$

https://jlathletics.com/collections/womens-unisuits 

https://jlathletics.com/collections/mens-unisuits

Unis aren’t always something that coxswains readily consider a useful item in their wardrobe. However, unis have a couple of advantages. Being one piece, they reduce the problem you may have experienced in stern-loaded boats where your shirt starts to ride up your back. They also enable you to dress like an athlete in our sport, which creates an air of professionalism when you’re among rowers, without you even having said a word to them yet. You’ll likely have to buy a uni from your team in order to race in, but if you find you like the upsides that they offer, lots of companies offer unis that you can purchase online or at regattas, ranging from simple ones that are relatively cheap, to fancier ones with elaborate designs.

 

Headsweat

Price: $

https://jlathletics.com/collections/headwear 

These caps are a coxing staple for a reason. They’re breathable, easy to clean, and their flexible shape means they conform nicely to smaller heads (you may know the struggle). They block out the sun, and are much better than a regular baseball cap made out of thick fabric, which will get soaked with the first wake that comes over the gunnels. Visors are another popular option, but you may prefer a full-fledged hat for its superior sun protection.

 

Warm Winter Hat

Price: $

https://jlathletics.com/collections/headwear 

Got a relative who knits or crochets and who wants to make you something? Here’s a gift idea you can point them towards. In cold weather, having something that covers your ears is critical. If you find it awkward to manage wearing a warm hat, headsweat, and your coxing headset, you could pare down a bit and explore the headsweat-plus-fleece-lined-headband combo. Bonus points if you then put a GoPro on top of it all!

 

Neck Gaiter

Price: $-$$

https://www.rei.com/c/neck-gaiters 

This simple item serves the need of covering your neck when you’re out on the water, which even zipping your jackets all the way up can’t often do. Gaiters are superior to traditional scarves, which can unfurl and blow away into the water, never to be seen again. The alternative would be to try an infinity scarf, but those are often designed to be fashionable rather than warm. For very cold weather, you can buy a fleece gaiter.

 

Coxing-themed Clothing

Price: $$

https://www.rowsource.com/shop 

If you want non-rowing people in your life to look at your t-shirt ask you “What the heck is cox?” ask someone to gift you one of these.

 

Bargain Bin Clothing

Price: $-$$

https://jlathletics.com/collections/bargain

Most regatta apparel companies will have a “bargain bin” of sorts at their tent, full of heavily discounted items. Most of the time these items are perfectly fine, and may be from a prior year of that regatta (which you may have attended anyway!), for a random team that placed a custom order, or just something that’s on its way out as they make room for new items. Nowadays, many companies also have these items listed for purchase on their websites.

 

Vespoli Booties

Price: $

https://store.vespoli.com/Bootie-Pr-p110230317 

If you cox in the cold and your team has a strict no-shoes-in-the-boat rule that includes you, purchasing a pair of these could be a good idea. See if you can find them lying unused around your boathouse first!

 

Hairties

Price: $

Hair issues can interfere with practice when a coxswain forgets a hat, doesn’t have any way to tie up their hair, and isn’t willing to wear the mic headband over their hair for fear of ruining it. Steering with one hand while you hold the mic all practice makes you look unprepared and unprofessional, and ensures that you aren’t coxing at your best. Keeping a stash of hairties on hand prevents this. Even if you don’t have long hair of your own, they’re also handy to have for when rowers need them. A next-level coxswain is one who can be the savior by immediately having an answer when you shove off the dock and someone in the middle of the boat goes: “Oh no—does anyone have a hairtie?” In a race situation, being able to solve that problem could further benefit you by enabling one of your rowers to focus on performing at their best. Plus, in an absolute pinch these can be used as a makeshift spacer.

 

Heated Vest

Price: $$

https://www.amazon.com/usb-heated-vest/s?k=usb+heated+vest

CoxPod listeners will know how much host Sally hates the cold, and using a USB-heated vest is one of her strategies for overcoming that!

 

 

 

Tools

Next to clothing, tools are another vital set of items that enable you to do your job as a coxswain. These can range from cheap items that any coxswain would get use out of, like wrenches, to expensive items that seasoned coxswains may want to add to their toolboxes, like a CoxBox. You’ll find something for every price range and experience level here, but any of these will help you be a stronger coxswain.

