Oars on the water once I clear the knees

Since I have started to row about a year ago in my M1X I have been unable to row without my oars solidly

Beginner sculling in a stable boat
Beginner sculling in a stable boat

touching the water at the catch. It’s as if near the end of every stroke I try to do this and I can’t square up early because of this. As soon as my handles pass my knees my boat feels unsafe and wobbly.

Anyone know how to fix this?

Yes – you need to learn rowing drills

Wraptor Balance component parts novice sculling
Wraptor Balance component parts
  1. buy some Magik Oarlocks as these help to secure your oars in the gates and overcome the ‘wobbles’
  2. practice making a bigger tap down at the finish / extraction so that you can then pause at hands away with the boat balanced and the oars not touching the water. This will help you get the right amount of tap down so your oars (if they were square) would clear the water
  3. do the Recovery Phase Balance Drill detailed half way down this article about drills for balance in crew sculling
    It will help you to get more skilful and more confident.
  4. Lastly read Troy Howell’s ebook on Achieving Ease and Comfort in the Boat  He is a MASTER at teaching this stuff. You can listen to him on the RowingChat podcast archive too.
  5. try rowing in a stable beginners boat again – or use a WraptorBalance around your stern to help give stability while you learn.  You can also go out with another person in 2x and get them to sit the boat level while you learn the technique – then row together, then have him stop again while you try it alone.

2 thoughts on “Oars on the water once I clear the knees

  1. Graham Cawood says:

    Rate at about 28 spm, with a 1:1 in/out ratio.. At the catch square and drop WITHOUT PAUSE. At the release feather the blades as they leave the water and push the hands beyond the knees immediately- NO PAUSE.
    Also adopt 2 breaths per stroke – out at the catch and release.
    And use a mirror so you don’t disturb balance by turning.
    The Rhythm and momentum of this pause-free stroke should help to give you a balanced feel.
    This is not a drill. Do it always!!!
    Have fun!

  2. CSL says:

    Most rowing problems happen because of an action 1/2 spoke before. If you are wobbly after hands away and as you come up the slide, you should look at your drive into the release and out to the recovery (ie. your finish). Common problems are 1. pulling your hands into the body to “finish” (the oar handles should continue the semi circular movement around the pin. The release timing is a whole other subject. For this purpose, try to release with your elbows wide, think “air in the arm pits”, ), 2. stopping the hands at the finish to reverse direction (they should follow through, leading the body into the recovery position in one movement), 3. starting up the slide before the arms and body are in position (once the wheels start up the slide, the body and arms are done and simply ride up the slide allowing the arms to rotate around the pins), and 4. finally tension in the legs on the recovery (legs should be relaxed, with quads coming up to meet the chest which is held stable and tall by the core muscles). Think fluid movements, with each movement of the stroke flowing into the next, quietly, smooth, relaxed. Hope this helps.

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