Which rowing start is fastest?


We got  question from a reader who had tried out two different start sequences in his crew.  His GPS data showed one was faster at higher rates and one at slightly lower rates.  The analysis below is a good one and worth copying if you want to try out different start sequences.

Appraise both rowing starts

What we discovered today, it is important to practice the first 3 strokes without the uprights to get our timing right before doing full blown race starts. (we discovered this after the first few starts)

Both starts have their merits

The “Blitzkrieg” Start


  • get our nose in front early which is a psychological advantage
  • possibility of expending a lot of energy early
  • timing has to be immaculate at the high ratings for it to work

Traditional start


  • timing not so critical as the rating not so high
  • not expending as much energy
  • playing catch up if slow off the start

Blitzkrieg works well for us in the pair because we have practiced it 1,000,000 times, we have our timing down perfect and we keep our upper bodies relaxed during the boost stage (or try too). However it might not work for everyone, because hitting 40+ out of the start requires practice, practice, practice.


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