It’s the image of an oar slicing through the water that embodies the essence of the sport of rowing...a sport where commitment, determination and hard work often make the difference between winning a gold medal or nothing at all.
Rowing is a unique activity that offers social and recreational enjoyment on scenic venues in lakes, rivers and canals. Most importantly, it is a lot of fun.
Rowing is a total body workout and some consider rowers are among the world’s best conditioned athletes. Although rowing looks graceful, elegant and sometimes effortless when it is done well, don’t be fooled. The sport demands endurance, strength, balance, mental discipline, and an ability to continue on when your body is demanding that you stop.
ERA provides coaching, equipment, and support to rowers in the local Everett area. At ERA, we believe our athletes deserve the chance to be the best they can be. That’s why we want to do everything we can to make sure they get their chance and to encourage that special ERA spirit in all of them.
Top 10 Things to Know about Rowing:
1. Rowers are some of the best athletes.
The sport demands technique, endurance, strength and mental focus.
2. It’s the legs.
Although upper body strength is important, the drive which moves the boat comes from strong legs. Rowing is one of the few athletic activities that involves all of the body’s major muscle groups.
3. Meters not miles.
The standard length of a rowing race is 1000 meters for masters and 2000 meters for juniors.
4. Sweep Rowing vs. Sculling.
In sweep rowing, the athlete holds one oar with both hands. In sculling, the athlete has two oars - one in each hand.
5. Think even numbers.
Sweep rowers come in 2s (pairs), 4s (fours), and 8s (eights). Scullers can row alone (in a single), with another person (in a double), or with three other people (in a quad).
6. It only looks easy.
Great rowing looks graceful & fluid but don’t be fooled. Balancing a boat that may be as narrow as 11 inches and being technically proficient with 10-12 foot oars is very difficult work.
7. High tech versions of age-old equipment.
Today’s rowing boats, called shells, are made of strong, lightweight carbon fiber. Boats range from 27 to 60 feet in length.
8. SPM not MPH.
Strokes per minute are the number of strokes the boat completes in a minute’s time. The boat that gets the most distance out of every stroke may win the race.
9. Timing is everything.
There are no style points for rowing - the boat whose bow crosses the finish line first is the winner.
10. Teamwork is number one.
Rowing is teamwork’s best teacher. The athlete trying to stand out in an eight will only make the boat slower. It is the crew made up of individuals willing to sacrifice their goals for the goals of the team; the athletes determined to match their desire, their talent and their oars with the rower in front of them, that will have success together.