what is good ratio??

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what is good ratio??

Postby spitboi » March 23rd, 2009, 11:02 am

I have come back to my high school team for spring from another club and I realized that when I am on the water we are hopeless. We constantly have an unset boat and it is miserable, only a few rowers know how to make a balanced boat. We do not have anyone that is a capable stroke and this is only one of the issues I can say off the top of my head. (sorry for starting off extremely negatively..).

What really is something I have yet to have an understanding for is how do you know what your ratio should be at?? If I ask to become stroke seat I feel like I might be good since I have a good idea of how to keep a good ratio but I don't know what the actual timing should be for each stroke (I know that it varies on a situation but in general). How should I be counting in my head to make sure that it is kept at a good pace? I have really been wanting to know for some time (I have even googled it many times!!).
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Postby bloomp » March 23rd, 2009, 12:27 pm

Sounds like you're in a rough spot. But don't be afraid to step up and try to make things better - remember, as a rower only you can change your situation. You have the power to help set the boat better, you can tell the coxswain things to remind the rower, you can talk with the coach and other rowers (that normally works best after practice, not in the boat).

But, good ratio is really determined by the rating, which is determined by the pressure. At a low stroke rating, (16spm, 18spm, 20spm) the ratio should be about 1:3 or 1:4, or 1 count through the drive, three/four on the recovery. As you build pressure, the ratio should never be any faster than 1:2, as you always need that control on the recovery to minimize checking the boat.

If you've never stroked before, you probably don't know how frustrating it can be to deal with rush, and that's one thing that probably makes everything worse is people in boats trying to get to the next stroke faster. If you as a rower focus on controlling that recovery and not letting your legs/feet jerk you up the slide, you're conserving energy, not checking the boat, and not messing up the rest of the people in the boat.

I do feel your frustration with the crew though. As my entire varsity crew (I'm a collegiate freshman) has only one or two years of experience, while this is my fourth year rowing, it's really difficult because they don't have the same respect for the coach, the sport or understanding of their stroke and how it really isn't all that great.
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Postby spitboi » March 23rd, 2009, 8:30 pm

Thanks for the input bloomp! I am really disappointed since my school used to have a strong rowing team till a few years back and we haven't recovered. I really want to do well but it is impossible since my team won't work hard and try to fix their technique, we only do spring seasons (except for a few who train year round). I really want to see if I will be a good stroke since nobody else has a clue of how you need to focus when rowing. Rowing is really a team sport and I have come to realize that a few people can ruin a whole team.

Aside from the pessimism (sorry) when you are racing at a 35-36 spm would you follow the ratio at being 1:2? I know that to have correct ratio you need to pull hard in the water and relax on the drive but when I am racing there are people shooting the slide which makes me think nobody is relaxing...yeah...
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Postby bloomp » March 24th, 2009, 10:56 am

What school do you row for?

But, as a high school rower in an eight, you would probably want to row at a 34 as a HIGHEST rating, preferably at a 30-32. Anything else is just way too fast. Our novice race a few weeks ago was at a 32 and we're probably a few years older than you all. If you're in a four, a 30 should suffice.

And yes, that's the tricky part is keeping the ratio as you increase pressure and speed. You should talk to your coach about doing drills and focusing on low rating pieces to eliminate the rush. Pause drills at half slide or arms and bodies away work very well, as does the cut-the-cake drill, and j-drills. If your coach is somewhat clueless, I'd suggest trying to launch from the dock a few minutes earlier and having your crew do that stuff for a few minutes. If you don't know what those last two drills are, I can explain later.

Keep focused man, you sound like you've got a good head on your shoulders.
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Postby jamesg » March 26th, 2009, 1:56 am

Spitboi, you need at least a tub pair and a tub four for initial coaching. There must be something in the boat house, just make sure it's not full of holes. Maybe some clinker singles or doubles (or the modern plastic equivalents) too, if your water is not too dangerous. Even an erg might help, at least you can see the numbers and prod people into doing something right.

There's no point in going out in an 8 if the crew doesn't know which end of the oar to get hold of. Make some selection first.
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Postby Rockin Roland » March 26th, 2009, 11:15 pm

If your concerned about ratios and stroke ratings to try and set the boat then you probably are clueless. My suggestion to you is for now to forget about that kind of stuff. It's not going to help you guys set the boat.

Reading the boat run to get maximun clearance past the oar puddles on each stroke is the number one priority. Reach way out over the feet in front of you, without dropping your hands, for the catch and take a long flat draw way back to the chest without heaving the oar out at the finish.

Your greatest enemy is to row short and rate high. Rating high will most certainly make a novice row short. Let momentum carry your oar back to the catch during the recovery. Not your arms. Balance of the boat in recovery will come from weightless feel of the oar and most of the weight and pressure directed to your feet.

One useful drill to do is to sit at the finish position with the oar squared and buried in the water. Do a reverse stroke by pushing the oar through the water back to the catch position and take one stroke. Your oar doesn't leave the water however you get a good idea of what the oar does in relation to the boat moving. Next try taking 10 strokes concentrating on long flat draws then stop. Repeat several times until some form of balance starts appearing in the boat.
PBs: 2K 6:13.4, 5K 16:32, 6K 19:55, 10K 33:49, 30min 8849m, 60min 17,309m
Caution: Static C2 ergs can ruin your technique and timing for rowing in a boat.
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Postby spitboi » March 29th, 2009, 10:21 pm

Rockin Roland - thanks for the advice. I have done that drill before and I really like it! You are right about the short strokes being a big problem in a boat (as this is what is happening for half the boat) so I understand what you are saying. Is this what that drill is for though?
Another one of the big things that is wrong is that we do not have equal handle heights. What is something I could point out to some of my boat to help give them something to fix this? Thanks.

