1) 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 side and the right side is the green side. The sharp end of the boat is the bow and the blunt end is the stern.
2) Sit towards the stern on your seat: this gives you more room to row and enables your oar to reach further forward at the start of the stroke.
Adjust the foot-block so that your legs are slightly bent. Adjust and secure the foot-block before you climb into the boat and before you start rowing. There is a black mark by the left track which is the same distance from the seat in all boats. Position your foot-block in relation to the mark.
Arrange 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.
3) 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 a little less than shoulder width 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.
4) Lean forward at the start of the stroke. This is where the stroke is most powerful. Keep your back straight and your chest open.
5) Lean back to about half- past one o'clock. Do not lean too far backwards in order not to hurt your back.
6) Work out what height your hands need to be in order that the blade is just under the water through out the drive.
7) Work out what height your hands must be to be so that your blade just clears the water when as your hands come forwards. Don’t raise the blade any higher than this as this wastes energy.
8) Your arms should be straight when the blade enters the water. This is called the “catch”.
9) 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.
10)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 with more pressure during the middle part of the stroke. The oar is at right angles to the boat then and the all the effort goes into pulling the boat forwards.
11)Keep the pressure on and the blade under the water until the end of the stroke to avoid washing out.
12) Keep your arms straight until your shoulders are above your hips. Then pull in your arms to your body.
13) Keep your head and body on the centre-line of the boat throughout the stroke.
14) When feathering, turn the oar with the inside hand. Apply the power with the outside hand.
15) When starting from rest, always make a quarter length stroke, a half stroke, a three-quarter stroke and then a full stroke. This is much kinder on the body and a more efficinet way to get the boat moving.