Span (sculling)

Concept: The distance between the center of both oarlock pins.
Sizes: Measured in centimeters: 156cm–165cm
+ Overlap and stroke length get smaller, catch gets lighter.
Overlap and stroke length get bigger, catch gets heavier.

Assuming an unchanged hand position, a smaller catch angle is achieved with a larger span. In the same way, the finish angle is also smaller. In short, the stroke length is shorter.

Measure: Use a tape measure. First of all, the total span is measured: from centerline oarlock to centerline oarlock. Then it is checked whether both oarlocks are equally far out. This is done by measuring the distance from the bottom of the oarlock pin (so that the oarloack height does not effect the measurement) to the gunwale. When this distance is the same on both sides, the oarlocks equally far out.

span measuring
Left, span measured from oarlock to oarlock. Measuring the distance from the bottom of the oarlock to the edge on the right.

Adjust: Shift the two oarlocks outwards or inwards. The method differs per type of oarlock. The most common oarlock can be adjusted,  with a wrench 19 fixing the oarlock pin and a bahco loosening the bolt. Always check the span by measuring the distance between the bottom of the oarlock pin and the gunwale. A deviation of 1 to 2 millimeters is acceptable.

Spread (sweep rowing)

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