Getting a Grip

Getting a Grip

Post by Carol » Wed, 12 Jul 1995 04:00:00


a While I row during windy conditions the palms of my hands occasionally will
 will get splashed with H2O. This causes a loss of control what is the best
 grip in wet conditions. I curently use a grey *** with cross-hatching
 most of the texture is gone. I have set of BLACK C II grips ready to install
 but they look like they give the same results.
 please help! gripless
ZZ
send

.

 
 
 

Getting a Grip

Post by Sullys Ma » Wed, 12 Jul 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

>a While I row during windy conditions the palms of my hands occasionally will
> will get splashed with H2O. This causes a loss of control what is the best
> grip in wet conditions. I curently use a grey *** with cross-hatching
> most of the texture is gone. I have set of BLACK C II grips ready to install
> but they look like they give the same results.
> please help! gripless

I never thought scullgrips were comfortable until the crosshatch
gets worn off.  I'm a bigger guy, yes, but my hands are pretty
small.

Are you gripping your sculls properly?

Ideally, the thumbs should cover the *** at the very tip (ooohh
rowing is so ***!) of the grips cupping your hands to the very end
of the grip.  Often, because of crossover, or poor rig, or other
reasons, the hands tend to slide toward the blade, stretching your
thumbs.  This makes for a never-relaxed hand which doesn't get
enough control of the handles.

Your hands should merely hook the handles on the drive, and cover
and support them on the recovery.   If you are gripping the handles
for the entire stroke cycle, you are not going to maintain control.
The ONLY time your hands grip the handle is to squeeze it lightly
for feathering both flat and square.

hooking:  On the drive, as you pull, the first two sections of your
fingers should be hooked to the end of the handle, with the third
section either flat to the hand on top of the handle, or slightly
angled forward, depending on the size of your hand.  The important
part is that contact with the grip in the drive be made with the
fingers, not the palms.

covering:  On the recovery before squaring, the handle is covered by
the fingers with the wrists bent or dropped, as you square: the
fingers ALL squeeze the grip and the last drop of the blade is
controlled by the fleshy part of the hand at the base of the fingers
and loose contact by the fingers themselves.

Mike

 
 
 

Getting a Grip

Post by Sullys Ma » Thu, 13 Jul 1995 04:00:00


Quote:


>[snip]

>    Sullys> covering: On the recovery before squaring, the handle is
>    Sullys> covered by the fingers with the wrists bent or dropped, as

>i'm trying to get the picture: is the wrist below the axis of the
>handle, or are you suggesting that the *hand* is dropped and the wrist
>remains neutral?

>if the wrist is below the axis of the handle, how did it get there?
>did you break the wrist at the finish?

Absolutely!  I realize there are a lot of successful scullers who
roll their fingers to feather at the finish, it's the way I learned
initially.   Later, I was coached otherwise, and though I was a
reluctant, difficult pupil of the style, I later learned to
recognize it's value and coached same.

Mike

 
 
 

Getting a Grip

Post by Matt Freemo » Thu, 13 Jul 1995 04:00:00

[snip]

    Sullys> covering: On the recovery before squaring, the handle is
    Sullys> covered by the fingers with the wrists bent or dropped, as

i'm trying to get the picture: is the wrist below the axis of the
handle, or are you suggesting that the *hand* is dropped and the wrist
remains neutral?

if the wrist is below the axis of the handle, how did it get there?
did you break the wrist at the finish?

Matthew

 
 
 

Getting a Grip

Post by PMckeon5 » Fri, 14 Jul 1995 04:00:00

<i'm trying to get the picture: is the wrist below the axis of the>
<handle, or are you suggesting that the *hand* is dropped and the wrist>
<remains neutral?>

I think what you want to strive to achieve is having the axis of the
forearm in the same plane as the axis of the handle.  To do this start by
pulling through with your wrist flat, your fingers hooked around the
handle.  When done correctly, the palms WILL NOT touch the handle on the
drive.  At the release press down using the wrist and forearm and then
perform the feather by rolling the handle away from you.  This will result
in the first (closest to the end of your finger) joint of your fingers
being in line with your forearms and the rest of your hand resting on top
of the handle.  It's a little complicated, but give it some thought.

 
 
 

Getting a Grip

Post by Amy Abb » Fri, 14 Jul 1995 04:00:00

Quote:
>>if the wrist is below the axis of the handle, how did it get there?
>>did you break the wrist at the finish?


