I was wondering what the difference is between checking it and holding water. I think checking it is just once side and everybody holds water? But I’m not sure. and then also what do you think is the easiest way to turn around? I usually have my stern or bow four row with ports backing. Is that pretty standard would you say? Thank you again so so so so so much.
For the most part there is no difference between checking it and holding water as they both mean pretty much the same thing. You can tell all eight to check it down or just the ports or whoever … it all means to slow the boat’s speed and bring the boat to a stop. Some coxswains use the terms interchangeably, some use them for different purposes. I typically say “check it down” when I want to stop the boat and/or spin around. When we’re sitting stationary and the current is moving us, I’ll have everyone “hold water” to try and keep us in place. When the rowers are checking, they square their blades about 3/4 of the way while they’re in the water. When they’re holding, everyone squares their blades all the way and lets them just rest in the water.
It’s up to you to decide which one you want to use/how you want to use it, but once you choose, make sure you stay consistent. Don’t say “ports check it down” for two weeks and then decide one day to switch it up. It confuses the rowers. They’re fragile creatures and can’t handle that kind of shock.
The easiest, most textbook way to turn around is starboards row, ports back. If you can’t have all eight rowing at the same time, have four people row and four people set the boat. The quickest way to spin with four people (in a port stroked boat) is to have bow and 3 row, 6 and stroke back. In a starboard stroked boat, have 2 and 4 row, and 5 and 7 back. That way you’ve got people in both the front AND the back of the boat doing work.