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Old 11-27-2011   #11
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
I've prayed that prayer a few times!
Me too! lol

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Old 11-27-2011   #12
Denver / Coloma / Monterey, CO / CA
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 119
I've been rowing commercially for 40 years now, although I've taken a lot of time off, so I have thousands and thousands of hours on the oars and I agree with all the ship forward folks. Think about your body and oar position in all three cases and you'll figure out that forward
1. Is the quickest.
2. Keeps the oars in a position of readiness.
3. Keeps you in a position of readiness.

Also suggest you use free oarlocks, if you're not already. You'll have much better control over your blades for feathering and getting an oar "un-crabbed".

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Old 11-27-2011   #13
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 883

Ten foot oars. Seven foot wide boat. Pull oars straight in. Three feet of oar still sticking out one side or the other.

If that works for you, fine. But swinging them blade forward, parallel to the length of the boat, was always more effective and efficient for me -- for all of the reasons cited above.


Rich Phillips
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Old 11-27-2011   #14
rubberduck's Avatar
glenwood springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 5
maybe us U.P.S. and tell em you want saturday delivery
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Old 11-27-2011   #15
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Albany, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 256
Agree across the lap is most dangerous for passengers (we needed to evacuate one after an oar handle to the back of the head injury in Mule Creek Canyon).
Blades forward provides the most continuous control and is usually the best choice.
There are times when blades back has advantage due to being less likely to clip something alongside the boat.
Check out this oar popping about 3:15 into this clip (blades back would have been better):
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Old 11-28-2011   #16
, MA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 34
I agree with most that shipping the oars forward is easiest and quickest, but there are a few instances when you defiantly want to ship back. If you are squeezing through some rocks and then going through a wave or dropping into a hole I like to have the blades back. Although it takes more work to use them again, I don't have to worry about the blade catching water like it might in the forward position. This is the same reason as to why you want your spare to be rigged handle forward, so it doesn't catch water and turn the boat, or worse, snap off.

If you ship forward and get the oars all the way into the boat you significantly reduce the chance of them catching water, but my arms aren't long enough to do that and hold on to the handles. Going back they might not be all the way in the boat, but they aren't in a place to cause problems.
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Old 11-28-2011   #17
Hotchkiss, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 60
Thanks to everyone for the excellent, well thought out advice as well as the humor. I am rowing a Super Puma with 8 foot oars, so I can usually ship oars forward and get the blades inside the tubes. I especially like the Jesus analogy, since the way I row a boat I probably need to petition for all the help I can get. lol. The river we most often float where this is an issue is the Gunnison Gorge which has some pretty skinny spots to slip through. I'm sure my friends and I will put the advice to good use.
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Old 11-28-2011   #18
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 597
Another factor is if you can see downstream, will you want to do a push or a pull on the oars next? Given enough time, ship them appropriately.

And, if the oars are being shipped because you are floating near a wall, a back shipped oar puts it in better position to use to begin to row the boat away from the wall.
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Old 11-28-2011   #19
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
I agree that most of the time putting the oars forward

and inside the tubes is fine .

couple years ago one of my buds rowing a super puma down the Ark numbers at number 5 rapid shipped his 8 ft oars blades forward but somehow the right oar hit something and shot straight back into his groin area. According to him, hurt a bunch. Lesson here is to somehow get those oar handles pointed so they will slide past your body if at all possible.
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Old 11-30-2011   #20
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 154
just look up some good old cherry creek vids, there you will find the answer. and also, to all the paddle boat guides who dont know how to row or think oars are dangerous,stupid, or afraid or whatever, here is some inspiration:

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