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New Rower FAQ

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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