The Difference Between Rowing and Sculling

The basic difference between rowing and sculling is that in sculling each person uses two oars (one oar in each hand), whilst in rowing each person uses only one oar (both hands on one oar).

In rowing, each person uses only one oar - both hands are on that oar (left).

Because each rower only has one oar, sweep oar boats must have an even number of rowers (same number on each side). Sweep oar boats include pairs, coxed fours, coxless fours, and eights. (You cannot have a single - you would just go round in circles!)

Rowing is sometime called sweep rowing and rowing oars are sometimes called sweep oars.


In sculling, each person uses two oars - one oar in each hand (right).

Because each rower has two oars, sculling boats can include singles sculls, double sculls and quad sculls.

 Sculling is the term usually used to describe rowing with two oars and sculling oars are sometimes called sculls.

Sculling is generally believed to be the preferred way for novices to be introduced to rowing, especially beginners under the age of 16.

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