Athletes can start as young as 6th grade. Our summer camps are designed to allow for "rising 6th graders" so campers can be participate starting in the summer after their 5th grade year.
Don't worry if you haven't rowed before! Most athletes come to the sport from other backgrounds and do not find the sport until they are in high school. Some athletes who have gone on to win Olympic medals did not even start until college or after! Its never too late to start.
What is the time commitment?
Programs are variable. Our high school program requires the biggest time commitment with about 16 hours per week and racing weekends. Our middle school program is about 4 hours per week.
Can I join the program even if I'm not a Water Club member?
YES. Junior athletes are allowed to participate with our without a membership.
Adults interested in rowing can participate in the learn to row programs offered throughout the year, however, to participate in our full Master's racing team they will need to join the club as a rowing member. Questions about membership should be directed to Mike Wieneke. If you are interested in trying out rowing as an adult please contact Darren Gary.
Who's that person that steers the boat?
The coxswain! The coxswain's responsibility is to steer the boat and motivate the crew. The coxswain is integral to the success of the team and acts as both athlete and extension of the coach. Good coxing is the key to winning. Female coxswains are usually 110lbs while men's coxswains are usually around 120lbs. If coxswains are under this weight they will be asked to carry weight at races.
One oar? Two Oars? Whats the difference?!
Boats with one oar per person are called sweep boats. They are referred to as eights (8+), fours (4+) and pairs (2-). These boats have a coxswain who steers the boat (except the pair). Here is a video of sweep rowing.
Boats with two oars per person are called sculling boats. They are referred to as quads (4x), doubles (2x) and singles (1x). They do not usually have a coxswain unless they are a coxed quad (4x+) or octuple (8x+). Here is a video of sculling.
We race them all!
What is a typical practice like?
For our middle school athletes practices consist of learning the technical skills needed on the water and the boat handling skills necessary to get a boat from the rack to the dock safely. They spend time mastering the ability to row at the appropriate speed of progression for the age group. They also play lots of games to encourage their joy in mastering and competing in the sport.
On the high school side, athletes will do a combination of endurance training on the water and the ergometer, weight lifting and continued skills development. Practices are intense to help make sure that athletes are prepared for race day. Coaches also make sure that athletes are learning proper recovery and stretching technique.
Whats a race like?
Some people have described racing in the spring as playing two all out basketball games in the span of eight minutes or less. Racing is intense but it is also incredibly rewarding.
Wanna see what it looks like! Here is a link to the US women's team racing at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
AH, I have a blister!?
That is rowing. Make sure you wash your hands and keep them clean but blisters are just a fact of life/ badge of honor for a rower. As you progress you will start to get callouses. If your blisters are bothering you....ask your coaches to help you tape them. Here is a link to taping and taking care of your blister. No gloves.