Every day terms used in active rowing
This is a guide to the terms used in every day rowing, there are variations from country to country, but it makes your coaches job far easier if you know or have a good idea about the terminology, before you start.
Rowing, each oarsman has one oar either bowside, right hand side or strokeside, left hand side facing towards the bow, (port left hand side or starboard right hand side facing towards the bow)
Sculling, each oarsman has two oars known as sculls and the oarsman is known as a sculler
Sculling boat, one man with two sculls (one pair of sculls)
Double sculler, two men with four sculls (two pairs of sculls)
Pair, two men with two oars
Coxwainless Four, four men with four oars, bowman normally steers
Coxed Four, four men with a coxswain and four oars, the coxswain can be either front or back (stern) steering
Quad sculler, four men with eight sculls (four pairs of sculls)
Eights, eight men with a coxswain at the back (stern) with eight oars.
Virus boats or similar, one man training boats for sculling
Bank Tub, fixed coaching equipment
Blades, another name for oars or sculls, there are principally two types in use at the moment, Macon which are based on a conventional rowing shaped spoon (the section that goes through the water) and Carver with various derivations and square shaped, used in the Boat Race for example.
Bow, the front of the boat
Bowman or Bow, person rowing in the front position (1)
Bow Canvas, the decked area in front of the bowman, canvas is also used as a description of the distance of a winning crew where appropriate.
Buttons, stop the oars from sliding through the gate
Gates, these are attached to the riggers and hold the oars in place with locking nuts
Gunwales (pronounced Gunnels) sometimes referred to as Sax boards, section above the hull that the riggers are fixed to
Hull, the main body of the boat
Keel fin, a small stabilising fin near the stern of the boat
Loom is the narrow part of the oar or scull before it joins the Spoon
Oars are individual Blades and also known as Sweeps, not to be confused with sculls
Rudder, at the stern of the boat usually at the bottom of the hull and attached to the fin, in coxwainless
boats it is steered by one rowing member with his right foot which moves on the stretcher.
Seat, is what you sit on in the boat, it moves on wheels
Slides are the grooves that the wheels on the seat run in.
Spoon is the section of the blade immersed in the water whilst propelling the boat forward.
Stern or aft, the rear section of the boat
Stern Canvas, the rear decking area
Stretcher, has the rowing shoes attached or clogs
Wash boards are attached to the sax boards or the area directly in front of the bowman to disperse heavy waves and rough water
Rowing Instructions Terminology
Ahead, look out collision approaching
Back down, paddling the boat in reverse
Back stops, the furthest point back on the slide when the oar comes out of the water (because you are facing towards the stern, the back stop is nearer the bow and conversely the front stop.
Bow, the Bowman number one in the boat
Catching a Crab, the blade enters the water under squared and goes down at a steep angle, normally catching the oarsman in the chest
Cox, coxswain steers the boat and issues instructions
Ease Off, Weigh Up, stop
Feathered Blade, the oars are on the forward section of the stroke, the spoon is horizontal or skimming the water
Front stops, getting right forward, the position at the start of a stroke
Full pressure, rowing flat out
Hold it all, stopping the boat in an emergency
Half pressure, rowing at half strength
Low rate full pressure, is rowing very hard but moving very slowly forward on the slide
Navigation, always keep to the right on rivers or navigable waterways
Paddle On, gently row to position the boat
Paddling light, very light rowing at a low rate
Pitch, the angle that the gate is set to, to ensure that it enters the water correctly, they are normally slightly over squared.
Squared Blade, the blade is squared just before entry into the water, the opposite of Feathered
Stroke, number eight in the boat and controls the boat
Three quarter slide, is a position a quarter of the way through a normal stroke as with half slide etc.
Two –Seven the numbers of each member of the crew, less if you have a four
Raising the rate, increasing the number of strokes per minute
Rate, the amount of strokes rowed in a minute
Stroke, one full rowing stroke, not to be confused with Number 8 in the boat or Number 4 in a four.
Always make sure when you get in a boat as a novice, that you can turn the boat round, reverse and stop the boat at short notice
Always make sure your gate is done up before moving from the landing stage.
Do not let oars and sculls handles get behind you, the boat will turnover in small boats.
Never strap your feet in tight in the shoes or clogs, you must be able to get them out should the boat turn over, they should be comfortable, not overly loose or tight unless you are very experienced.