Quote:
>Absolutely!  I realize there are a lot of successful scullers who
>roll their fingers to feather at the finish, it's the way I learned
>initially.   Later, I was coached otherwise, and though I was a
>reluctant, difficult pupil of the style, I later learned to
>recognize it's value and coached same.

Mike-

This is a perpetual question here in Seattle where a multitude of styles
are preached and vehemently defended.  For the most part, scullers are
coached to have little to no break in the wrists at the release.  
Personally I find it difficult to release squarely and cleanly and then
feather the blade without at least some break.  Frank Cunningham and many
of his standard bearers say this is exactly the problem with "American
Orthodox" rowing.  He recommends that scullers (and sweepers) simply push
the hands down and away rapidly at the finish, allowing the force of the
water to release and feather the blade.  In this situation the wrists
remain above the handles and show no break whatsoever.

I think the danger in encouraging wrist motion lies with rowers who grip
the oars tightly in their palms and thus have to wrench the feather.  I
was trained to carry the handle lightly in my fingers.  Slight motion of
the fingers and wrists at the finish allow the oarlock to feather the
blade at the release.  On the recovery I keep the handle out in my
fingers with my wrists nearly parallel with the water,
with only slight break.  The catch is basically a finger motion
(closeing the fingers in toward but not into the palm) combined with the
lift of the hands.  Throughout the stroke the handle remains out into my
fingers.

I am presently being coached to let the water feather the blade and to keep
my hands high.  I am a bit skeptical about this style.  Although I
realize that we all combine the release and feather to a certain extent,
I would think that "letting the water do the work" to feather the blade
would act to slow the boat at the release.

Opinions?

Amy Abbot

 
 
 

Getting a Grip

Post by PMckeon5 » Fri, 14 Jul 1995 04:00:00

<I am presently being coached to let the water feather the blade and to
keep>
<my hands high.  I am a bit skeptical about this style.  Although I >
<realize that we all combine the release and feather to a certain extent,>

<I would think that "letting the water do the work" to feather the blade>
<would act to slow the boat at the release.>

The two problems I see with this approach:  1)  carrying the hands high
leaves little or no room for balance errors or rough water before the
blades hit the water and start to drag, and 2)  letting the "water do the
work" sounds to me like the boat is going to get checked at the finish;
exactly the opposite of what you want.  Just my 2c.

 
 
 

Getting a Grip

Post by George Brengelman » Sat, 15 Jul 1995 04:00:00

To follow the thread on the release --

Frank Cunningham's concept of the release is complex to explain but
beautiful to observe in practice.  Rowing bow to his stroke during
coaching sessions, you see his blades slip out of the puddle noiselessly
with no apparent effort after a long and uniformly powerful stroke, the
result of exquisite timing.

The blade rolls slightly onto the feather while still in the water, leaves
the water at that angle, and finally rolls on to full feather during the
middle part of his recovery.  Watching his oar in the lock, you see the
top corner move down smoothly about an inch during the initial rotation
just before the blade leaves the water, then smoothly complete the descent
to full feather position.  He says that he firms up his wrist at the
moment of pushing forward and down.

He emphasizes that it is the natural tendency of the the pull of the
hooked hand on the handles to produce this slight rotation of the blade in
the water towards the end of the pull.  Avoiding wrist drop is part of his
philosophy that rowers shouldn't bother to make motions that are
unnecessary.  

Another important feature of his release is the early sternward motion of
his head relative to his shoulders that occurs just before the release.
The final shoulder pull, he says, is what keeps pressure on the oars up
to the last instant.  His release is definitely not a pause while he
hangs in the bow to allow the water to push the blades out.  The
puddle persists throughout his stroke and the blade leaves the water via
the hole left by the puddle.  According to his analysis, this
combination of final shoulder pull with early initiation of sternward
movement of the head also results in elimination of the necessity to arrest
bow-ward motion of the body by pull on the stretcher.  He can row with his
feet out of the shoes.

Frank's stroke is like the bowing of a string player.  Somehow a cellist
can change direction of the bow without interruption of the sound.  It
doesn't seem possible, but it happens.

Frank's also a good writer.  His book "The sculler at ease" is a
good read and a through exposition of his sculling and rowing techniques.

