Individual Technique

Boat Speed and Rowing Technique

Poor rowing technique can make it difficult to gain maximum boat speed and can cause the boat to slow down.

The following tables will help you to identify technique errors and offer ways to correct the problems. See the drills page for drills that will help with the proposed corrections.

Poor recovery

Problem: the boat dips to one side and rocks back as rowers start the recovery

Possible Causes Correction
One or more rowers fail to control the oar handle during the recovery. The handle moves up and down during the recovery and the blade may clip the water. Rowers should control the oar handle and move their hands away in a straight line from the finish position to the catch position.
One or more rowers lift their knees too early in the recovery forcing the handle up over the knees in the middle of the recovery. The rower may also lean to the side to get around the handle. After the finish, rowers should sit steady, keeping the legs flat, as the hands move away first and the body swings forward from the hips.
Rowers rush up the slide to get into the catch position. The boat “checks” or moves back toward the stern. Follow the set recovery sequence and relax as you move forward on the seat.
It is not necessary to pull against the foot straps or lunge forward.

Ineffective catch

Problem: the boat dips to one side and rocks back just as rowers drop the oars for the the catch

Possible Causes Correction
One or more rowers dip their hands at the catch. The coxswain may call “skying” as the blade goes up in the air. The boat will dip to the unbalanced side. Move the hands in a straight line from the finish position to the catch position. During the last part of the recovery, lift the hands slightly to allow the blade to enter the water.
Rowers lunge at the catch to get more reach. Forward momentum forces to boat to dip to one side. Rowers should set the forward body angle early in the recovery and keep forward as they move toward the catch.
One or more rowers “catch” with an under-square, partially feathered, blade. The blade goes deep and the rower may end up dropping the oar mid-stroke. Find the position of the oar sleeve when the blade is square and wrists are flat; turn the oar to this position early in the recovery.ld be sit tall and relaxed and move straight forward and back from the hips during the recovery and drive.
One or more rowers lifts the oar handle too high at the catch. The blade goes deep immediately and pulls the boat down on that side. To “catch”, lift the hands slightly to allow the blade to enter the water. No need to slam the blade into the water. Lock the blade in the water by pushing on the footboard immediately after the blade is in the water. Timing is critical here.
One or more rowers cock their wrists too far forward and over-square the blade making it impossible to “catch.” They may miss the stroke entirely. Ensure that wrists are flat when the blade is square.

Poor drive sequence

Problem: the boat dips to one side and rocks back just as rowers complete drive.

Possible Causes Correction
Rowers lift their hands through the drive or allow the blade to turn under the water during the drive. The blade goes deep through the middle of the drive. Drop the blade in at the catch when the blade is buried, no deeper, and hold the handle at that height throughout the drive.

Unbalanced finish

Problem: the boat dips to one side and rocks back at the finish.

Possible Causes Correction
One or more rowers pull the oar handle into the lap during the finish. The blade “washes out” at the finish. Rowers should pull straight through, with flat wrists, to the lower ribs before tapping the blade out of the water. Timing on the drive with legs, body and arms working together will help in executing a clean finish.
One or more rowers have a weak drive and or finish making it difficult to tap the blade out of the water. The blade gets caught in the water at the finish. Rowers should use the legs during the initial part of the drive and pull the handle in firmly at the finish. Tap down with the outside hand to clear the blade from the water.
One or more rowers lays back excessively making it difficult to get back up. Rowers may get caught behind the oar handle. Sit up straight, lay back into the bow 10 degrees or in the 11 o’clock position. The timing of the backward body swing it more important than the amount of swing.
Advertisements