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May 17, 2008


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Rebecca Caroe

Good to see more rowing coaches online.
I have written about you here

Rebecca Caroe


"But if you watch video of elite scullers, you won’t see a motion anywhere near this large".

The reason why you don't see that motion is that you're not looking in the right place - it starts earlier and takes more time than it feels like in the boat.

Try this website, and watch the hand paths compared with the background:


If you compare the hand positions against the background, you can see the large changes in hand height to put the blade in and take it out.

Years ago, a friend and I were analysing some video of Thomas Lange - we could see the square finish, but he didn't seem to be "tapping down". We only worked it out when we realised that the downward movement of the hands started a lot earlier than where we were looking, and the faster you are going the earlier it happens. A similar thing happens around the catch, but yes, as with the finish, it should only feel like a small movement.

The hand paths shown by Nolte, Kleshnev and others are real and they do happen in good sculling, without washing out, even if the feeling you get in the boat is different.

You say "BUT: my blade does not show above the top of the water until my hands are at my body and until I decide to put a little more weight on the handles."

If you sit in that position with the boat stationary and completely bury the blades, you'll find that the handles are pretty high up your body, and I'll bet that when you are moving your hands don't get anywhere near that position, even though you aren't washing out i.e. your hands aren't quite doing what the subjective look and feel tells you.

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