Jamesg - Thanks...I agree with you but sadly...we do not have any access to them.

Good thing though is that this week we have been cleaning up ourselves up dramatically and we should be fine. I think it was only that we were on the water for 2 weeks and most of us haven't been on a boat since last spring! I should be patient and not worry so much. It will obviously take time so I will wait but still try helping along the way as much as I can being a rower.
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Postby bloomp » March 30th, 2009, 8:26 am

Two excellent drills for fixing handle height are as follows:

Square blades rowing - Have the eight by fours at first, then by sixes, row on the square, focusing on having the blade of the oar only slightly above the water (the minimal clearance needed). Rowing a lot like this will emphasize the proper handle height needed to maintain an even set between everyone in the boat.

J Drills - Much more difficult than the last suggestion. The boat remains stationary, start with only four at a time (two in a four). Have those four sit at the finish, and practice the recovery, and drop in at the catch, and on the call of the coxswain, do that exact same thing in reverse and sit at the finish. The boat stays still, making it very difficult to set, so proper technique is rewarded. You start by going arms only from the finish to catch, then arms and body, then half slide, then 3/4 slide, then full slide. This drill works to get people recovering at the exact same time, and keeps handle height the same, as you work through each division of the stroke.

Good luck
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Postby Veronique » August 12th, 2009, 11:57 am

A good ratio and timed finishes will set the boat. I always try to get people to stop working on handle height for set since in a majority of cases this just creates tension and that's the #1 enemy when it comes to balance.

In a very good crew, ratio comes from quickly picking up the pressure at the catch and accelerating all the way through to the finish, regardless of the rate. When you're having big issues, I would use the following progression to get better:

1. Learn to sit on your butt. Sounds really stupid but most rowers actually fail to do this. The "gathering point" is at bodies-over position: arms fully extended, all the reach forward you're going to get from the hips and legs straight. Learn to relax at this point. Just sit in the boat; only the core is engaged at this time so that your back is in a strong position for the catch. Bodies-over pause drills are the staple exercise to learn this; rowing with people sitting out if necessary to keep the balance.

2. Use proper sequencing during the drive. Hang as long as you can, only using the legs and engaging the core. Then open the back and finally pull in the arms. Legs only drills are great here since they also re-enforce proper body prep. Most crews would need to do these with people sitting out at first.

3. Accelerate each stroke. And I mean each stroke. When the intensity is low, the rate should be lowered rather than dropping pressure to zero. A good crew never, never, never rows without continuous acceleration from catch to finish. We have the pleasure of watching the National team almost every day and this is what they do. In order to be able to accelerate, you have to feel the difference between pushing the boat forward and ripping the blade through the water. Strokes from a dead stop are good to experience this. Another thing to remember is to be patient and relax. You have a lot more time at the front end than you think. The relaxation and body prep helps to feel the pick-up at the catch.

4. Slide control. If you're body prep is good, this becomes much easier to do. When you start to feel acceleration through the drive and proper slide control, you row with ratio. Remember, though, that acceleration is more important than slide control. In the end, contrary to what many people are saying, most of the difference in movement speeds in going to higher rates lies in the recovery. So a crew that rows a high rate is faster on the slide. However, in order to use the high rate effectively, the slide speed needs to be "justified" by length and acceleration on the drive, which become much harder at high rates (not too mention much more tiresome).

5. Finishing together. It will improve naturally for most crews with the above, but it's the final step to set the boat. Rowing square blades or quarter feather, if possible without people sitting out, helps to get the timing and proper tap-down height.

It takes most people a few years to learn all this but once you experience the feeling of great ratio, it never goes away. Good luck!
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Postby Snail Space » August 13th, 2009, 9:05 am

Veronique wrote:... 4. Slide control. ... In the end, contrary to what many people are saying, most of the difference in movement speeds in going to higher rates lies in the recovery. So a crew that rows a high rate is faster on the slide.

I agree with Veronique,

In essence you should make sure that your body does not move faster than the water; allow the boat to move underneath you, rather than try to propel yourself to the stern. Think of allowing your feet to move up to the body. Of course, the faster the boat moves (at higher rates) the faster you need to let the boat move under you during the recovery, but still ensure that your body remains static relative to the water (nearby flotsam can act as a guide).

Cheers
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Re: what is good ratio??

Postby grahamcawood » April 20th, 2017, 4:23 am

Greetings. Have a look at any experts rowing and you should see the following:
1. A 1:1 in/out ratio.
2. Bent back.
3 No pausing anywhere. Spending longer with blades out of the water isn't going to help balance.
4. Rapid moving of the feathered blade to clear the knees.
5. Scullers feathering the blade while, not after, it leaves the water.
6. Squaring at the last moment.
7. A long reach, with the quick reversal of the handle taken partly by the arms rebending about 10".
8. 2 breaths per stroke - out at the catch and release - always!!!!

If you want to learn to row or scull , try to copy the experts.
They are always rhythmic, and annoyingly make it look easy.
So get in the boat, and practice the technique used by the experts, and don't do any 'drills'. Use a rate of 26+. Slow rates cannot give a good rowing rhythm,because useful things like rebounding at the catch, and plyometric muscle use, rely on a fast rate. Try running at a slow rate!.
And check the rigging of the boat. Beginners are sometimes put in older club boats which might not get the best attention.
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