 

Wrenches

Price: $

https://www.lowes.com/pl/7-16-in--Combination-wrenches-sets-Wrenches-wrench-sets-Hand-tools-Tools/4294607673

https://www.homedepot.com/b/Tools-Hand-Tools-Wrenches-Combination-Wrenches/N-5yc1vZc23n 

Having your own tools as a coxswain is a cost-effective way to step up your game, and it will benefit coxswains at any level of experience. Make sure to identify them in some way if you want to have any hope of seeing them again after lending them to a rower—duct tape with a unique pattern or electrical tape in a unique combination of colors can serve that purpose.

 

Rowing Multi-Tools

Price: $$

https://jlathletics.com/collections/accessories/products/multi-function-coxwains-tool-metric-2688277 

Rowing-specific multi-tools are a great item for a coxswain to have on hand. These cost more than regular wrenches but have huge advantages, one of course being that they offer every type of wrench you may need in the boat, within a single device. Note that these multi-tools will be sized according to standard or metric measurements, so consider the brands of boats that you cox most often before you decide which one to buy or request as a gift.

 

Spacer Tool

Price: $-$$

Whirling Girl: iamthegirl@whirlinggirl.com 

This tool is indispensable on a masters team and among any group where athletes may struggle with the finger strength and dexterity needed to pop off a spacer while leaning out of the boat on the water.

 

Waterproof Watch

Price: $-$$

A watch is a critical piece of coxing gear to have, no matter who you cox for, how experienced you are, or what types of coxing situations you find yourself in. Luckily, for how much this item can strengthen your coxing game, it doesn’t have to break the bank. A good tip is to go to a store like Target and look for sport watches with a clearance sticker. Pick a cheap one that is waterproof and has a timing function. That way, if it gets lost, dies in excessive humidity, or suffers some other fate, you won’t be out too much money.

 

CoxBox/CoxOrb

Price: $$$

https://nksports.com/category-all-products/coxbox-gps 

https://active-tools.com/index.php/products/coxorb 

If you’re coxing for a team in any capacity, it’s reasonable to expect that they will provide you with the equipment to do your job. However, if you find that you’re starting to branch out in your coxing career and are doing a lot of traveling and guest coxing for a variety of teams, owning your own CoxBox/CoxOrb can be a way to step up your game.

 

SpeedCoach/Coxmate

Price: $$$

https://nksports.com/speedcoach-gps-2 

https://www.coxmate.com.au/product/coxmate-gps-2/?v=ef10366317f4 

If a CoxBox/CoxOrb is too pricey, but you’re still looking for something that can level up your coxing game, a SpeedCoach or similar tool can help you to do that. These devices don’t offer voice amplification, but can display splits, rate, and other useful information that you can provide to your crew.

 

Spare CoxBox Battery/Charger

Price: $$

https://nksports.com/category-all-products?sp_product_type=622 

If you want to level up your coxing game but don’t need to commit to owning a whole CoxBox, a more affordable option would be to own a spare battery. When our devices fail on us in the field, a lot of times it’s a malfunctioning battery. Carrying this simple item at regattas and practices might save you in that circumstance when a team gives you a box that they swear they totally charged, and it dies on you in the warmup. With properly functioning equipment, you’re best enabled to do your job on the water.

 

Harness and Speakers

Price: $$

https://nksports.com/category-all-products?sp_product_type=623 

If you want to go full professional coxswain, traveling with your own harness and speakers is the way to do it—it’s what CoxPod host Sally does! If you are ready to be a totally self-sufficient, coxswain-in-a-suitcase when you travel, this is how to get there.

 

CoxBox Maintenance Kit

Price: $$

https://nksports.com/audio-system-maintenance-kit_1 

Looking for a lower cost way to up your game? Even if you don't have your own CoxBox, you may consistently use the same box at your club, or you may just want to be that heroic coxswain who takes responsibility for cleaning all of the team's CoxBoxes by taking them home with you one at a time and returning them in upgraded shape.

 

Solar-Powered CoxBox Charger

Price: $$

https://nksports.com/solar-charger_1 

There’s nothing worse than when your CoxBox dies at a regatta, where you’re usually in the middle of nature with no power outlets to be found. This solar-powered charger has the potential to save you in those situations.

