Single (1x): Seats one rower, utilizes the sculling style of rowing (one oar in each hand), and does not seat a coxswain (see the FAQ on the Parent Info page for more on coxswains).
Double (2x): Seats two rowers, no coxswain, and employs the sculling style to row.
Quad (4x): Seats four rowers, no coxswain, and employs sculling style.
Pair (2-): Seats two rowers, no coxswain, and rowers uses sweep style rowing (each rower uses one oar).
Four (4+): Seats four rowers and a coxswain, and rowers utilize sweep style rowing.
Straight Four (4-): Same as a four boat but does not seat a coxswain.
Eight (8+): Seats eight rowers and a coxswain, and rowers use sweep style rowing.
The whole body is involved in moving a shell through the water. Although rowing tends to look like an upper-body sport, the strength of the rowing stroke comes from the legs.
The stroke is made up of four parts: Catch, Drive, Finish, and Recovery.
As the stroke begins, the rower is coiled forward on the sliding seat, with knees bent and arms outstretched. At the catch, the athlete drops the oar blade vertically into the water.
At the beginning of the drive, the body position doesn't change; all the work is done by the legs. As the upper body begins to uncoil, the arms begin their work, drawing the oar blades through the water. Continuing the drive, the rowers move their hands quickly into the body, which by this time is in a slight "layback" position, requiring strong abdominal muscles.
During the finish, the oar handle is moved down, drawing the oar blade out of the water. At the same time, the rower "feathers" the oar, turning the oar handle so that the oar blade changes from a vertical position to a horizontal one. Also known as the "Release".
The oar remains out of the water as the rower begins recovery, moving the hands away from the body and past the knees. The body follows the hands and the sliding seat moves forward, until, knees bent, the rower is ready for the next catch.