George Brengelmann

 
 
 

Getting a Grip

Post by Amy Abb » Sat, 15 Jul 1995 04:00:00

Quote:
>To follow the thread on the release --
>Frank Cunningham's concept of the release is complex to explain but
>beautiful to observe in practice.  Rowing bow to his stroke during
>coaching sessions, you see his blades slip out of the puddle noiselessly
>with no apparent effort after a long and uniformly powerful stroke, the
>result of exquisite timing.

Just to make it clear, I was not at all intending to decry Frank's
rowing, coaching or concept.  He is a joy to watch on the water, a
magician at repairing anything and a repository of invaluble knowledge,
rowing and otherwise.

As a critically thinking rower I simply enjoy trying to figure out the
philosophy and physics behind what makes a boat move.  

It is fun to see how we each approach the "simple" rowing stroke.  In
general we each find what works for us individually, taking bits from
each coach we experience.  Hopefully in a team boat we are flexible
enough to meld and come together as a team.

Amy Abbot
SRC, GLAC, LWRC, and so on....

 
 
 

Getting a Grip

Post by Sullys Ma » Sat, 15 Jul 1995 04:00:00


deleted stuff about breaking wrists vs rolling fingers.

Quote:
>Mike-

>This is a perpetual question here in Seattle where a multitude of styles
>are preached and vehemently defended.  For the most part, scullers are
>coached to have little to no break in the wrists at the release.
>Personally I find it difficult to release squarely and cleanly and then
>feather the blade without at least some break.  Frank Cunningham and many
>of his standard bearers say this is exactly the problem with "American
>Orthodox" rowing.  He recommends that scullers (and sweepers) simply push
>the hands down and away rapidly at the finish, allowing the force of the
>water to release and feather the blade.  In this situation the wrists
>remain above the handles and show no break whatsoever.

I do believe in a rapid downward movement, and a DEFINITE break in
the wrists.  When teaching it, it is clumsy and mechanical at first
but later on it is very steady and relaxed...

Quote:

>I think the danger in encouraging wrist motion lies with rowers who grip
>the oars tightly in their palms and thus have to wrench the feather.  I

A tight grip is ALWAYS deadly to rowing comfortably and cleanly.

Quote:
>was trained to carry the handle lightly in my fingers.  Slight motion of
>the fingers and wrists at the finish allow the oarlock to feather the
>blade at the release.  On the recovery I keep the handle out in my
>fingers with my wrists nearly parallel with the water,
>with only slight break.  The catch is basically a finger motion
>(closeing the fingers in toward but not into the palm) combined with the
>lift of the hands.  Throughout the stroke the handle remains out into my
>fingers.

>I am presently being coached to let the water feather the blade and to keep
>my hands high.  I am a bit skeptical about this style.  Although I
>realize that we all combine the release and feather to a certain extent,
>I would think that "letting the water do the work" to feather the blade
>would act to slow the boat at the release.

>Opinions?

The so called 'scullers release' is where you pull through excessive
to the effective drive and allow the sculls to slip out- as you say
let the water feather for you.  The last sculler I remember seeing
who sculled like this was Chris Alsopp who had a beautiful move with
his boat and swept down the course at 30.  I had a wonderful
opportunity to workout with Sy Cromwell a few years before he died,
and he too sculled like this - it was most effective and I make no
criticism of it.

I'm not a fan of denigrating another technique to espouse my
personal favorite, and have generally made a fool of myself trying
as I watch a boat of what i might consider 'hammers' leave a two
inch wake for my supposed 'model crew'.

Instead I'll give the positive reasons why the 'shorter' pull
through and the wrist break, and some more little 'tricks'.

THE most important things about the finish and release I suggest is
1: to keep the blade buried and moving the boat, and
2: to establish a comfortable platform for relaxing on the recovery.

I re-emphasize that every style tries to encourage relaxed hands.

When you have a whole blade covered, you need to move your hands a
greater distance and more quickly to extract it from the water than
only half a blade.  If you look at most of the people who scull, by
the time they are taking their oar out of the water, it is already
halfway out.

You also want to have simultaneous movement of the sculls out of the
water, and feathering flat at exactly the same time.  This REALLY
helps the balance at the release, so that you are only relaxing on
the recovery, and not adjusting and Betty Booping up the slide - I
just made that up to suggest the wiggle.   This is why I would
emphasize the quick snap of the wrists when learning.  Actually,
when watching scullers who have learned to scull well this way,
the snap is more relaxed and less quick looking as the timing
becomes exact with the depth of water and speed of boat.  The best
scullers I've seen scull this way were Sean Drea and Bill Belden.
I was and am the worst.

