Why Rowing Is One of The Most Underrated Sports

Rowing may or may not be a sport you know, and if you don’t then you should. It is a very complicated sport that requires skills and strength, making it one of the most physically and mentally challenging sports. This sport is not too well known making it one of the most underrated sports ever. There are a lot more factors than just dipping a paddle into the water and rowing or the strongest boat wins. There is much more to it, and many factors contribute to who’s on top at the end. 

Photo by Sean Robertson on Unsplash

The Basics of Rowing 

Rowing is a sport in which there are multiple boats each with 9 people and the goal is to get to the finish line first. Each person is assigned to seats each with their own specific role. The person in the front of the boat does not row but tells the rowers what to do, keeps the boat pointed in the right direction and motivates the boat. The 7 and 8 seats are the leaders of the boat and set the pace for all of the other rowers to follow. Seats 3, 4, 5, and 6 are the powerhouse of the boat and are usually the strongest among the 8 rowers. Seats 1 and 2 mainly deal with steering when they are not rowing. Technique is very important for rowing and rowers spend lots of time perfecting it. Each stroke consists of many key parts.

  • When getting ready to row, rowers sit at the finish, which is a laid back position with their legs straight and their oar (which is their paddle) sitting right below their chest.
  • Once the rower is told to row they push their oars down which allows them to come out of the water and then twist the oar handles so that it is parallel with the water (they do this so if there are big waves they do not hit them).
  • Then in a unified motion they push their arms away, once that’s done they move their back forward, and finally they bend their legs.
  • Then they will slowly twist their oar paddle back to being perpendicular with the water.
  • Then they drop their oars into the water. When they get to that position it is called the catch.
  • When they get to the catch they immediately push their legs down until straightened and then pull back with their back, and then with their arms (this is what gets the boat moving).

This all is done in a short amount of time. Technique is everything because if you get something wrong in your technique while going race paced you may catch a crab. And no this is not catching a crab floating on the surface of the water, this is when you lose control of your oar and it flies straight back at you and if you’re not careful it may slam you right in the head which will not be fun at all. There is also another key factor in rowing called “setting the boat”. This is the act of making the boat balanced and level. This is very important for rowers because if the boat is leaning to one side and you can’t lift your oar up out of the water, the water will most likely catch your oar and then you will get a crab. To set the boat all oar handles must be the same height when getting ready to get to the catch.


Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Now that you know the basics of rowing let’s talk about the benefits. Like I said before this sport is physically challenging and is not easy. Every second you’re out there racing, giving everything you got from your muscles. It is a full body workout and it definitely is worth it as well. Races usually go on for a long period of time so this sport definitely will increase your overall stamina by a ton. It also increases your overall fitness, and strengthens your heart as well. Believe it or not rowing can also help your immune system. Even though when you are on rowing machines and are working as hard as you can and feel miserable this can actually lead you to have a better mood. This sport will definitely increase your mental toughness as well. Rowing is a very focused sport so when you row you are blocking out distractions and this can lead to developing mindfulness, relieving stress, improving concentration, and boosting creativity. Benefits like these are what make this sport so neat and useful which is a huge reason why this sport is so underrated. 

How to Join a Rowing Team

If you are looking to join rowing then Space Coast Crew is a good place to go. I have been on Space Coast Crew for about over a year now and it has truly been a great experience. It’s not only challenging but it is also fun. If you want information on how to join rowing then visit the site https://www.spacecoastcrew.org/ or email [email protected]