 

Floaties

Price: $

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071H1ZTGG 

It’s a good idea to keep one of these heavy-duty floaties attached to your tools, so that you can feel confident that if you hand them to a rower or drop them in the water yourself, they won’t plummet to the bottom of the river. On your floaty you can write your name and contact info in permanent marker, so that if you ever lose your tools at a regatta, they have a chance of getting back to you.

 

Head Lamp

Price: $$

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/507967?page=headlamps 

If you cox morning practices and launch from an area without good lighting, like an outdoor rack, wearing a head lamp is a great trick for coxswains and rowers alike. It allows you to do what you need to do with your hands, like carry tons of gear and water bottles, while offering the added safety of visibility. As a bonus, you can also wear a headlamp backwards in the boat to serve as a solid white stern light.

 

GoPro

Price: $$$

https://gopro.com/ 

If someone is looking to spend a fair bit of money on you and you want the biggest bang for your buck in terms of upping your coxing game, a GoPro is a great option. Remember that someone doesn’t have to purchase a brand new copy of the latest generation, either—don’t be afraid to give the used market a try! The key accessories that you’ll need with a GoPro are a head mount and floating holder. These devices take great race and practice footage. They can help you to create a professional coxing reel for recruiting purposes, and get exciting footage for your team to view after the race and use on social media or in promotional materials. Probably most importantly, they enable you to get practice and race recordings which you can later review. Having accompanying video certainly isn’t necessary to get something out of recordings, but it doesn’t hurt to be able to watch the bladework or your steering in tandem with hearing how you called a practice or a race.

 

Waterproof Box

Price: $$

https://www.rei.com/product/778217/pelican-1050-case-with-carabiner 

Coxswains commonly carry fanny packs or other sorts of cloth zippered containers, but the advantages of an item with a plastic exterior and waterproof capabilities are obvious. In a box like this a coxswain can store tools, extra spacers and other equipment, medical tape, their phone, athlete’s inhalers, and any measure of other items they want to keep nearby and dry while on the water. 

 

Index Cards

Price: $

Index cards are useful for noting your race plan and other key information you’ll want to reference at regattas. They’re also useful for writing down lineups and other information you may want to remember at a practice. While you’re at it, why not ask for some cool pens for writing on your cards, too?

 

Waterproof Notebook

Price: $ 

https://www.riteintherain.com/3x5-top-spiral-notebook 

https://fieldnotesbrand.com/products/expedition 

https://www.amazon.com/Indestructible-Waterproof-Tearproof-Weatherproof-Notebook/dp/B07488952B?th=1 

There isn’t a coxing resource out there that doesn’t talk about the importance of keeping a notebook. If you plan on taking notes of any kind in the boat, there’s just no sense in bringing a regular paper notebook in there—it will almost definitely be a soggy, smelly mess by the time you get back to the dock.

 

Regular Notebook

Price: $

https://www.amazon.com/Coxing-Notebook-Coxswains-Coaches-Workouts/dp/1546843558 

If you plan to save your note-taking until you’re off the water, the Short & Snarky Coxswains have a bunch of cute coxing-related notebooks for sale on Amazon.

 

Dry Bag

Price: $-$$

https://shop.usrowing.org/products/usrowing-dry-bag 

https://www.rowperfect.co.uk/product/rowtex-rowing-dry-bags/ 

https://www.rowperfect.co.uk/product/wigglefish-dry-bag-medium/ 

This type of item is indispensable for anyone in the rowing world. They work great for protecting your belongings on land (during a regatta where it pours rain all day, for example), and they work great in the boat too. Being the coxswain who can say “no problem, I’ve got it” when a rower realizes after shoving off the dock that their keys and phone were still in the waistband of their shorts, can take you to the next level in the eyes of your rowers.

 

Voice Recorder

Price: $$

https://www.amazon.com/Zoom-H1n-Handy-Recorder-Model/dp/B078PTM82R 

Every coxswain dreads it and every coxing resource says it: recording yourself is a way to get better at your craft. There are lots of alternatives to purchasing a standalone audio recorder (using your phone or a GoPro that also captures video, for example), but you may find you like using a dedicated audio recording device. Be sure to research its waterproof capabilities, or come up with ways to keep it safe from the elements, such as by using the item below.

