Drill to teach correct feather technique

Good posture, sweep rowing, at finish rowing

Following up from our article on Feathering on the recovery, Ian Smith, a reader sent us this super advice.

Good posture, sweep rowing, at finish rowing
Good posture at finish rowing

The Half Feather exercise

An exercise I have tried in both sculling and sweep is as follows.

When the rower reaches the release point ie the bottom rib area, half feather and hold the blade at 45* with the lower tip running on the water.

Sit in this position for a couple of seconds then move the hands around the turn and complete the feather.

This allows

  • a) the rower to sit in the correct position at the release,
  • b) to make the shape which releases the blade from the water and the boat from the blade and
  • c) allows the crew to start the recovery with a sitting boat and
  • d) gives a start point for the recovery.

Having observed many crews at all levels it is obvious that no one takes the blade out square but they end the draw, feather and start the recovery in one movement. This exercise allows all this to be done in an ordered way. I have tried it with crews of all levels from complete novice to experienced and have found it works in all situations and can be seen in the way the boat moves away from the release with good shape and rhythm.

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