Curious about a day in the life of a club rower?
Wondering what to expect when you visit practice?
Here’s a walk-through…
What to bring
- Mask. In response to the ongoing pandemic, we ask that you please wear a mask in and around the building. Masks are recommended while rowing, as well, but this is optional.
- Spandex. You’ll want to wear close-fitting athletic clothing that allows you a full range of motion but won’t get caught in the moving seat or oar handles.
- Slip-on shoes. When we’re at the boathouse, wear shoes that are easy to get on and off so you can remove them quickly when you get in the boat (each boat has its own shoes inside).
- If we’re at the gym, you’ll want athletic shoes that won’t slip off your heels.
- Socks. Even though you might wear flip flops to carry to boat, you will want to bring socks as well since the shoes inside the boat can give you blisters if you don’t wear socks while you row.
- Water bottle. Proper hydration is an important part of any sport!
- A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen (depending on the season) are a good idea too…
When you arrive
Jump right in and introduce yourself. The crew will likely be preparing our equipment for practice by taking sets of oars down to the dock.
There is a bank of wooden cubbies inside the boathouse and to the right. You can stow a small gym bag if you brought one or any other items you don’t want to take out on the water with you.
Coach Grace will have “lineups” on the small whiteboard next to the cubbies–these are lists of who is in which seat in which boat, and she can talk you through them.
Rowing is a complex motion, so before you head down to the water, you’ll get a crash course on the basic parts of the stroke. You’ll use a rowing machine in the boathouse to get a feel for the basic sequence.
Once you’ve had a chance to familiarize yourself with the stroke, you get to jump in with the crew and learn from your peers as well as the coach.
The most stable kind of boat we have is called a quad–it’s a four-person boat with two oars per person, so it’s very unlikely to tip over in the water, especially with experienced rowers on board.
Along with the three other people in your boat, you’ll carry your shell on your shoulders down to the dock and put it in the water. (Fair warning: this is probably the hardest part of practice!)
You’ll get to watch and learn how to fix the oars in the oarlocks so that they stay where they belong to provide stability and balance.
Once everyone is in the boat and you’ve shoved off from the dock, Coach Grace will again walk you through the basic steps in the rowing stroke.
Little by little, you’ll get the hang of it, and the experienced rowers in the boat will help you out as well!
Rowing is simple to learn and impossible to perfect, so no need to fret if you feel like you aren’t “getting it” right away. No one is perfect! The gradual process of continually getting better one day at a time is what it’s all about…
Sign up for your lesson
We’d love to have you give rowing a try with our club. Fill out this form to pick a date for your visit and lesson. Coach Grace will send you a confirmation email and answer any additional questions you have.
When and Where?
Spring practices are Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 or 8pm depending on weather/location.
Whenever the weather is row-able, you’ll find us on the waters of Tuttle Creek Reservoir.
Our boathouse is located at 7560 Spillway Marina Rd.
If we need to be indoors, we’ll be on our rowing machines at the Combative Sports Center: 116 S 4th St.
See you there!