 

Waterproof Phone Case

Price: $

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P0B42QM/ 

This is one of the most cost-effective and multi-purpose tools you could have as a coxswain. If you’re relying on the old strategy of putting your phone inside a bunch of plastic bags and hoping for the best, this is a cheap but eminently useful upgrade. Be sure to search for one that floats and includes a lanyard. You can use your phone inside one of these cases to capture race and practice recordings without needing to own another device just for that purpose. Your phone can also be useful in an emergency where you need to get in touch with your coach or with local authorities, or even if you just need to take a fun picture of your boat for the team Instagram.

 

Crew Bag/Backpack

Price: $$

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/816?page=school-backpacks-and-lunch-boxes 

https://www.thenorthface.com/shop/equipment-backpacks 

https://www.patagonia.com/shop/luggage-backpacks 

Coxswains, probably more than anyone else, have to lug the most stuff to practices and races. You might start a chilly fall racing day with five layers on the top and bottom and end in one, so all those peeled off layers need to go somewhere. Waterproof capability is a huge plus when it comes to these items.

 

Lock for Crew Bag

Price: $

https://www.amazon.com/Padlock-Combination-Employee-Outdoor-Resettable/dp/B00W20V4N8/ 

This doubles as a great lock for regular gym-going purposes or for boathouses that have temporary (or permanent) locker storage you can use for practice. If you’re at an international regatta and have critical items like your passport, credit cards, or phone in your bag, locking those things up can give you peace of mind so you can focus on your race.

 

Waterproof Cover for Crew Bag

Price: $

https://www.amazon.com/Unigear-Waterproof-Ultraportable-Anti-Slip-Integrated/dp/B07PZ7ST2G/ 

If you already have a backpack that you love using for crew but you want to level it up to survive heavy rain while you walk around a regatta, this is an excellent investment. Note that this kind of cover is designed to cover the exposed parts of the backpack while you wear it, so if you’re looking for something that will protect it from rain while it’s at your team tent better than the old garbage bag method, you may want to look for a different item or purchase two of these to layer in opposite directions to fully cover your bag.

 

Medical Tape

Price: $

Every rower loves a coxswain who carries medical tape and lets them liberally use it to cover their blisters. This is a low-cost gift that you can stock up on and keep with you in the boat.

 

Electrical Tape

Price: $

You can use this to affix bow cards, patch up scratchy wiring, create an emergency spacer, and who knows how many other circumstances where electrical tape has been called into action.

 

Sunscreen

Price: $

Don’t forget that even though we may be bundled up or out in the dark a lot of the time, coxswains always have at least some exposed skin. Wanting to invest in a fancy face sunscreen but don’t want to splurge on it yourself? Gift-giving occasions are the time to request it! You should also consider getting a chapstick with SPF in it for use on the water. Similarly, if insects love you, bug spray is a must at every regatta. If you’re flying to coxing gigs, ask for travel sizes of these items!

 

Safety Pins

Price: $

One of your CoxPod hosts learned her lesson to carry her own safety pins the year that she opened her race packet for Head of the Charles and discovered that it only contained one safety pin...and the team was launching from CRI. For only a few bucks, you can ensure you’re never in that situation (again).

 

Spacers/Washers

Price: $

https://www.rowperfect.co.uk/buying-guide-height-adjustment-washers/ 

Your team should have a supply of these on hand for you to keep in your coxing gear, but if you’re looking for a cheap gift that will no doubt come in handy sometime on the water, keeping your own stock of these is a great idea!

 

Nuts/Bolts/Washers

Price: $

Same as the above, this is something your team should be able to supply you with, but an item like this makes a great request for a team gift exchange with an upper price limit.

 

Bow Lights

Price: $$

https://rowkraft.com/product-category/beacons/

If your team goes out in the dark, they should be providing you with this critical safety item. If your team equipment is unreliable, you do a lot of guest coxing, or you simply want to have your own set of lights, these are the industry standard.

 

Hand Warmers

Price: $-$$

https://www.amazon.com/OCOOPA-10000mAh-Rechargeable-Electric-Outdoors/dp/B08DJ5B94G/ 

Hand warmers are a super useful item for cold-weather coxing. CoxPod host Sally uses a USB-charging one, which is a great way to reduce waste from single-use items.

