Shimano to introduce rowing equipment

Cycling, fishing, golfing...is rowing the next big thing?

According to Shimano, the Japanese manufacturer of cycling, fishing, golfing and snowboard gear is branching out into the rowing industry in 2009. Cross-training cyclists the world `round shall rejoice.

"To begin with, Shimano plans to develop and launch rowing shoes and foot stretchers during 2009, through effective use of its original technologies for producing cycling shoes and bicycle pedals," said Shimano president Yozo Shimano. "In five years, Shimano plans to grow its annual sales of rowing equipment to approximately 3 billion yen/US$28.5 million."

Rowing, along with bicycle racing, is among the first sports events adopted for the modern Olympic Games. Rowing is also an outdoor sport of high status and rich cultural background.

"To launch a rowing equipment business therefore complies with Shimano’s business philosophy: To promote health and happiness through enjoyment of nature and the world around us," Shimano added.

According to the company, Shimano will develop and supply high-quality rowing equipment that satisfies top rowers’ demands. Through these endeavors, Shimano hopes to help improve rowers’performance levels. At the same time, Shimano plans to supply products for beginners, so as to increase the number of rowers and foster the rowing culture.

In February 2008, Shimano purchased apparel company Pearl Izumi for nearly US $70 million.

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