Oartec was established in 2005 to manufacture the Simulator design for commercial availability. The Simulator was invented by former Australian rower Matt Roach, Oartec founder and current CEO, who started designing the Simulator while working as the head coach of a large school rowing program in Sydney Australia.
The first Simulators were manufactured and assembled in a small factory warehouse in Sydney and launched in Australia in March 2007. Many of the leading school programs were the first to buy and start to use the Simulator, and we are grateful for their early support. Increasing worldwide interest meant that manufacturing and exporting from Australia would not be viable in the long term, so we had to shift manufacturing overseas to reach the next level of production capacity.
In 2008 Oartec formed a manufacturing partnership with Evolution Technologies to build the Simulator in their Dongguan factory in southern China. The first Simulators were shipped to the US and Europe by mid 2008 and have been sold to rowing programs, gyms and homes throughout the world and continues to be appreciated by these different user bases.
In March 2009, we started working on a new dynamic rowing machine, the Oartec Slider. While dynamic rowing machines have been around for more than 20 years, at the time there were few options still commercially available.
With the acknowledgement by a number of the world’s leading coaches, sports scientists, physiotherapists and rowers that volume training on the stationary rowing machine was being attributed to an increase in the number of lower back injuries, we saw that the indoor rowing machine could only go one way in the future.
By June 2009 we had 3 presentable prototypes and set off through UK, Europe, USA and Australia to showcase this new machine for feedback and testing. The response was extremely encouraging and strong initial sales orders meant that we had to expand our manufacturing base again to meet the estimated production volume.
In August 2009, Oartec commenced a new manufacturing partnership with WaterRower USA, already a leading manufacturer and supplier of high quality rowing machines, to manufacture the Oartec Slider at their Rhode Island plant. Oartec benefits immensely from the resources, experience and manufacturing capacity of WaterRower as well as their long established and streamlined worldwide distribution network.
The first production Sliders were delivered to Australia in early February 2010 and sold to many of the Australian school rowing programs who replaced their existing rowing machines with the dynamic Slider. Since then we have sold the Slider to leading rowing programs around the world but are equally focused on delivering the best quality product, service and support to our individual customers also.
We have established Oartec as one of the world’s leading and innovative rowing brands and will continue to develop and produce rowing products that will make a difference. Our distributors and agents all have many years experience in rowing up to the highest level and we are proud to have them representing and endorsing the Oartec products.
We will continue to grow Oartec for the benefit of our customers and provide the rowing community with quality products for years to come.