Help I am moving my steering toe too much

I am the steersman for my crew.  And I find that I am moving my toe steering too much.

I have a really bad habit of getting a good point originally, but then moving my feet without noticing and going towards port. I’ve asked about locking the toe steering but my coach isn’t a fan. Advice?

I have a better solution than locking the steering.

Rowing toe steering
Rowing toe steering

Try to work out where in the stroke your foot moves the steering wires – I’ll hazard a guess it’s during the transition from power phase to recovery.

  1. finish every stroke with your heel down, firmly pressed against the foot stretcher.
  2. rock over on the recovery keeping that heel firmly locked down
  3. only lift your heel up at the last moment before full compression
  4. during the power phase, get your heels down onto the foot stretcher early.

By giving your foot a clear reference point (the foot stretcher) you will minimise the chance of you moving the foot.

Filippi shoe clamp on footstretcher
Filippi shoe clamp on footstretcher

In my boat, I have a further point of reference, I have a Filippi and the heel clamp on the foot stretcher is a lever. This can pivot around the mounting and I angle this toward my right (steering) foot so that my heel touches it when the rudder is straight. In this way, without looking, I can ‘feel’ if the rudder is straight.

Hope this helps.

3 thoughts on “Help I am moving my steering toe too much

  1. Graham Cawood says:

    Greetings. I can understand why full foot contact helps ease your steering problem – haven’t thought of it before. The RHECON rowing style I follow advises the fitting of a heel block of perhaps 30mm to allow constant heel contact, with the following advantages.
    1. Relaxed heel and calf muscles.
    2. Good ‘feeling’ of balance in the boat.
    3. Helps foot steering (from you – thanks).

    I suggest you try the heel blocks. My wooden ones are screwed to the heels of the shoes I use on my daily erg sessions.

    Do you really need a rudder? Apart from distracting you, the rudder slows the boat..Rudder and keel work against each other, and create drag.
    Use a hat-mounted mirror to prepare for your coming course, and allow minor direction changes as you row – with the blades!.
    Have fun!

    Have fun!

  2. Christopher George says:

    I have a solution. I have steered coxless fours at both HW and LW international level and won Wyfolds and Stewards at HRR so know a bit about it
    1) slacken the steering wires
    2) try to avoid all steering with the rudder as it is not needed other than really big bends
    3) get used to steering with bow pair only and only bring in the stern pair in an emergency
    4) look down the boat at the run to the stern and see what the course is and make the changes early
    5) go out in a pair with bow pair and no rudder to get used to it

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