Learning to row all over again

This morning I went for a technical paddle with my double partner, and I can honestly say it was like learning to row all over again. I finally understand what people mean when they say that I should travel up the slide at the same speed as the water. I actually managed to do that a few times during today’s paddle, and it felt really really wierd. It’s difficult to describe, but I think it was almost as if the water wasn’t moving at all with the boat just gliding along the surface. Which, when I think about what I just said, is exactly what it should feel like and makes perfect sense. But, I’ve never had that sensation before in a boat. The good thing is that I now know what I’m aiming for. Which, on the flip side, means that when it’s just not clicking that it’ll feel that much worse!!

A few other things clicked today, one of which was feeling for the connection of the blades to the water, and only engaging in the drive once I get the feeling that the blades have “filled up”. What I did previously, and still do when my mind drifts, was to just do the ergo action, which is to drop the blade into the water and pile on the power. Well, on the ergo there is no need to wait for the water to fill the blades up, as it’s just a chain that I need to put as much effort into pulling away from the fly wheel as I can muster. Well, wihtin reason anyway, as the effort level depends on the piece I’m doing at the time.

The other thing that clicked today was the balancing of the boat. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts I’ve been out in a single a number of times, but I’ve never really received any detailed technical coaching, it’s been a case of just trying not for flip over!! But, today I was given complete control of the boat in terms of setting the balance, so I learned fairly quickly how to sit it, and also just how small the changes need to be when the balance starts to go. Hopefully, given time I will learn to make the relevant adjustment sooner and thereby sit the boat that much better.

The other thing I learnt today is that the rocking motion Ive experienced in boats in the past, where the stern will dip when the crew is coming forward on the slide, is not what we should be aiming for. Rather, the boat should be sat level from bow to stern as well as side to side. That way the boat can just slide along the surface of the water as it did today.

As I say, it felt really really wierd. Well, wierd is probably the wrong way to describe it, I suppose it was just different to what I’ve experienced in the past. Whatever it was, it felt really good, like I was in sync with the water.

Anyway, I gotta get up early in the morning for another technical outing. I got up at 0500 today, and it’s a 0530 start tomorrow.

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