Rowing Techniques

The outdoor activity of rowing differs slightly from paddling in that the essential tool used to manually row the boat is an oar, also known as a sweep. The oar is securely attached to the watercraft by an oarlock; paddling, however, isn't connected to the boat. Another difference between rowing and paddling is that rowers generally always face toward the back or end of a boat, while it is customary for paddlers to position him or herself facing the bow, or front, of the boat when propelling the watercraft. Rowing also requires a pair of oars, also known as sculls, which are used to navigate the small watercraft in a straight line.

Another technique for rowing is known as sculling. The difference between sweeping oars and sculling is sweeping requires one person to man a single oar with two hands, while sculling refers to a person using a pair of blades with each hand controlling a single blade. The oar is often rested in a notch in the transom of the boat and projected over the aft end or back of the stern. Single blade sculling requires the blade to transversely move behind the watercraft instead of moving longitudinally alongside the watercraft as in rowing as well as double blade sculling.

Perhaps the most picturesque image of rowing is captured in Asia where small boat operators either stand or sit facing forward while gracefully manning a pair of oars. Italy is also infamous for the reenactment of the historical Vogalonga, or the long row, which occurs each year in Venice.




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