 

 

 

Books/Resources

 

The Short and Snarky Guide to Coxing and Rowing by the Short and Snarky Coxswains

Price: $$

https://www.amazon.com/Short-Snarky-Guide-Coxing-Rowing/dp/1500906107

This is one of the best books about coxing skills. True to their name, the Short and Snarky Coxswains deliver tons of useful coxing information with a sharp wit and a level of realism that masters coxswains in particular are likely to appreciate.. If you find yourself having to develop erg workouts a lot, their Erg Book is also a great purchase.

 

The Down and Dirty Guide to Coxing by George Kirschbaum

Price: $$

http://www.thecoxguide.com/product/the-down-and-dirty-guide-to-coxing/ 

This is one of the first books to enter the coxing literature scene, and includes useful illustrations of concepts like docking.

 

The Coxswain’s Encyclopedia by Margot Zalkind, Stew Stokes, and Laura Simon

Price: $-$$

https://www.amazon.com/Coxswain-Encyclopedia-Margot-Zalkind-ebook/dp/B009ABTZ74 

https://nksports.com/coxswain-encyclopedia_1 

Available in e-book and physical book form, this is indeed a comprehensive look at coxing that is packed with useful tips.

Coaching the Coxswain by Chelsea Dommert

Price: $

https://www.rowperfect.co.uk/product/coaching-the-coxswain-chelsea-dommert/ 

This e-book is written by a Division I coxswain and is targeted towards coaches. However, if you don’t have the type of coach who would read a book like this, there is a ton of information to be gleaned even from a coxswain’s perspective. Some of the information from the book is presented in blog form at https://coachingthecox.com/

 

Nonfiction and Fiction Rowing Books

Price: $-$$

https://readyallrow.org/books-on-rowing-pt-1/

https://readyallrow.org/books-on-rowing-pt-2/ 

There’s a decent number of nonfiction and fiction books about rowing out there, many of which include at least brief depictions of coxing. If you’re purchasing a gift for a coxswain who loves to read, try one of these!

 

Technical Rowing Books

Price: $-$$

Good coxswains are often described as “students of the sport.” This can entail learning about rowing beyond the parts that are specific to coxing. Popular titles include Rowing Faster by Volker Nolte and The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Rigging by Mike Davenport.

 

 

 

Experiences

Some gift-givers like the idea of gifting experiences rather than physical items. Luckily, there are plenty of experiences that would enhance your coxing abilities, which you can request from these types of individuals.

 

Travel to a Regatta

Price: $$-$$$

If someone is looking to really splurge on you and money is no object to them, a great gift would be a trip to a serious regatta where you can observe top coxswains in their element—and hey, you could potentially land yourself a coxing gig there and not just be an observer! Popular choices in North America would include things like the Head of the Charles Regatta or Canadian Henley; from some parts of the country, you could catch a very reasonably priced bus ride or flight to Boston or St. Catharines. If you expand your options beyond North America, amazing international regattas would include the Henley Royal Regatta in the UK, or wherever the various forms of the World Championships are being hosted.

 

Coxing Courses/Camps

Price: $$$

https://sparksrowing.com/rowing-camps/camps/coxswains-only-challenge-us 

https://www.rowcamp.com/programs 

These courses vary in price and format, and it's important to emphasize that you can absolutely become a successful coxswain without spending any money on these kinds of offerings. But if someone is willing to spend money on you and you'd like to take a dedicated course, absolutely go for it!

 

Rowing Camps

Price: $$$

Camps targeted for the rowing community at large are offered by organizations like Nike or individual universities, and are most often designed for high school athletes. It is likely hit or miss how much dedicated coaching you'll receive at a camp like this. Asking other coxswains who have gone to a particular camp will help give you an idea. As with other suggestions in this article, if it's someone else's money and they don't mind spending it on your development as an athlete in this sport, by all means go to a camp! Even if you don't receive any dedicated coaching of your coxing skills, getting time in the seat in a new environment and experiencing a variety of coaching styles and approaches will definitely strengthen you as a coxswain. You'll be able to come back to your home club with an expanded technical skillset, a wider vocabulary, and more situational experience.

 

Individual Coxswain Consulting

Price: $$-$$$

https://www.chattercox.com/coaching-options 

https://thecoxhub.co.uk/club-partnership/ 

https://sparksrowing.com/coxswain-coaching 

https://readyallrow.org/work-with-me/ 

There are a number of organizations and individuals out there who offer personal coxswain coaching. If someone is looking to purchase a meaningful experience to support your coxing development, and especially if you aren’t getting much coaching in your day-to-day team environment, this could be a great option. 

