The seats are numbered 1 to 4. Number 1 is the bow seat and 4 is the stroke seat. The left side looking forward is the red or port side and the right side is the green or starboard side. The sharp end of the boat is the bow and the blunt end is the stern.
Sit in the centre of your seat: this helps to stop you leaning too far forward at the start of the stroke. Adjust the foot-block so that your legs are slightly bent and the ends of the Velcro foot-straps so that they point upwards together and are therefore easy to rip undone in an emergency.
Make sure that you are sitting in the middle of the boat to keep her evenly balanced.
You may find it helpful to put your little finger across the end of your oar handle to push the oar outwards against the button. Hold the oar with your hands around 8 inches apart.
Hold the oar lightly to avoid blisters. Relax your grip as the oar comes forward. This part of the stroke is called the recovery. Wear gloves if required.
Lean forward at the start of the stroke- keep your back straight and your chest open.
Lean back to about three o'clock.
Work out what height your hands need to be in order that the blade is just under the water & what height your hands must be to be so that your blade just clears the water when as your hands come forwards. Don’t put the blade deeper than this or raise the blade any higher than this as this wastes energy. The oar will find the correct depth if you let it..
Your arms should be straight when the blade enters the water. This is called the “catch”.
The drive is when you pull the oar through the water. Use your legs and back on the first part of the pull. Also push down on the footrest so that your bodyweight adds to your power.
Do not snatch at the first part of the stroke or pull more strongly at the end: both actions will cause you to tire quickly. Pull smoothly through the whole stroke.
Keep the pressure on until the end of the stroke to avoid washing out.
Keep your arms straight until you stop swinging back then pull in your arms to your body.
Keep your head and body on the centre-line of the boat throughout the stroke.
When feathering, turn the oar with the inside hand. Apply the power with the outside hand.