Monday, January 22, 2018

Row or Paddle?

February 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 


row or paddle 1

If I say, “Quick! Name a rowing song” you’ll probably say “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” immediately. But can you name a song about paddling? I couldn’t think of one.

row or paddle 2Rowing is what we sing about, but paddling is probably what many of us do. That’s because the two words describe different actions in different vessels that go in different directions. When we row a rowboat or scull, we use oars that we set into oarlocks and travel the opposite way of the direction we’re facing. When we grab paddles to paddle a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard, they aren’t attached to anything (except our hands), and we move in the water towards where we’re looking.

When you’re rowing, your legs and arms do the bulk of the work. When paddling, your torso (middle section) is supplying a lot of the stroking power.

row or paddle 3Both water activities require the same basic safety precautions, starting with taking a boating safety course before you head out. The day you go rowing or paddling, you need sunscreen, a life jacket with reflective tape on it so bigger boats can spot you, a whistle, a cellphone and portable VHF radio in a waterproof bag, and a water bottle. Never head out without adult supervision and let someone on land know where you’re going and when you plan to return.

As for other equipment, you could paddle a vessel with just one paddle and get where you’re going, but if you row with just one oar, you’ll end up where you were before!

Video about paddling and rowing, and a song about paddling!


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