 

CPR/First Aid Course

Price: $$

Your CoxPod hosts have seen rowers and coxswains suffering both hypothermia and heat exhaustion in our years of coxing and coaching. It is seriously helpful to be able to recognize the signs of these types of extreme weather-related ailments (in addition to other health problems that come up in the sport) and be able to respond appropriately until skilled medical help arrives. Even at a regatta where you’re surrounded by other boats, you are the person in authority who has their finger on the pulse of what’s going on with each of the rowers in your boat. You may be the only one in a position to notice that one of your rowers is suddenly incoherent, or is shaking uncontrollably, or has lost all of the color in their face and hands. Having first aid certification could literally save someone’s life, so a gift-giver couldn’t go wrong with buying this for you.

 

Rowing Conference

Price: $$$

While there isn’t a coxswain-specific conference (yet!), most rowing conferences have at least one or two panels that address coxing issues. Beyond that, you are sure to learn a ton about rowing. Even conferences marketed towards coaches will offer many presentations about rowing technique and other topics that could be useful to you as a coxswain. Further, you’ll have networking opportunities. Popular conferences in the United States include the USRowing National Convention and Joy of Sculling. As with the idea of a regatta trip, a gift-giver could choose to subsidize part of your trip, like your registration, travel, or lodging, or all of it!

 

USRowing Championship Membership

Price: $$

A top-tier membership to your national rowing organization may be a requirement for participation in some large regattas; if you want to cox at an event like Masters Nationals or the World Rowing Masters Regatta, you’ll need a championship membership. In many circumstances it’s well within reason to ask the team you’re coxing for to cover this cost for you, but it also makes a good gift request.

 

Sculling Lessons

Price: $$-$$$

If you are looking to get a stronger understanding of rowing by getting out in a boat by yourself, sculling in a single is a good way to do this. Taking individual (or group) sculling lessons gives you a safe space to develop boat feel, which can help expand your understanding of the stroke from the rower’s’ perspective, and diversify your technical calls.

 

Personal Trainer or Nutritionist

Price: $$-$$$

If you want to level up your own fitness or nutrition game, a few sessions with a personal trainer or a consultation with a nutritionist would make an excellent gift.

 

Speech Therapy

Price: $$-$$$

If you find yourself losing your voice constantly as a result of coxing, you may benefit from a consultation with an otorhinolaryngologist, or speech-language pathologist who specializes in voice issues. This is something we discussed in Episode 019, where we interviewed speech-language pathologist Linda Guida.

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

 

Life Paraphernalia, but for Coxing/Rowing

Price: $-$$

Do you need a new coffee mug? A tote bag? A keychain? Stickers for your laptop? If you’re thinking of getting one of these items anyway, pointing the gift-givers in your life towards opportunities to support the rowing community is an awesome idea. You can also find these sorts of items on websites like Etsy.

 

Jewelry

Price: $-$$

https://www.rubinijewelers.com/collections/rowing-jewelry

https://www.rowingjewelry.com/ 

There are several makers of lovely rowing-themed jewelry out there, including coxing-specific pieces.

 

Merch from Your Favorite Boat Brand

Price: $-$$

Are you #vespoligang, #empachergang, #pocockgang, or something else? Let your gift-giver know that you want to rep your squad.

 

Snacks for Regattas/Long Practices

Price: $

This is a good low-cost item for something like a team gift exchange. Nonperishable, individually packaged foods can last a long time, so even if you’re requesting these items in the winter months, they’ll potentially still be in good shape when your first spring regatta rolls around. Not loving the impact on the environment? Ask for a set of Tupperware that you can fill with bulk foods for when you travel.

 

Spotify Premium

Price: $$

https://www.spotify.com/us/premium/ 

Not only will this make your regatta travel and pre-race music listening sessions more pleasant, it’s a big advantage to be the coxswain who has ad-free Spotify during winter training. Rowers will be clamoring for you to be the one who plugs your phone in with the aux cord (also a good gift idea). Plus, you can listen to CoxPod on that platform if you so choose!

 

Got any additions to make to this list? Let us know by contacting us here on the site, in our Slack community, or on social media!