cox speak - rowing jargon

If you can hear a crew race, these words can help you interpret what the coxswain is asking of his or her rowers.

Square: having the blade perpendicular to the water. The blade must be squared before entering the water, or it will just bounce off the surface.

Feather: having the blade parallel to the water. This allows the blade to glide over the surface of the water.

Ease up: to lighten the strength of each row.

Even it out: to have all rowers pull with equal force.

Power ten: pulling at full force for 10 consecutive strokes.

Hard on port (or starboard): to pull harder than the other side for steering purposes.

Hold water: a forced stop, where every rower lowers their blade into the water and keeps it there to stop the shell as quickly as possible.

In two…: a two-stroke warning of an upcoming change of pace.

Set: balancing the boat between the port and starboard.

Settle: decreasing a stroke rate during a race to conserve energy but maintain effort.

On the square: rowing from when the blade exits the water to when it enters again (release to the catch) with the blade perpendicular to the water.

Way enough: signal for the rowers to cease rowing.