Rowing technique into strong headwind : LUSENET : Open-water rowing : One Thread

I've only been rowing since the end of this past summer, and only about once a week, at that. When I row my 85lb. James River Dory (Upperdeck Boatworks) into a stiff headwind(15-25 knots), I find that I must alternate oars, rather than pull both oars together, to keep any semblance of a staight course. Is this proper technique, or should I be working on a different strategy? This method does get me where I want to go, and I enjoy the rhythm as I battle the wind. In this vein, can anyone suggest a book on open-water rowing techniques? Thanks... Gary Shafonda

-- Gary Shafonda (, December 05, 2000


If I understand your question, it sounds like you're experiencing a cross-wind...

I don't know of a book on techniques, but from experience, I've found that I need to compensate for the cross-wind. That is, I pull slightly harder on the leeward oar so that the boat stays on a straighter course. Another variation is to make my stroke on the leeward oar longer than my stroke on the windward side. Hope this helps!

(P.S., just received my Harbor Cruiser 15 kit from Upperdeck Boats; I hope to be out rowing soon as well!)

-- Scott Boswell (, December 08, 2000.

Play with rowing position and weight. Dories often benefit if they are trimmed by the stern when rowing down or cross winds. Upwind a little bow down allows the boat to weather vane. Try a forward rowing position if your boat has one. A soft water jug works well if you don't live somewhere which has convenient bits of granite.

-- Ben Fuller (, December 08, 2000.

As for a book on open water rowing: Nothin better than late Bruce C. Brown's Open Water Rowing Handbook! International Marine Publishing, Camden, Maine 1991. Bein out of print, Amazon was able to get it for me after 5 month of waiting.

-- Naftali Kidron (, July 21, 2001.

Gary you might want to try feathering your oars.To do this just turn your wrists down so the blade of the oar is parralell with the water on the return stroke ,and strighten your wrist just before you start the next stroke .It's a help when going to windward and makes you look like a real prow.

-- phil reinhardt (, December 29, 2001.

its a good idea to feather your blades and also keep them just clear of the water line. this produces what is known as the ground effect, used in formula 1 racing cars to improve drag co efficient and aerodynamics

-- ravindra (, May 08, 2003.

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