An ever expanding list of rowing terminology and lingo. See anything we missed or have a better definition? Contact row2k!
|Air Stroke||A rower error where the oar's blade is not completely in the water. This results a complete lack of power and a lot of splashing. ||Alignment ||The process of lining up each shell's bow ball prior to the start of a race so that they are level.||Anchor|| An oarsman who slows a crew down. Like towing a anchor behind the boat. ||Backsplash ||The water thrown back toward bow by the oar's blade as it enters the water during the catch. A proper catch should throw a small amount of water. ||Backstop ||Refers to the bow ending of the track a rower's seat slides on. The wheels of the seat should almost reach the backstop at the finish of each stroke. ||Bisweptual ||A sweep rower adept at rowing both the port and starboard sides. ||Blade ||The hatchet or spoon shaped end of the oar. ||Body Angle ||The amount of forward pivot of a rower's torso stemming from the hips during the recovery for a proper catch position. ||Bow ||The forward section of the boat. The first part of the boat to cross the finish line. ||The person in the seat closest to the bow, who crosses the finish line first. ||Bow Ball ||A small rubber ball attached to the bow of each shell. Used as a safety device and for determining which crew crosses the finish line first during a close race. ||Bow Number ||A card attached near the bow of each shell that identifies which lane the crew is assigned to. ||Bow Pair ||The pair of sweep rowers in bow of the boat. This would be seats 1 and 2 in an eight or a four. The bow pair has the most effect on the set of the boat. ||Bowloader ||Refers to a type of boat (usually a four) where the coxswain rides lying down beneath the bow decking. Most racing fours are bowloaders. ||Bowside ||The UK term for starboard despite the bow rower being on the starboard side or not. ||Bucket ||A way of rigging a shell so that two consecutive rowers row on the same side. Both double and triple buckets are possible. Also known as a "Continental" or "Italian" rigging. ||Buoy ||Colored flotation devices that mark lanes and other various areas of the race course. Also used for marking hazards. ||Button ||A wide collar on the sleeve of the oar that keeps the oar from slipping through the oarlock. Also called a collar. ||Catch ||The moment the blade enters the water and initiates the drive of each stroke. ||Check ||The reverse momentum resulting from the crews body weight moving toward stern during the recovery. Check is unavoidable but can be minimized through proper technique for optimal speed. ||CLAM ||Short for Clip-on Load Adjusting Mechanism. A CLAM is a device that snaps on and off the sleeve of an oar to quickly adjust the inboard rig. Typically by 1 cm per CLAM. ||Collar ||A wide collar on the sleeve of the oar that keeps the oar from slipping through the oarlock. Also called a button. ||Cover ||The distance between the 2-seat's puddle on one stroke and the stroke seat's puddle on the following stroke. The greater the distance, the more speed the crew has. Also called spacing. |
|Coxbox ||A coxswain's portable voice amplifier. Also has timing and stroke rating measurement capabilities. ||Coxless ||A shell designed for rowing without a coxswain. Usually in a pair or a four. ||Coxswain ||Person (usually small) who steers the shell and coaches for the crew on the water. ||Crab ||Occurs from a blade work error where a rower is unable to properly remove their oar from the water. A crab can slow down or even stop the boat. In extreme cases a crab can eject the rower from the shell. ||Deck ||The part of the shell on top or the bow and stern that is covered with fiberglass cloth or a thin plastic. ||Digging ||Rower error when the blade of the oar goes deeper in the water than it should, slowing the boat down. ||Double (2x) ||A sculling boat for two rowers. ||Drive ||Portion of the stroke that propels the boat through the water. The drive starts at the catch and ends with the release. The main power from the drive is generated by the rower's legs pushing off the footstretchers. ||Eight (8+) ||A sweep boat for eight rowers and a coxswain. ||Engine Room ||The rowers in the middle of a boat. For an eight, these would be seats 6, 5, 4, and 3. Generally the largest and most powerful rowers of the boat ||Ergometer ||Also called an 'erg'. The indoor rowing machine used for land based fitness training. ||Feather ||The act of rotating the oar at the finish so that the oar's blade is parallel to the water during the recovery. The opposite of the squared position. ||Fin ||The fin attached to the keel of the shell that helps stabilize and maintain a straight course. Also called a skeg. ||Finish ||The end of the drive when the rower removes the oar from the water and then feathers. Also called the release. ||FISA ||Short for Federation Internationale des Societes