Rowing Terms


If you’re new to rowing, this may help you understand a few words that some rowers may use when trying to set the pace and stay synchronized during practice or a race.

1. Drive


Now this term does not entirely mean driving a car as most people think it might be. In rowing terms the drive is the stroke where the blade of the oar is pulled through the water. The drive is important because it sets the pace of the rower, which could deeply affect the race.

2. Missing Water


Every felt like a drought has hit and you’re like “WE’RE MISSING WATER!!”? Well this is not the case. Missing water means that an individual is not getting the oar blade into the water soon enough causing an individual to miss part of the beginning of the stroke. This makes it hard for an individual to be in sync with the other team members which also offsets the pace of the synchronization.

3. Skying


Now don’t get this mixed up with Sky Diving. This terms means that the oar is coming to a catch (beginning of the rowing stroke where the blade hits the water) or during recovery (the part of the stroke where the rower slowly comes up the slide to return the catch) with the blade too high above the surface of the water.

These terms are all detrimental to the rowers. There are many important factors that affect the drive, missing water, and skying. Posture, hand placement, and strength determines at what angle and rotation the oar should be in! Next is hand placement and strength. Lastly, the most important thing that a rower needs to get the perfect row is to have good coordination and team work with their fellow rowers! The Coxswain leads the team and it is up to the team to be in synch with each other to get that W!!!! Hopefully these terms helped you understand a little bit about what rowers think about when they’re rowing.


Author: sportswille

Reformed ad agency guy. Sac Kings, PGA Tour, Pebble Beach, Aspen yielded fascination with sports business. Now teach at my alma mater, University of Texas Austin: Integrated Marketing, Social Media, Business and Law and Sports Audiences. 40 year streak of single digit handicap under severe pressure.

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