Rowing Quotes


Steve Fairbairn: Finding good strokes

 An article introducing the classic rowing coach, Steve Fairbairn, by Marlene Royle


Button On the Pin

“The button should press always against the rowlock; it keeps the body swinging straight, and it tells the oarsman where the rowlock is, and it steadies the boat. Proper use of the button tells the difference between a good waterman and a bad; the button should be always pressing against the rowlock, and the oar lying at rest flat on the sill on the forward swing, grasped very lightly by the hands, in the fingers more than the hands”

Notes on Rowing: The Complete Steve Fairbairn On Rowing, Fairbairn, p.96


Pressure on the PIN

“Try to squeeze the button through the rowlock at each end of the stroke”

Slowly Forward, Fairbairn, p.533

Don’t pull with the Toe-straps

“There is a natural tendency in young oars to pull the slide up with the straps; this is a fault, because it brings the knees up too soon and destroys the natural movement, which is best obtained by thinking of letting the boat run under one”

Rowing Notes, Fairbairn, p.176

Think for yourself

“The object of this book is to get more oarsmen to think for themselves…..look into the principles….and to settle for himself what is right”

Introduction to Some Secrets of Successful Rowing, Fairbairn, p.227


“…though we may be unlucky in the choice of words to describe and explain how I think an oarsman should set about his work, these Notes may achieve the main object by making the reader think out the matter and develop his own initiative”

Rowing Notes, Fairbairn, p.117




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