James Burrill Angell

May 19th, 2011 at 11:22 AM ^

When the blade of your oar (the part that actually goes in the water) gets stuck in the water and drives the handle back at you its called "Catching a Crab" (as if a crab grabbed your oar under water and held it there). Rowing is a momentum sport and not disturbing the continued forward momentum of the boat is everything. Catching a Crab basically stops the boat near cold whether the rower is ejected or not. 


May 19th, 2011 at 11:39 AM ^

I've rowed for several years with the local club and my daughter rowed for 3 years at Pioneer HS.  Ejector crabs are rare, but can happen when rowing at a high stroke rate like they do in races.  With the boat moving at that speed, the oar has a lot of power coming back if it's stuck in the water like that.  Even though your feet are velcro'ed in the shoes fixed in the bottom of the boat, it will sweep you out of the boat quickly as the video shows.  I hope she wasn't hurt. 


May 19th, 2011 at 11:40 AM ^

...if you google, "Catching Crab," the first link up is a YouTube video detailing exactly what it is.  I guess the guy who had to demonstrated it must have drawn the short straw or lost a bet/contest.

oriental andrew

May 19th, 2011 at 3:07 PM ^

I had to look it up, too.  according to wikipedia:


Crab, or Catch a Crab

A rowing error where the rower is unable to timely remove or release the oar blade from the water and the oar blade acts as a brake on the boat until it is removed from the water. This results in slowing the boat down. A severe crab can even eject a rower out of the shell or make the boat capsize (unlikely except in small boats). Occasionally, in a severe crab, the oar handle will knock the rower flat and end up behind him/her, in which case it is referred to as an 'over-the-head crab.'