Feathering on the recovery


Feathering on the drive and feathering into the body is the subject of this “dock talk” by Marlene Royle.

How to move the feather to the recovery

When our hands are coming in to the body you are on the drive, when they move away from the body you are on the recovery.

Marlene observed from her coaching

People initiated the release at the right moment but their weight was continuing into the bow as they feathered and that was making it too long and everyone lost suspension at that point.

The “King of the Mountain” drill is covered in detail in Troy Howell’s ebook – Achieving Ease and Comfort in the Boat.

Sculling Release Drill

The goal of the drill is to hold the suspension through the follow-through and not to use the body weight through the transition.  This is the drill we worked on – it may take you all season to perfect this in your single or double. If you can do this in your double or quad together then you’ll win races.

The purpose is to go through the drill without the riggers moving. This is how we learn to row with the blades off the water. It’s also how we learn to row in rough water.

Do 4 or 5 repeats and then row off. Do it while resting between pieces. Do it frequently. And do it with one hand if you can’t do it with two hands. Release and then feather away from your body.

Make your release and then feather with the top of the blade moving towards the bow.

Sculling oar extract at finish, Marlene Royle. Marlene demonstrates the sculling oar extraction from the water with one hand.

sculling oar extraction at the finish, Marlene Royle The handle drops and the oar comes above the water surface.

sculling oar finish tutorial, Marlene Royle The oar feathers once clear of the water surface – handle stays at the same height

sculling finish exercise, Marlene Royle. Added bonus – Marlene demonstrates an open palm grip on the handle which is another useful exercise for the sculling finish.

If you have a speed coach or the crew nerd app – put it onto meters per second you can see quickly any speed changes that you do. When you nail the release, you’ll both both go faster.

More Resources from Rowperfect

Faster Masters Episode 3 – Drills For Improving Bladework


Subscribe to our Newsletter for more information:

Our Rowing Network

Did you like this post? Support this blog and our network by donating

Feel like Rowing again? Visit the Shop at coastal-boats.eu!

Accessories, equipment, boats, clothing

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Ian Smith

    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.

    1. Rebecca Caroe

      Ian – thanks for this – great recommendation!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Whether it’s sports, nutrition or equipment, you’ll find what you’re looking for in one of these categories


Everything about rowing – browse through our large archive or search for articles of your choice


Search Blog


Rowing Network

Do you like our posts? Support this blog and our network by donating


Get all latest content and news!