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Sculls length for Masters sculler

What is the best measurements for sculling blades, & how do you best decide how far away should … read more

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What is the best measurements for sculling blades, & how do you best decide how far away should your foot stretcher be?

Two slick blade sculls. The "blades"...
Two slick blade sculls. The “blades” are at the top of the picture and the handles are at the bottom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am 173cm, 71.9 kg 52 old vet D male.

Sculls length for Masters

That’s a very tough question because it depends on

  1. your flexibility
  2. your strength
  3. your sculling skill

So setting aside the fact that I don’t know you at all nor your rowing style. here’s a suggestion

Sit at the finish – legs straight and handles brushing your shirt.
Adjust the foot stretcher so you have between one fist and one and a half fists widths between the ends of the scull handles.

That is standard advice for all scullers. If you are a novice, you may need more width, if you’re skilled you can get away with less.

the length of sculling blades depends on

  1. your strength
  2. the span between the oarlocks on your boat (I am assuming this is for a single scull and is 159 or 160cm)


Sculls length for Masters

As far as scull length – go for 287 cm long or 288 cm if you are very strong and skilful and an inboard measurement of 88.5 cm. If you are stronger and skilful you can cope with something shorter because you can rate higher. If you are not as skilled you probably want to go for longer sculls if you are reasonably strong.
287:88 – go for this as the starting point.
If this is too easy i.e. the work isn’t loading up then try longer on the outboard and leave the inboard the same i.e. 287.5:88 or 288:88

If you can’t lift your rate to sprint in at the end of a race it’s generally recognised that your gearing is on the heavy side.

One last bit of advice – only change one thing at a time. SO, don’t do span plus altered sculls… change one thing; test it over a measured distance at a set rate. Then live with it for a couple of outings before changing something else.

I hope this helps.


Any readers have any other advice?

About Rebecca Caroe
Rebecca is the host of RowingChat podcast and is a masters athlete and coach. Passionate about helping others enjoy the sport as much as she does. View all posts from Rebecca Caroe

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