Spending a day out on the water can be a wonderful way to relax. But if your skills for rowing are lacking, your day will not be as enjoyable. While it is important to have good upper body strength to steer a rowboat properly, correct form when rowing is equally important. You don't have to have a strong build in order to row a boat. However if you are not accustomed to using certain muscles, it may be a little more difficult the first few times you try to row a boat. If you are just beginning you should take shorter trips or have a partner to help you row so you don't get worn out.
It is also wise for a beginner to choose a rowboat that is easier to steer so there will be fewer muscle aches the next day. Longer boats will require less effort to steer because they tend to cut through the water cleaner and will stay on course easier than shorter boats.
The weight in the boat should be adjusted so that it sits flat as possible on the water. If the front or rear of the rowboat is sticking out, it can make rowing more difficult and may get in the way of steering adjustments. Passengers on the boat should be seated evenly on the seats. Move any gear so that it is evenly spread on the floor of the boat.
You should use oar rings or locks that will hold the oars in place while you row. When you have to movie the oars from side to side or have to hold an oar, that takes too much effort. That effort should be used to move the boat through the water. Try to hold the oar in place up out of the water while you turn with the other oar.
Use the right oar to steer left, and the left oar to steer right. When the boat is moving and you want to adjust the direction slightly, place the oar in the water on the side to which you want to steer toward.
You will automatically Get better leverage and control by using a longer oar. You will also save some of your energy with longer oars. An oar should be about twice as long as the width of the rowboat to achieve maximum efficiency.
Proper steering is the key to having an enjoyable time out on the water. The first few times you row a boat may be a little challenging. But after your rowing skills improve, your trips will be much more enjoyable.
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