Four Tips For Rowing Your One-Person Inflatable Boat Effectively

Posted on: 12 June 2017

A lightweight inflatable boat, such as from Andy and Bax, can provide hours of fun out on the water at an affordable price. These watercraft are tough to capsize due to their wide shape, and they're often made small enough for a single person to row. But while rowing an inflatable boat is not difficult, there is a bit of a learning curve when you first start. These tips will help you row your boat more effectively--so your time on the water is more relaxing and less strenuous.

Put the oars in the pockets.

If you look at the sides of the boat, you should see one "pocket" on either side. Sometimes, new rowers mistake these pockets for handles. While you can certainly use them to make carrying the inflated boat easier, this is not their primary purpose. They are actually made for you to thread your oars through. This prevents you from losing an oar, and it also makes sure each oar is positioned at the same depth in the water, which makes from straighter rowing. 

Row in even arcs.

To begin rowing, sit in the boat with the oars in front of you. Grasp each one at a spot that allows you to keep your hands shoulder-width apart. Then, row with both arms at the same time. Aim to create an arc. The paddles should scoop down into the water, and then arc backwards until they exit the water behind them. Circle them over the water, insert them again, and push back again. It may take you a few strokes, but you will find your rhythm. 

Use your shoulders.

As you row, try to generate most of the power from your shoulders, rather than from your wrists or forearms. Your shoulders are larger, stronger joints, so they won't tire as quickly. Keep your back straight as you row, as this will keep you from putting more strain on one shoulder than on the other.

Turn with one oar.

Sometimes new rowers try to turn by pushing one oar faster than the other or pushing one oar deeper than the other. While these techniques may eventually turn your boat, they are not the most effective. The easiest way to turn is to hold one oar completely out of the water, and continue rowing with the other. Paddle with the oar on the opposite side to the direction that you want to turn. For instance, if you want to right right, you should paddle only with your left oar.

With the tips above, you'll be rowing like a pro in no time.