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New Rower FAQ’s

New Rower FAQ’s


Why do we row?

What if I have no rowing experience of any kind?

What if I don’t have a lot of upper body strength?

What parts of the body are most stressed in rowing?

How safe is rowing?

What do I wear for rowing?


Why do we row? Local rowers may be seen on our bay not long after sunrise on most calm days. Club rowing combines superb upper body and lower body conditioning with the calming pleasure of connecting with the open water and joining other rowers in a team activity. top

What if I have no rowing experience of any kind? Most, if not all, of the other students in your novice class have no rowing experience in our types of boats, called sliding seat shells, so you will fit right in. top

What if I don’t have a lot of  upper body strength?   The main power in rowing a sliding-seat shell comes from your legs, not your arms. Most people have more strength in their legs than in their upper bodies,  so you will do just fine. top

What parts of the body are most stressed in rowing? One of the beauties of rowing is that it exercises most muscle groups of the body: the legs, back,  core, arms, shoulders, and hands.  Although there is no hard impact on the body, such as in running or contact sports, the lower back is a vulnerable part of the body in rowing.  Proper warm up and stretching can prevent most back injuries. Many find that carrying the boats from the boathouse to the water and back is the most challenging aspect of rowing, and for that you should be able to lift 25 pounds to eye level. top

How safe is rowing? Rowing is inherently a potentially dangerous sport since we are out in deep, cold water, subject to dangerous weather conditions, and exposed to navigational hazards and other boat traffic.  The safety of every rower in our Club is of paramount importance.  In the first class, conducted in a classroom rather than on the water, you will view a video on rowing safety, and we will discuss the Club’s safety regulations.  Our safety launch, which is equipped with a VHF marine  radio, cell phone, life jackets and other safety equipment, will accompany you at all times.  If weather and water conditions are considered unsafe by the launch driver, the row will be cancelled or terminated early as needed. top
What do I wear for rowing? Dress in layers so that you can regulate warmth according to activity level and weather.  Loose fitting clothing is not good as it can interfere with the rowing stroke.  Much of the year you will want to wear  tight fitting long pants, as well as a long sleeved garment.  A hat is a good idea on cooler days, and you’ll appreciate having sunglasses and a cap or visor for sunny days.

Since we wade into the water to launch the boats, footwear needs to protect your feet from gravel, rocks  and shells. Neoprene and rubber kayak or diving booties are popular. No sandals may be worn while rowing as they may get trapped in the boat, although you may wear them while launching. Some rowers take off their foot wear once in the boat and wear heavy wool socks while rowing. The Club sells a variety of quality rowing apparel, and we can suggest sources of basic clothing and equipment. top