An aspect of the finish - important, but my own sculling does not
accomplish even closely is to lock the toes UP into the footboard,
the legs flat, heels down.  This again is the platform you push off
of with the last inch of swing and the definite quick release.
I remember a few strokes of this once where the boat really flew,
but I regained my senses and slogged through the rest of the pieces
that day.

I'm trying my best just to describe and let the merits of the
technique stand on its' own or die, but I do want to give credit
that it was Jim Barker at Undine who convinced me of this sculling
long long after I'd tried to learn it.  It's impossible to write
out, ah, but good exersize anyway.

Mike

 
 
 

Getting a Grip

Post by Jay Feen » Sun, 16 Jul 1995 04:00:00

.
.
.

Quote:

>>I am presently being coached to let the water feather the blade and to keep
>>my hands high.  I am a bit skeptical about this style.  Although I
>>realize that we all combine the release and feather to a certain extent,

.
.
.

One aspect of finishing the stroke like this and keeping your hands high is
that it only works well in a single...

So many scullers do this and then have a lot of problems in the larger boats
[quad] where they can only get away with it in the bow seat.  If positioned in
the stern of the boat they really need to clear the puddles of the other three
people in the boat.  Personally, I would recommend a clean finish that clears
the water...this would not keep the hands high during the recovery.

Cheers,

-Jay

 
 
 

Getting a Grip

Post by Julie Bielski - jbiels » Tue, 18 Jul 1995 04:00:00

This message is slightly unrelated to the rest of the thread, but
it still seems like the best place to post it.  I am a female rower,
somewhat on the small side (5'4", 116 lbs.).  My problem is that I
have small hands.  So when I grip the oar, the feeling is similar to
when I try to grip a regulation-size football.  At slow boat speeds,
it's not usually a problem, but as the boat starts going faster, I
start to lose control with my feathering hand, which in my case is
my right hand since I usually row starboard.  I've caught numerous
crabs this way and it has been very frustrating.  Now, perhaps the
problem isn't my hand size, perhaps it is just that I'm not strong enough
to hold on tighter or something.  What do others think?

 
 
 

Getting a Grip

Post by Nick Buffinge » Tue, 18 Jul 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

>This message is slightly unrelated to the rest of the thread, but
>it still seems like the best place to post it.  I am a female rower,
>somewhat on the small side (5'4", 116 lbs.).  My problem is that I
>have small hands.  So when I grip the oar, the feeling is similar to
>when I try to grip a regulation-size football.  At slow boat speeds,
>it's not usually a problem, but as the boat starts going faster, I
>start to lose control with my feathering hand, which in my case is
>my right hand since I usually row starboard.  I've caught numerous
>crabs this way and it has been very frustrating.  Now, perhaps the
>problem isn't my hand size, perhaps it is just that I'm not strong enough
>to hold on tighter or something.  What do others think?

IMHO, you should try to relax your grip.  The force required to square and feather a blade should be relatively small (assuming that=
 you are not feathering underwater and you are not holding the boat up towards the catch), so you shouldn't have to grip the oar ter=
ribly tightly with your inside hand.  One thing that I try to instill in people (on the few occasions that I teach sculling) is that=
 the collar/oarlock should be doing the work at the feather/square (all that is required from you is a small bit of force to pop the=
 oar into position--if you grip too hard you can, at least with a scull, hold the oar at an incorrect pitch, which makes the oar beh=
ave badly and is rather tiring).  On the other hand, the oar handle is probably a bit too big as well.  Speaking as one with less th=
an oversize hands myself (5'7" and hands in proportion), I find it much more relaxing to row with oars that have been shaved down (I=
 believe that Concept II now offers multiple oar handle sizes on their sweep oars).

Nick
Stanford RC

 
 
 

Getting a Grip

Post by dr.. » Tue, 18 Jul 1995 04:00:00

Quote:
> start to lose control with my feathering hand, which in my case is
> my right hand since I usually row starboard.  

Julie - If you are a starboard, you should be feathering with your
left hand (was this a typo?).  If you are feathering with your right
hand as a starboard (ie, your outside hand), this could be causing
some of your problems...