d'Aviron. International governing body for the sport of rowing. ||Flutter ||A race tactic during the body of the race which is essentially a second start sequence to build up the speed of the shell. This is extremely taxing on the crew and is usually only used in desperation. ||Foot Stretcher ||The adjustable footplate with built in shoes which allows the rower to adjust their position in the shell relative to the oarlock. ||Four (4+ or 4-) ||A sweep boat for four rowers. Can come with or without a coxswain. ||Frontstop ||Refers to the stern ending of the track a rower's seat slides on. The wheels of the seat should almost reach the frontstop at the catch of each stroke. ||Gate ||The bar across the oarlock that keeps the oar in place. ||Grand Final ||Finals at a regatta for places 1 through 6. ||Gunwales ||The top rails of the shell. Pronounced - 'gunnels' ||Handle ||Part of the oar that rowers hold on to during each stroke. ||Hatchet ||The modern and current oar blade that is rectangular or hatchet shaped. ||Head Race ||Type of race where crews start in a single file line and race for time. Longer than sprint races, head races range from 4k to 10k and are usually run on rivers during the fall season. ||Heavyweight ||The weight class in men's rowing for rowers over the lightweight restriction. ||Hull ||The body of the shell. ||Inboard ||Length of the oar measuring from the button to the handle. ||Keel ||The center line of the hull. ||Launch ||Motorboat used by rowing coaches and referees. ||Lay Back ||The amount of reverse pivot of a rower's torso stemming from the hips during the second half of the drive for a proper finish position. ||Lightweight ||A rower whose weight allows them to compete in lightweight events. For men, this is usually 155 lbs. Women, 130 lbs. ||Loom||The part of the oar between the sleeve and the blade. Comprises the majority of the length of the oar. Also called the shaft. ||Macon ||The traditional u-shaped blade. Also called a tulip or spoon. ||Megaphone ||Device formally used by coxswains to communicate with the rowers. These were replaced by the invention or the coxbox. Megaphones are also used by coaches to communicate with the crew. ||Missing Water ||A rower error where the rower begins the leg drive before the catch has completed. ||Novice ||Any rower during their first season of competition. ||Oar ||Device used to drive the boat forward. An oar consists of several parts, in order from rower to water: Handle, shaft, sleeve, collar, shaft, blade. The oar attaches to the boat at the oarlock. ||Oarlock ||The u-shaped lock at the end of the rigger that attaches the oar to the shell. The oarlock allows the rower to rotate the oar between the squared and feathered positions. ||Open Weight ||The weight class in women's rowing for rowers over the lightweight restriction. ||Outboard ||The length of the oar measuring from the bottom to the tip of the blade. ||Pair (2+ or 2-) ||A sweep boat for two rowers. Can come with or without a coxswain. ||Petite Final ||Finals at a regatta for places 7 through 12. ||Piece ||A practice term used to signify an specific interval during a workout. For example, "The third piece of the 5 by 5 minutes was our best." ||Pitch ||The angle between a squared blade and a line perpendicular to the water's surface. The standard pitch is around 4 degrees. ||Pogies ||A type of glove with holes on the ends which allow the rower to row with bare hands on the handle. ||Port ||Left side of the boat, while facing forward, in the direction of the movement. ||Power 10 ||A call by the coxswain for the crew to row the next 10 strokes at maximal effort in an attempt to increase boat speed and take water on the opponent. ||Puddles ||The disturbances in the water made by the blade during each stroke. ||Quad (4x) ||A sculling boat for four rowers. ||Rating ||The number of strokes per minute taken by a crew. During the body of the race a crew will maintain a rating in the mid to high 30's. ||Ratio ||The relationship between the time taken between the drive and recovery portions of the stroke. A good ratio will have about twice as much time taken during the recovery as the drive. ||Recovery ||The portion of the stroke after the rower releases the oar from the water and returns to the catch position. ||Release ||The end of the drive when the rower removes the oar from the water and then feathers. Also called the finish. ||Repechage ||A second chance heat at a regatta to ensure that all crews have two chances to advance. These races are for all crews that didn't qualify in during the heat. French word meaning 'to save' or 'second chance'. ||Rib ||The u-shaped structures in the boat that the hull and riggers attach to. ||Rig ||Term used to describe how the boat is set up. ||Rigger||The triangular shaped metal device that is bolted onto the side of the boat and holds the oars. ||Name of person in charge of rigging and de-rigging shells. |