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Rowing Technique – fixed seat rowing skiff

Posted on 13th July 2020

Rowing a skiff should be a relaxing experience! it may take a while for it to be second nature, but here are a few important things to remember for the beginner.

The stroke

The oars (sculls or blades) will overlap in the middle of the rowing stroke; your left hand should be above your right as shown below.

Come forward to take a stroke with your arms straight, drop the blades into the water to take the catch with your arms extended, lean back into the stroke pulling your hands into your chest the end of the stroke.


Only the end of the blade should be immersed in the water during the drive – avoid digging the blades deep. Transfer as much effort as possible to the foot boards.


‘Feathering’ the blades

The oars are designed to feather, which mean the blades are parallel to the water in the stroke recovery. While this is not 100% necessary, once you’ve got used to it it’s much better technique and the oars work better in the Tholes (where the oars connect to the boat)

To feather, roll the handles of the oars round with your wrists as you finish the stroke and bring the blades out of the water. You can see this in the video above. Here is what it looks like at the ‘Tholes’.


A few more tips

The oars are extremely long (and are incidentally very expensive) make sure you ship the oars (bring them into the boat) as you approach anything like a bank, lock or boat. You can proceed with paddles.


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