Learn to Row

There are 2 styles of rowing, Sculling and Sweep.

Most participants have never set foot in a rowing shell before their first class. Classes are taught with the understanding that participants have never touched an oar before. Our learn to row program begins with an introduction of the rowing stroke on the ergometers (or erg, indoor rowing machine) on the first day. The next two days will be spent on the water learning how to row in a sculling shell. Sweep rowing is taught in our devo program, which is the next step after completing learn to row.


Sculling boats are for 1, 2, or 4 rowers, and each rower has 2 oars.


Sweep boats have 4 or 8 rowers, where each rower has 1 oar. This is the style of rowing described in The Boys in the Boat and A Most Beautiful Thing. It is also commonly seen on motivational posters about teamwork.


Don’t worry, everyone is bad at rowing when they start. While some rowers may pick up the stroke faster than others, prepare to feel like a baby giraffe, it’s normal. We welcome masters of all ages with our current adult rowers range from their 20s to their 80s. The course focuses on rowing technique and does not consist of hard workouts. However you will be active during class. Therefore there are some requirements:

  • Participants do need to certify that they can swim. You can choose to wear a life jacket at any time although it is only required in specific situations.
  • Participants must be comfortable lifting at least 30 pounds overhead (you will have to lift boats to carry on your shoulder).
  • Participants must weigh less than 230 pounds because of equipment design limitations.

Our coaches are used to working around injuries and mobility restrictions, so please let them know of any issues. Even something like a sprained ankle can create discomfort that a coach can help you work around.

Upon completion of learn to row, participants will need to either continue into the devo program or take private lessons before being ready to row on their own.

2024 Learn to Row Class Details

April 11, 13 & 14Th
6:00p – 8:00p
7:30a – 10:30a
April 25, 27 & 28Th
6:00p – 8:00p
7:30a – 10:30a
July 11, 13 & 14Th
6:00p – 8:00p
7:30a – 10:30a
July 25, 27 & 28Th
6:00p – 8:00p
7:30a – 10:30a

Camps are limited to 8 rowers per session. 2 rowers must register for the camp to run. If fewer register, the camp will be canceled with fees reimbursed.

BRC uses the iCrew team management platform to manage registrations, process payments, and obtain all required documentation. Upon your first login you will be required to create a profile before you can register for any BRC programming. Once registered and prior to your first practice you will need to e-sign the Participation AgreementCode of Conduct  and USRowing waiver located in the “My Documents” section of your iCrew account.

What To Bring

Required Gear
Recommended Gear
  • Required Gear
  • Athletic clothing
    • Close-fitting
    • Bright, high-visibility
    • Moisture-wicking
    • Non-cotton, spandex
  • Socks
  • Water shoes or sandals
  • Water bottle
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Extra layers or a jacket
  • Spare change of clothes/socks
  • Athletic sneakers/trainers
  • Snacks
  • Insect repellent