Beginners Guide to Rowing Crew & Rowing Team

Rowing refers to a sport where a single player propels a boat forward using oars. This can be done by a single player – known as a single scull – or a rowing team of eight players – known as the coxed eight. This sport is often organized in a large lake where there is enough distance to create a challenge. On the boat, oars are attached to the riggings on both sides. The sport itself is called ‘crew’. 

Rowing first started in ancient Rome, Egypt and Greece. The boats are narrow and long and are usually referred to as shells. The narrow shape allows the boat to reduce the effect of drag force caused by the water and further enhance the speed. 

If you’re looking to participate in the rowing championship soon and you’re looking for a few tips as a beginner, you’ve come to the right place. Here in this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know – the basic factors you need to keep in mind while rowing, the equipment you need to get ahold of before starting the crew sport, and the major crew rowing races you could participate in as a beginner. 

Rowing Crew Positions

In a rowing team, it is extremely important how you place the members in your group. There are essentially two rowing positions for you as an athlete. You can either be a rower or be a coxswain. 

As a rower, you have the option to sit with your backs towards the bow or at the front of the boat. Either way, you’ll be using force to propel the boat further via oars and make sure you stay ahead of the other participants. When you’re in a rowing team, you have three classes to choose from; a technical class, the powerhouse class, and the stroke class. The technical class makes sure the boat stays stable; since it’s long and narrow, this is very important. The powerhouse class sits in the middle and makes sure to use all the force they’ve got within themselves. Lastly, the one in the stroke-class crew team position ensures that every member is in synchronization to avoid mistakes, mishaps, and losing the first position. 

As a coxswain, you will be responsible to make sure the boat is heading in the right direction. You will need to keep the members motivated and communicate with them at all times. As a coxswain, you’ll sit at the stern end of the rowing crew boat, so that you’re facing your teammates. 

Crew Equipment

As a beginner in the crew sport, you’ll need to browse equipment and buy some of the best ones available in the market. The better the equipment, the better your chances of handling the boat well. Aside from the boat itself, the most essential items you need to look for include oars, an oarlock, a gunwale, skeg, seat, rigger, collar, and cox box. 

The oar, as you may already know, is an instrument that will help you row your boat. The wider end of the oar goes into the water and creates enough propulsion force to move you closer to the finish line. The oarlock as well as the rigger are seen on both sides of the boat and make sure the oars stay attached to the boat. These two tools themselves are secured together using a gunwale. 

The collar avoids the oars from slipping while the rudder is used to steer the boat’s direction. You’ll be sitting on a seat while rowing and if you’re a coxswain, you’ll be communicating through a cox box.

 

Note: For indoor you can use rowing machine for exercise at home or gym such as concept2 or lifespan fitness rw1000.

 

The Races You Could Participate in as A Beginner

There are plenty of races you can participate in; each and every one of them is fun in their own way and teach you a lot. Here are the official classifications to crew rowing races. 

  • Lightweight

In this, there is a lower maximum limit to the weight of players of both genders. If you’re a male, you can be a maximum of 73 kilograms while the maximum you can be as a female is 59 kilograms. These races are more common in the US than anywhere in the world. 

  • Heavyweight 

This category is also known as the ‘open weight’ category. If you’re heavier than the boundaries mentioned above in the previous category, you will have to participate in this. This primarily has the same rules except for the weight limits, of course. 

  • Single Scull/Double Scull

A single scull race is where there is only one person on the boat. The entire crew consists of one person and he alone is responsible for rowing, steering, and motivating himself. 

On the other hand, a double scull allows you to have another partner with you. Each of you will be controlling two oars on both sides. Make sure to pick someone you have great chemistry with or else you see yourself coming last. 

  • Coxed Pair

In a coxed pair, one of you will be rowing the boat with two oars on each side while the other would act as a coxswain. However, a coxless pair would refer to having no one acting as a coxswain; both of you will be rowing the boat. 

  • Cox/Coxless Four

A cox four will have four rowers – everyone will have an oar to help the rowing – while a fifth person serves as a coxswain. The coxless four will have no coxswain. 

  • Eight 

As you may have guessed, this type of race will allow you to have a total of nine partners. Eight of you will be rowing while one of you will be a coxswain. 

FAQs

Q1. What is a crew team? 

Answer: Crew is the sport of rowing. A crew team refers to the team you gather to participate in races.

Q2. What is a rowing team called?

Answer: It is called a crew. 

Q3. What is a crew boat called?

Answer: Crew boats are called shells.

Above was a step by step guide to crew rowing boat races as a beginner. Following this guide will make sure you achieve something far greater than you imagined in the first go.