Rowing with a taller or shorter partner

Adjusting your stroke to match your partner. What to do to adapt and adjust so you align with a taller or shorter partner in the rowing boat.


01:00 In the program this month – peak 1k racing in May – August. Drills to maintain power in the stroke. Video how to get to the start calm and ready to race – Christine Wilson’s rate progression warm up. Coachability as an athlete skill and attribute. How to write your race plan.

04:00 Rowing with a taller or shorter partner

Key to this is to worry less about height but instead focus on the arc of the blade through the water. When you fix up in the boat, adjust your footstretcher so your blades are parallel with your partner’s at the catch and finish. Measure distance behind the face of the work / face of the gate. (58-62 cm is a normal range). To learn more about how to do this measurement watch our webinar Rigging for Masters https://fastermastersrowing.com/rigging/ Adjust so your oar shafts are exactly parallel at the finish.

06:00 A taller stroke

The oars will converge during the power phase and the recovery phase if you each row to the full extent of your reach and height. The short person cannot make the same arc as the taller person, especially if their oars are the same length and the gate/oarlock span is the same. When the blade arc is out of alignment, you need to make compromises to get in parallel. Get power aligned by being in the water together at the catch. So to get catch angles aligned means you will need to make compromises in how you row.

07:00 Compromises in the stroke

For the shorter person – get good body rock forwards at the finish and maintain this through the recovery up to the catch where your shins are vertical. For the taller person – work out how far forward you should roll. Use a drinking straw and tape it to the side of the boat, pointing upwards. So it brushes the shaft of your oar when you are at the correct catch angle to match the shorter person. 08:30 Rebecca’s preference is to align with her partner at the catch rather than the finish. Blade alignments are made at the catch and the compromise is at the finish, she extracts her oars earlier. By getting the angle arc right you are more likely to optimise the boat speed and power alignment. Get more length by sitting up tall and letting your arms go wide, over the sides of the boat at the catch.

11:00 Branded merchandise – Waterproof socks for sale

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