Need help with Blade Depth

No, ergs don't yet float, but some of us do, and here's where you get to discuss that other form of rowing.
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WildRose1
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Need help with Blade Depth

Post by WildRose1 » July 21st, 2021, 11:59 am

I have been rowing for two years and have a comfortable stroke but my left hand blade goes deeper than my right when sculling. When I get to where both oars are in line with each other (90 degrees to the centre line of the shell) my overlap is left hand over top of the right. My right hand is in a good position for blade depth but since my left hand is higher on the overlap, my blade depth on the left side tends to be deeper. Is there a way to fix this? The spacers on both oarlocks are the same. Do I...
a) Change the spacer height on one or both sides?
b) Instead of going one hand over the other at the overlap, go one hand infant of the other at the overlap?

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pagomichaelh
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Re: Need help with Blade Depth

Post by pagomichaelh » July 21st, 2021, 1:45 pm

Don't mistake me for an expert, I know very little, OK?

From all of the material I've read about rigging, the left (starboard) rowlock should be 1-2 cm higher than the right (port) rowlock to compensate. Croaker oars has some pretty good 'how to' utube vids.

Something I'm mulling is Randall foils. This is a 'do-hickey' that attaches to the top of the blade, making it harder to submerge the blade deeper than optimum (also a lot of other claims made of them, curing bad backs, flat feet, baldness and the heartbreak of psorisis, we'll leave that alone! :) ).

I think it'd be better to train yourself than to rely on an appliance, but I'm not sure. Although I'm the type to experiment, because I'm also a tight-wad, I haven't dropped the coin on them.
5'7" 152# b. 1954

Tsnor
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Re: Need help with Blade Depth

Post by Tsnor » July 21st, 2021, 6:47 pm

WildRose1 wrote:
July 21st, 2021, 11:59 am
I have been rowing for two years and have a comfortable stroke but my left hand blade goes deeper than my right when sculling. When I get to where both oars are in line with each other (90 degrees to the centre line of the shell) my overlap is left hand over top of the right. My right hand is in a good position for blade depth but since my left hand is higher on the overlap, my blade depth on the left side tends to be deeper. Is there a way to fix this? The spacers on both oarlocks are the same. Do I...
a) Change the spacer height on one or both sides?
b) Instead of going one hand over the other at the overlap, go one hand infant of the other at the overlap?
Understand. Your left hand is going high so your oar is going deep because you do not have enough room above your right hand.

Do this --> Change the spacer height on one or both sides Our sculls are set up this way with different spacer/rigging heights. The different spacer position makes hand height correct when the scull is set in the water. Grip the scull oar with thumb on end of oar, not overlapping/wrapped around the oar the way you would when sweeps rowing. The extra room from thumb position helps too. Also you want to move from the overlapped left over right to more even during the drive, then get in the overlap when needed as the handles come together.

Do not do this --> go one hand in front of the other at the overlap. You want left over right, not one in front of the other.

Also make sure that your feet are set in the foot stretchers so that your hands are in the right spot compared to your abs as you pull in toward release.

** not a coach. YMMV. This is guidance my coach keeps telling me. I am a sweeps rower, and only rarely scull (in a quad or pair) so I am far from an expert.

WildRose1
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Re: Need help with Blade Depth

Post by WildRose1 » July 21st, 2021, 7:41 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I think I will try dropping the right hand oar by a 1/8th inch spacer and see what that does to the overall stroke and blade dept. My hypothesis is that it will allow both hands to drop a little with should make my left hand blade depth not as deep.I will get back to you and let you know how it goes.

Tsnor
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Re: Need help with Blade Depth

Post by Tsnor » July 21st, 2021, 8:32 pm

WildRose1 wrote:
July 21st, 2021, 7:41 pm
Thanks for the suggestions. I think I will try dropping the right hand oar by a 1/8th inch spacer and see what that does to the overall stroke and blade dept. My hypothesis is that it will allow both hands to drop a little with should make my left hand blade depth not as deep.I will get back to you and let you know how it goes.
Good plan. Assume you do not currently have a coach/instructor or they would have helped you with the rigging. Consider getting a coach from a local club or school rowing team to watch you (or someone to make a video you can post to a rowing site). With two years experience you have the basics down and may have a few things advanced things you can work on. A coach can help.

rowingdude
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Re: Need help with Blade Depth

Post by rowingdude » July 21st, 2021, 9:12 pm

The spacer thing is a bit more of a convenience thing that a lot of rowers do to save their knuckles, blade depth at the catch is 100% technique, one oar lock being higher than the other is going to do nothing for boat speed.

Generally, if you're dipping your left hand deeper, you're concentrating to much on the finish/recovery of "left over right". Raising your oarlock will not fix, but only mask the root cause of the problem, which is likely upward tension in your upper back at the catch and during the drive.

1. Get video of yourself rowing, this is absolutely critical and must be done before any serious advice can be rendered.

2. Most new scullers will sink their oars because they sit up taller as they come off the catch. If you are doing this you need to shorten your catch until you have the flexibility and core stability to really reach out there.

3. In line with #2, if you feel your oars undulating throughout the drive, a common cause of this is not keeping your arms at full extension through the drive.

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