These are some of the different water conditions you can find while you row on the water:
- Perfect water conditions with not wind and no movement at all of the water.
- Flat with current.
- Flat with a bounce movement.
- Flat with power boats waves.
- Flat with wind.
- Not flat from wind.
- Not flat from wind with current.
- Not flat from wind with power boat waves.
On my opinion the better the water the easier is to fully relax and learn to feel the boat and the body. Rowing is a sport of gliding and feel and when the conditions get hard it is a lot harder to do the movement correctly and feel exactly what is happening.
There are 2 different aproaches to bad water conditions:
1) When the wind, waves or current that make the water not perfect is always the same.
2) When the wind, waves or current that make the water not perfect is changing.
In my opinion on the first situation the rower can adapt to whatever is happening and be constant to this change.
On the second situation the rower is being confused by the conditions changing all the time.
For me the ideal is to row as much as possible on good water conditions. This way the rower can fully relax and learn to feel the boat and his body and the coach can help him with feedback. When the conditions get difficult the rower is changing every stroke to adapt to whatever he is feeling. This situation makes really difficult for the rower to learn to feel the boat or his body and also makes really hard to relax to get good coaching.
My answer is: It is really important to try to row as much as possible while developing on perfect water conditions. This way the rower can really feel the boat and the effect of what he is doing every stroke. When the rower is better, windy conditions that are simulating windy racing are good to challenge the rower to adapt. I believe that you become excellent on bad conditions when you are fully relax and aware of the boat and your body. To achieve that you need to row on flat water.
Rowing on current, windy conditions and on power boat waves makes the learning process harder and the relaxation almost impossible. It is really important that rowers have access to good water to learn to row and relax. Later on the process these rowers can get challenged with wind and waves. Rowing on windy conditions simulating windy racing is an exercice to adapt and learn to deal with the conditions.