> > > If they were wooden oars I'd agree. As it is, the way the oarlocks are shaped, and the way the blades dig in, if you take a blind person and ask them to rotate the blades "upside down" or "backwards" (concave toward the bow for backing) the blades will tend to dig in and be harder to learn/extract at the end of the backing stroke. ?I've found that beginners who just square the blades up, put 3/4 of the blade under the water and push the handles away can learn fairly easily to back well, and if they skim the blades, concave down with just the tips skimming the surface, they can recover their handles back to the body quite easily.
> > Another reason why it's good to learn how to do that with your blade,
> > is
> > that if others are backing and you are not in a team boat, you avoid
> > diving. ?(stern pair backing into stake boat maybe?)
> > The skill is useful also for correct hold water.
> > I'll play with it on a river turn. ?I've done it for backing
> > and it's fine.
> I think we've agreed in the past on how to hold water but.. I coach on a river at present, lots of novices. ?Most of them find it really straightforward to back the oar/scull with the blade "squared normally" and to skim the blade tip down across the surface to recover it. ?If it's sculling, the hands make the same movement at each end of the 'back/row' sequence. ?While one blade is backing, the other is feathered and hand reaching forward. ?Then the blades get flipped 90 degrees (one gets feathered tip down and the other gets squared - both hands make the same motion - and the one blade skims while the other rows.
> That's what I coach, but I also recognize that it's not the only way to skin this particular cat.
Right, it is easier to learn, I tried it this morning. Rowers should
still learn how
to control the blade pitch backing recovery for other reasons I've
mentioned, but for quick learning, this works. the river turn takes
a bit longer to learn, but I think the opposite motion feathering is
no big deal. (in my method river turn, both hands
feather the same way, in yours, hands are feathering opposite)
So do this exercise for me next time:
Row a long at some fair speed and hold water correctly, then
back up. With my method(not really mine I just employ it), having
feathered the blades in to hold, I can immediately give a continuous
push with hands on same position on the handle, wrists slightly
dropped, then feather and skim on the recovery for the next backing
stroke. On our body of water, we have tidal flows,
and holding water is often not enough, you stop relative to the water,
necessarily the shore and the steel channel markers driven into the
With your method, you have to quickly shift your grip either on the
at the end of the push in order to position hands to feather back
of feather forward.
I think this gives slight advantage to face up recovery, harder-to-
but over the long haul more effective.
This morning's row I had Walt doing a series of 10 stroke pieces,
of our problems were Caroline's steering this morning, not his, and
to keep her with us to do the pieces.
My experiment today:
I started the short pieces slightly up on him and just slightly
pressure on his ten allowing him to row through me gradually. On
a couple pieces where I didn't have to make any verbal sounds,
I asked him if he could tell he was moving on me. He could.
Again, lots of stopping, telling him where we are and what
certain objects were that he could sense. To get him out
every day, he needs to be able to scull with other people that
don't need lots of special instructions to row with him.
I learned today he's only been blind for a dozen years or so,
I assumed he'd been born so because he was so facile. This
is why he isn't as strong echo-location as I was anticipating
- his brain was sight-wired. We were near a channel marker
and he could "see/feel/hear" it when I was talking to him, but told
me there's no way he'd feel it's approach if he were rowing.
he has brothers all blind, same affliction, a genetic disorder that
causes a disease which I cannot call. they all lost sight
at various degrees and ages, one brother still has limited vision.