There are two basic rowing techniques: sculling and oar rowing. In sculling, you have a scull in each hand on the right and left ("paddle" is what only non-rowers call it), while in oar rowing both hands move only one oar on one side. If you want to learn to row, you should always start with sculling first. By the way, rowing has much less to do with powerful arm movements than most people think: the legs do considerably more work.
Every rower first learns the most basic rule: as long as you are in the boat, do not let go of the handles. Anyone who does not abide by this will immediately receive appropriate feedback from the boat: "Always hold the sculls! Always keep your hands in front of your body!"
Regularly check before each step: Sit straight with legs extended, sculls gripped at the end, thumbs on the outside, right hand closer to body and tight under left.
Blades flat on the water Hold both handles with one hand and lean alternately right and left. Alternately raise one hand and lower the other.
Rotate hands away from body until blades are vertical in the water. Grasp the sculls loosely so that they float in the water and the wrists are straight. Alternately raise one hand and lower the other. Rotate both hands so that the blades are alternately flat and vertical.
Forward rowing Arms long, blades vertical. Pull both hands toward the abdomen. Turn the blades flat and push the hands away from the body. Rotate blades vertically.
Backward rowing Blades flat, hands on belly. Turn the blades vertically so that the bottom edge is sticking out of the water. Push both hands away from the belly. Turn the blades flat. Pull arms toward body.
One side forward Arms long, leaves flat on the water. Turn only one leaf so that the bottom edge is sticking out of the water. Pull both hands towards the body Turn the blade flat again, push the hands away from the body.
One side backward Hands on belly, leaves flat on the water. Rotate only one wrist down until the blade is vertical. Push both hands away from body. Turn both blades flat again, pulling hands toward body.
Insert legs Hands on the abdomen, legs long and blades flat. Stretch the arms. Draw the legs, pushing the hands as far away from the body as possible. Keep the arms long. The leaves drag on the surface of the water. Rotate the blades until they are vertical. Push the legs through and then pull the hands toward the body. Turn the blades flat.
Turn Row one stroke forward on one side. Keep the hands on the body. Now row one stroke backward with the other side.