Today I got the chance to row a pair with a friend and it was a good experience. I believe the last time I rowed a pair was back in 1996. A long time ago! Since then I have rowed only on sculling boats. Here is a video of today before starting our real row on the pair!
I’m sure you want to find out how was it, what I felt and how different It was from a 1x or a 2x?
It was an amazing experience because i had on my side that the stroke and the water were perfect today!
What was different from sculling on a 1x or 2x?
1) I felt first really weird with a big long oar and having my two hands on the same oar.
2) The balance was different because now I felt I was in charge of one side when on sculling we both do both. A different feeling but i knew how to balance. I guess the intuition from sculling worked here too.
3) I felt in Sculling the level of hands just gets the blade out of the water closer or not but here on sweep rowing it has a direct impact on the balance and there is more discipline and kind of work to do together to make the thing work. I liked that!
4) I liked having the 2 hands on the same oar and helping each other hand. I felt both have different roles and I like that they are working together. In sculling both handle their own oar and there is not helping around…
5) I liked the way we moved on the recovery to the catch and opening the arms to each one side to match at the catch. It was a strong feeling because here is like I was one arm of sculling and my stroke the other arm and we open in opposite directions. I really like that feeling.
6) I feel a pair is so different from a 2x. Actually a lot more work with your partner because here we are not doing the same, each one rows in one side and I like that extra work together that we need to commit to make it work. I guess in a 4- or an 8+ is the same but with more people in each side.
7) I liked the hanging your whole body out of a unique oar. It is a stronger feel of hanging and you can compensate any kind of imbalance easier. In sculling if you have some imbalances it really affects direct the blade work of the side of your imbalance. On sweep I feel you can work it out together.
8) I felt we could really feel the pair a lot because we are both good single scullers and are really precise and balanced on our movements. This means that I believe that coming from sculling and the 1x gave us an advantage to feel more and enjoy that kind of one oar rowing maybe more than somebody that only rows sweep.
9) I had a lot of trouble during the drive. It was hard to engage properly my core and the blade and be consistent on the deepness of the blade. It was actually really challlenging to hang out from the oar well. I felt weak and not precise on my blade work.
10) My timing was perfect, I knew how to move on the recovery and get ready for the catch and actually catch. I knew what to do but my power application or the building of my power curve wasn’t good and it made the timing at the finish or the acceleration a little hard. As we rowed with less power it was easier for me to do it right.
I really enjoyed that experience. Sweep rowing is fun and different but has the same rowing principles. I really think we should all switch around more often and also from all the different events. At the end is rowing and all the boats are ruled by the same rowing principles!