How to Set Your Feet in a Rowing Boat

Getting your feet the right distance from the slide is important in correcting your sequence and in getting the maximum length per stroke.

Steps

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    Sit in the boat at the finish (legs flat, handle/s at abdomen) and observe near your bum the distance between the back axle of the seat and the end of the slide (the back chocks).
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    Come forward to the catch (knees right up, arms fully extended) and note the distance from the front of the seat to the front chocks. There should be at least two centimetres here.
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    The distance at the back should be about six centimetres.
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    Adjust the foot stretcher back or forward to conform to these measurements. The typical set-up is two wing-nuts at toe level and one near your heels. Undo them all and move the stretcher.
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    Before tightening, put your feet in and check the distances. If they're right, tighten them up again.
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    At the finish again, your oar/s should sit comfortably against your abdomen, about a hand's width above the belly-button.

Tips

  • If you're doing this in a single scull, a good way to maintain balance is to come forward and tuck the handles under your arms, adjusting the boat with your body.
  • If the wing-nuts are too tight, pliers are the way to go, a decent coach will have them.
  • Mark or remember the position, especially if other people use your boat.

Warnings

  • Don't over-tighten, having to wrestle it back with sore or blistered hands is not fun!
  • If it is impossible to adjust to the above specifications, your slide might need adjusting. This is harder and should be done on stretchers. (only if you are a very experienced rower, you can do this in the boat by undoing the wing-nuts, then lifting up your bottom from the seat and moving your slides beneath you before tightening)

Article Info

Categories: Canoes, Kayaks, and Rowboats