I would like to start... but have no clue

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Open-water rowing : One Thread

My sister and I are in our early 30's and are pathetically out of shape, we thought we may take up rowing...learn, train, maybe race one day! :) My question is how do we get started?!? We live in Clearwater, Florida. How do we find someone to teach us? Or do we just buy the shell, get in and figure it out?

-- lisa jennings (lisajennings@tampabay.rr.com), December 24, 2004


Check around your area marinas to see if anyone has a recreational shell or a rowing dory you could rent or borrow. Yacht clubs may have bulletin boards with ads for available shells or dories. Maybe you'll see a sign for a rowing club too. A dory will be more forgiving if you've never rowed before as you won't be trying to learn to balance the shell in addition to learning the strokes. If you do some reading online about what makes a good dory design first it will help you get an image of the type of boat to look for. You won't end up trying to struggle with a boat that is not made to row well. The typical 11' or shorter flat transomed "rowboat" or dinghy isn't much fun and the hard work will turn you off. I found shells just sitting around marina boatyards unused, as there are people who buy shells with great intentions, but like many toys they end up sitting. I rented shells from people like this and rowed a lot! You can often see them while strolling or driving around. Do any nearby colleges or universities have rowing teams or recreational rowing programs? Check to see if you could try their spare or older practice equipment out and maybe someone will give you a starter lesson or two. Try both fixed seat and sliding seat rowing. You will probably decide on one or the other before you decide to buy anything.

-- Allison Banks (Allison_Banks@nps.gov), December 30, 2004.

Hi Lisa! While it is on the "opposite coast" and a little south of you (about 233 miles distance, according to mapquest), you might want to check out Florida Rowing Center (www.floridarowingcenter.com) located in Wellington. They offer 3, 4 and 7 day classes. That way you can learn the proper technique from the start and try a lot of different shells to help decide what you want to buy. I have never dealt with them so I can't give you a personal testimonial but I have heard they are good.


-- Peter Delamater (delamaterp@hotmail.com), December 30, 2004.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