Rowing Basics

Stroke Bow Seat Rigger Cox Shoes Blade

Basics of Rowing

1 - Blades
Blades

Rowers use blades (or oars) to propel the boat forward. There are different shapes of blade that have different names.

2 - Riggers
Riggers

The riggers of a boat hold a pivot for the blade out from the side of the boat. The blade attaches to the pivot via a gate that sits at the end of the rigger.

3 - Seat
Seat

Rowers sit on a seat, in the type of boat pictured the seat will move backwards and forwards on wheels to allow the rower greater movement. The runners on which the wheels sit are called the slide.

4 - Shoes
Shoes

Rowers attach their feet to their boat via shoes fixed to a metal plate in the boat. This provides them with a stable base to push off.

5 - Cox
Cox

Some boats have a cox who may sit in the front or back of the boat. In a coxed boat, the cox steers the boat and instructs the crew whilst also acting as a lookout.

6 - Bow
Bow

The bow is the front end of the boat and it is also the name given to the rower who sits in the bow. Bow is also referred to as 'number one' and this is the rower who will cross the finishing line first.

6 - Stroke
Stroke

The person at the back or the stern of the boat is called 'stroke' - in an eight he or she is 'number eight'. All the other rowers in the boat aim to follow the rhythm and rate set by the stroke.

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