Rowing dictionary – O


A slender lever used to propel a rowing boat. The oar is attached to a boat at the oarlock. One end of the pole, called the "handle," is gripped by the rower, the other end has a "blade," which is placed in the water during the propulsive phase of the stroke.

Oar balance

Rigging element that indicates the balance point of an oar, measured from the handle. Main article: Balance point of the oar.

Oar length

Rigging element that gives the length of the oar. Main article: Oar length.

Oar pitch

Rigging element that gives the angle between blade and flat contact surface of the oar. Main article: Oar pitch.

Oar stiffness

Rigging element that indicates the bending of an oar when it is loaded with a weight of 10 kg. Main article: Oar stiffness.


The plastic rotating piece mounted on the pin at the end of the rigger in which the oar sits whilst rowing.

Oarlock height

Rigging element that gives the height of the oarlock in relation to the seat. Main article: Oarlock height.

Oarlock pitch

Rigging element that gives the angle of the oarlock. Main article: Oarlock pitch.

Oarlock pressure

The pressure applied with the arms that causes the collar(s) to touch the oarlock(s). Main article: Insufficient oarlock pressure.


First step in correcting rowing mistakes, recognizing the rowing mistakes. Main article: Observe.

Octuple (8*)

A shell having eight rowers with two oars each. Generally a training boat.

Also see: Discipline.

Open water boat

A shell with positive flotation, self-bailing capacity, a non-binding stretcher, and no forestay so re-entry is easier. These boats are generally shorter and wider at the waterline than boats designed for flat water racing.

Open water race

Competition on unsheltered water exposed to current, tide, wind and requiring navigation skills as well as strength, endurance, and technique. Generally uses a mass start and includes a mix of human-powered boats. Typical race distances are 6 to 26 miles.

Outboard handle

The length of the blade from the tip of the spoon to the collar at the point where it will sit against the oarlock.


See: Rigger.

Outer hand

The hand of a sweep rower (with one oar) that is placed on the end of the oar handle. This is the balancing hand.

Outward angle oarlock pin

Rigging element that gives the angle (tilting) of the oarlock pin perpendicular to the boat. Main article: Outward angle oarlock pin.

Over reaching

Mistake where the rower bends his trunk and pushes his oar(s) away, just before the catch. Main article: Over reaching.

Overlap (sculling)

Rigging element that indicates the amount by which the scull handles overlap when an rower holds them horizontally at right angles to the boat. Main article: Overlap (sculling).

Overshoot (sweep rowing)

Rigging element that indicates how far a sweep oar extends from the center of the boat to the end of the handle. Main article: Overshoot (sweep rowing).

Overstretching the legs

Mistake where the legs are stretched entirely flat. Main article: Overstretching the legs.

Rowing dictionary – N
Rowing dictionary – P

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