Question of the Day

What’s the difference between coxing an 8+ and a 4+ ? I’ve mainly been coxing a four.

I personally don’t think there’s much of a difference, although in most cases going from a four to an eight is a much easier transition than an eight to a four. The two major (and obvious) nuances are that the steering reacts a little differently and you have more bodies to concern yourself with. Eights don’t react as quickly to your steering in comparison to a four, which tends to respond to the smallest touch on the rudder rather quickly, because they’re larger, which means you’ll have to be patient and not oversteer thinking that your rudder’s not working or something. Similar to a four though the boat’s steering will be affected by the number of people rowing, how fast you’re going, etc.

Related: How to steer an eight or four

If you’re transitioning to an eight I’d spend the first practice or two familiarizing yourself with the steering so you can figure out how your boat moves. Other than actual boat stuff, having four additional rowers to worry about can be tricky if you’re used to focusing on only four people but you pick up how to deal with them (for lack of a better phrase) pretty quickly. Being able to actually see the rowers is a huge plus but since you’re probably not used to watching the blades you’ll have to spend a few practices familiarizing yourself with the bladework. Other than that everything is, for the most part, the same.

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