Rowing Lingo

Keeping the boat set

Set - this is the term used to describe balance of the shell. There are several different factors, which contribute to the balance of the shell, as you will learn over time. (To list a couple of them: sitting straight over the keel versus leaning way out to one side or the other; going deep with the oar during the drive)

Set the boat - this is the command that the cox'n may often say during the learning stages of rowing. The cox'n is calling for the rowers to be aware of the balance of the shell.

Bow four, (or stern four), set the boat- this is what the cox'n will say when he or she wants the rowers in a

certain section of the boat to sit with their blades flat on the water (feathered position of the oar blade). It is most comfortable to sit about half way up the slide resting the oar handle on the thighs). This very important position allows the shell to maintain balance on the water while the other four rowers practice their stroke. Setting the boat is key to the learning process (of the other members of the crew) so everyone in the shell will learn how to do this first! What you will learn is that the oar handle needs to be keep fairly stiff or else it will bob up and down and the boat will be too tippy for the practice to proceed. By resting the oar handle on thighs, you can maintain a looser grip as you are locking the oar handle between your thighs and hands.

These descriptions may mean more to you after you have gone through the motions a couple times. If you don't understand…ask! Chances are you're not the only one that has the same question. Sometimes coaches inadvertently take things for granted and forget what it is like to be a beginner!

And remember, have fun!


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Sculling and Sweep Rowing
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