About the Rower

Q:  What is the job of a rower?

A:  Move the boat.  It’s that simple.  All the instruction, all the training, all the hard work boils down to one simple goal: move the boat.  Boat speed comes from power applied properly with good technique.  Of course, in a boat with other rowers, you must not only row well yourself, but row in a manner that enables others to row well.  That takes timing, balance, and smooth application of power.  Each rower pulls hard on the oar to leverage the boat forward.  They work as a team, and listen to the coxswain, so all that effort translates into speed.

Q:  What makes for a good rower?

A:  Like most sports, great rowers must first be great athletes.  Endurance, power, speed, flexibility, coordination, and intelligence are all necessary.  Height helps, but it’s not everything.  Weight can help too, but only if every ounce is useful in moving the boat.  More than anything else, a desire to be a good rower is necessary.  If you have that, we can work on the rest.

Q:  What equipment is needed for rowing?

A:   Here’s a list of what you should have as a competitive rower.  Not all items are absolutely necessary, and in those cases, alternatives are suggested.

  • Running shoes – We do plenty of running.  Good shoes prevent injury.
  • Spandex – Crew shells have seats that roll.  Baggy shorts get stuck in the wheels.  You want tight shorts or spandex.  Every serious crew rows in spandex.
  • Shirts that fit – There are other things to get caught on in rowing shells besides wheels as your body is going though a full range of motion.  A baggy shirt will really disrupt that.  Tight shirts are ideal.
  • Warm clothes – Rowing happens on good water and bad.  If the water’s good enough, we’ll go out when it’s really cold.  Some teams row in the snow.  Just remember, baggy clothing is a bad idea.
  • Watch Cap – Most body heat is lost through the head.  If you want to keep warm, the simplest way is a good hat.  And the best part is you can take it off in the middle of a stroke when you’re getting too hot.  A jacket just won’t do that for you.
  • Sun Glasses – Sunlight damages eyes just like it damages skin.  Get a cheap pair that protects from UVA/UVB rays.