A point which seems to be missed, particularly for newer rowers, but as
a result of the constant emphasis on leg-drive as the only way to move a
boat, is that unless the hands & arms are well-loaded there is no stroke.
Because that key point is so often missed, no wonder that new rowers
think you take the catch with the slide.
The inconvenient reality is that you take more of the length of your
stroke with your arms than with eight the legs (slides) or the back (swing).
Rowing began as a fixed-seat activity, involving arms & back with
relatively static legs providing the necessary reaction force. Sliding
seats provided a longer stroke arc, better suited to lightweight, longer
& faster shells since greater speed of action was needed to enable the
rower to sustain load on the blade & hence to do enough work in the time
available. But still the entire force generated must be transmitted to
the handle of the oar by 3 fingers of each hand, not by your rapidly
So catches matter & must of necessity begin with those 6 fingers being
loaded and moving bow-ward. Driving the legs is hardly likely to be the
best way to make that easy, early, fast & light initial water engagement
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing Low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: Harris Boatyard, Laleham Reach, Chertsey KT16 8RP, UK
& now on Facebook @ CarlDouglasRacingShells
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.