Originally Posted by malloypc
When I started rowing (~10yrs ago) I went with a mindset of bigger must be better - more bang for the buck / power for the stroke.
I've since migrated to the smaller blades with the understanding that getting an extra stroke in can be more useful at times than just pushing harder.
They also seem to be easier on the shoulders.
^^^ This ^^^
Standing on the footbar, pulling like hell on an oar that won't move don't get you there as fast as multiple strokes with a smaller blade. Bigger blades might be good for impressing yourself if you're young and strong, but if you hope to still be rowing when you're one of us old guys you'll need to take care of your joints. IF
you actually have the strength to row the big blades quickly
, you're still harming your shoulders. If you're not strong enough to row the big blades quickly, you'll be much more effective with the smaller ones.