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How to avoid “catching a crab” in rowing

“Catching a crab” is a common fear for many rowers. The term refers to when a rower loses control of their oar. The blade then gets trapped in the water by the momentum of the shell, and the oar handle swings backwards, often going over the rower’s head. In extreme cases, the rower may even be thrown overboard. It’s a setback that can effectively take you out of the competition. However, there are ways to overcome the crab and deal with it safely. Don’t resist it Most of the time, rowers fight against the handle when it becomes trapped in the water. Doing this is what risks you stopping the boat, or worse, getting thrown overboard. Instead, don’t resist it. If you leave the oar to itself, it will come to rest parallel to the boat and leave it trailing in the water. This method allows the boat to lose…