Rowing Terms

Blade: The oar, also the end of the oar which is placed in the water.

Bow: The front end of the boat; also used as the name of the person sitting nearest the bow.

Catch: The oar blade entering the water at the beginning of the stroke.

Collar (or Button): a plastic or metal fitting tightened to the oar to keep the oar from slipping through the oarlock.

Crab: A stroke that goes bad. The oar blade slices into the water at an angle and gets caught under the surface. A bad crab can catapult you out of the boat.

Check-it- Down (or Hold water): Hold the blades perpendicular in the water to stop the boat.

Feathering: Turning the oar blade flat during the recovery to lessen wind resistance.

Fin (or Skeg): A small flat appendage located along the stern section of the hull which helps stabilize the shell in holding a straight course.

Finish: The oar blade leaving the water at the end of the stroke.

Foot Stretcher (or Clog or shoes): An adjustable bracket in a shell to which rowers feet are secured.

Gunwale (or gunnel): That part of the shell which runs along the sides of the crew compartment through which the riggers are bolted.

Handle: The end of the oar you hold in your hand.

Keel: The center line of the shell

Oarlock: A U-shaped swivel which holds the oar in place. It is mounted at the end of the rigger and rotates around a metal pin. A gate closes across the top to keep the oar in place.

Paddle: Easy rowing, no power.

Port side: Left side of the boat, as facing the bow.

Recovery: The time between strokes, the oar blade traveling through the air.

Rigger: The assembly of tubes which are tightly bolted to the hull to which are attached an oarlock.

Rigging: The adjustment and alteration of accessories (riggers, foot stretchers, oar, etc.) in and on the shell to maximize a particular rowers efficiency, based on their size and capabilities.

Rudder: Device used to steer the shell.

Scull: This term is used interchangeably: to the oars used in sculling, the sculling shell itself; or the act of rowing in a sculling shell.

Shell: The racing boat; Term for rowing boat.

Slide: The track on which the seat moves.

Slings: Collapsible/portable frames with straps upon which a shell can be placed.

Split: The time a crew takes to complete a 500 meter segment of the race.

Starboard: Right side of the boat facing the bow.

Stern: The rear end of the boat.

Stroke: Apart from the rowing action, this can also mean the person who sits in the stern of the boat and sets the pace for the crew.

Weigh-Enough: Stop.