Having been given the chance to photograph this year’s Pembroke Regatta, I thought I’d take you through some of the more typical manifestations of these so-called ‘pain-faces’, so that you can be prepared for Lent bumps, and all the photos it shall bring.

The Many Pain-faces of Rowing

1. The Angry Rower

A classic pain-face. Gritted teeth, terrifying expressions, looking like they want to murder the man/woman sitting in front. Stay out of their way, and give them quiet time after their race.

anger rower - pain face

2. The Balloon Rower

Another classic. Scientifically proven to make the boat go faster, the balloon pain-face does what it says in the tin. And does it in the least attractive manner possible.

balloon face rower - pain face

3. The Photogenic Rower

These rowers tend to know exactly where the camera is and how to time their smiles. Get your head back in the boat and look dreadful like the rest of us, for god’s sake.

photogenic rower - pain face

4. The Concerned Rower

Whether they’re worried about the way their race is going, or pondering whether Kant’s categorical imperatives really can be applied to a world void of an omnipotent god, the outcome is the same. A perfect mix of confusion and anxiety.

concerned rower - pain face

5. The Composed Rower

We don’t know how they do it, but, much to the annoyance of other boaties, these pain-faces manage to show no pain at all. Calm and collected, it is natural to question whether they are actually hurting at all. I dare you to ask them.

composed rower - pain face

6. The Bored Rower

This can apply to both rowers and coxes. Understandable really. Ooh, we’re in a boat. Exciting.

bored rower - pain face

7. The Tearful Rower

It’s just too much. Why am I in a boat? Why am I hurting? Why did I agree to this? A pain-face that says ‘please make it stop’ better than grunts ever could.

upset rower - pain face

8. The Damned Rower

They say the rower gives 84% of his body’s muscles to rowing; these boaties give their souls as well.

damned rower - pain face

9. The Accessorised Rower

accessorised rower - pain face
Fashion first lads. Rule one of rowing. Everybody knows that.

10. The (Misguided) Fashionista

Talking of fashion. This one isn’t really a pain face, but I thought I’d use this platform to broadcast a Public Service Announcement: JUST BECAUSE IT’S STASH THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT COOL.

Observe:

fashion faux-pas rower - pain face

11. The Possessed Rower

possessed rower - pain face

When you’re working so hard, you actually inherit the spirit of an aggressive supernatural being to pull through. Sadly, there is no correlation between this face and a faster boat.

And lastly,

12. The Face we all Strive for!

winning rower - pain face

Photo Credit: Girl on the River

That winning feeling is the reason we work so hard. Thank you, to the pain faces above for helping us get there – we are eternally grateful for the success you bring us, and of course, the laughs we get out of them along the way!

What is your rowing pain face?

We have done our best to cover as many faces as possible however, is there another face you make? We would love to see it!

Let us know in the comments, or send it to us via Facebook or Twitter!

Special thank you to Luke Naylor-Perrott and The Tab for providing us with the original version of this awesome post. Read the original here.

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