How important is height when it comes to rowing?

#1
Hey I'm relatively new to rowing and am a very average height of around 5'8". Although I have no ambition to compete and train only for health and well-being how much will my height, or lack thereof, impact on my ability to perform in this sport?
 

dbras

New Member
#2
I was wondering the same thing, as I'm around the same height (5'9"), I've heard that it does impact it, but not from anybody that has experience rowing. It would be interesting to hear what someone with experience has to say about it.
 
#3
I'm around 6'3" and when I was rowing the few times that I did my friends told me that taller rowers have an advantage but I couldn't really tell because I was so new to the sport. I guess logically it makes sense due to the fact that you are sitting down and if you have longer arms you have a better extension when you are rowing.
 
#4
I'm around 6'2" so I hope height has an advantage lol. It sure would help to have an advantage just starting out..
 
#5
Yeah I have been told that a person with longer arms has a greater stroke length, I guess it's the same principle as throwing a tennis ball. Longer arms give more leverage.
 
#6
That does make sense. I'm sure its not too large of an advantage, though.
 
#7
That does make sense. I'm sure its not too large of an advantage, though.
It's a large enough advantage to where the rowing club coach at my school told us that schools heavy into rowing such as Harvard won't even consider you if you're not the minimum required height to row for their school (It's somewhere over 6' something).
 
#8
I'm 6ft and seem to be quite good at it, I can't see it making a huge difference.
 
#9
It seems you guys are struggling to reach an agreement, I might throw in a poll if I can work out how to do it.
 
#10
I also heard that lionsfan. Somewhere I saw the average height of rowers is 6'1".
 
#11
If your not doing it competitively, then it won't make much of a difference. When it comes to doing it competitively though, taller people tend to have more of an advantage. Because taller people usually have longer arms which can make a bit of a difference.
 
#12
Well I am 6'6" with obviously long arms, and I can't exactly compare to a shorter me since I have been 6' + since my early teens. Although as some with long arms I can def. see how I would have the advantage. The only disadvantage to being tall is longer legs and arms, get in your way sometimes. I find it really hard to find the right position on some rigs.
 
#13
In my experience, height doesn't really do much, apart from the fact that it is best to have all your crew members at a similar height, or unless you are too tall or too short to use a boat (unlikely). The main thing isn't height, but how you and the rest of your crew row in sync with each other.

Obviously though, if you are rowing in a single then it's just you. I believe that it's better to have longer limbs, because you have longer strokes, but honestly, you can compensate for that with strength. :) And it wouldn't matter unless you are a competitor - just enjoy it!
 
#14
I never thought that it would matter or perhaps, I just didn't care since I only do rowing for fun and as a form of exercise at the same time. But I have a friend who rows for competition and he's just around 5'7'' and I'd say that he performs as good as the others in his team.
 
#15
I never thought that it would matter or perhaps, I just didn't care since I only do rowing for fun and as a form of exercise at the same time. But I have a friend who rows for competition and he's just around 5'7'' and I'd say that he performs as good as the others in his team.
Yes, I think that is true too....

I guess the downside to having long limbs is that you have a longer recovery after each stroke. On the whole though, it's not about your height, but rather you posture, your strength, and your endurance when rowing.... especially endurance.
 
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