Introduction to Sculling – Basic Oarsmanship
August 4th – 25th
Sat 9 -11 am
Wed 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm
Coach Dave Clemmer
Class is limited to 4 rowers.
Remember when you learned to swim. Did you try to do the crawl after a day or two, or did you spend a lot of time learning to breath and float? When you swim now, do you have to think about how you move your hands to “cup” the water, or does it just happen naturally? Good oarsmanship is just like swimming! When you use the oars in a safe and effective manner, and you let the oars do what they want to do, everything will come naturally.
This course will cover the foundations of good oarsmanship. These skills cover at least 30% of what you need to know for safety and rowing in general, and at least 70% of what you need to know for maneuvering the boat. With focus and practice, it won’t take long for you to master these skills and commit them to muscle memory. And when you do, you will never have to think about this aspect of your rowing again!
The skills you will learn in this course include:
1. The physics of the oar and what it wants to do. Also covering physics of the oar locks.
2. The natural transition of the oar for all maneuvers.
3. The placement and movement of the hands on the oars, when to apply a little grip, when not to.
4. Feathering the oar on the forward and reverse.
5. The transition of the oar towards the forward stroke.
6. The transition of the oar towards the reverse stroke.
7. River turns, port and starboard.
8. Holding water and stopping the boat on the forward, slowly, quickly, and transitioning into a backing stroke.
9. Holding water and stopping the boat on the reverse.
10. Turning a moving boat with pressure or resistance, slowly, quickly, and to a stop.
11. Moving the boat sideways.
12. Bringing the boat to a beach, and getting out of a pickle.
13. Bringing the boat to a dock, and getting out of a pickle.
14. Getting the boat out of a tight spot.
15. Avoiding a head on collision.
16. Avoiding a broadside collision.
It sounds like a lot to learn, but there are 4 simple rules that are easy to learn and apply to each of the above skills. With the 4 simple rules, each skill should be easy to master.
The primary goals for each student to achieve by the end of this course are to:
1. Learn and master each of the skills of oarsmanship outlined above.
2. Be tested by the coach on each of the above skills to be marked off on the student’s safety checklist.
We will also cover basics as needed such as getting in and out of the boat. Based on progress and remaining time, this course will focus on the remaining safety skills (such as rules of the road, courses, weather, flip, capsize) and testing to complete the student’s safety checklist. If time still allows, we will cover some aspects of the next course such as putting the perfect stroke together with the catch and release.
So excited you’ll be rowing with us!