Frequently Asked Questions

I am a complete beginner, is that okay for this class?

Yes, 95% of all Learn to Row students are complete beginners.

What should I wear?

You should wear athletic clothing that is relatively close fitting and comfortable. General rule of thumb is nothing too baggy. Rowing garb is the same type of clothing as cyclists and runners. Tights and spandex are ideal, but shorts, sweats or comfortable pants are fine. Layering is also good for the colder months. Most rowing shells come with shoes in them, but you should always wear socks in the boat and some footwear you do not mind getting wet while you are on the dock. Do not forget a bottle of water and a hat if it is a sunny day.

>What type of rowing do you have?

All of our rowing shells have sliding seats, with the majority being sculling boats (2 oars/rower) and some being sweep boats (1 oar/rower). This club focuses primarily on sculling at this time.

Am I fit enough / tall enough / too old / too heavy / too... to row?

If you have a desire to learn, we have the desire to teach you. The great thing about rowing is anyone can do it. No matter whether you are 5’2 or 6’4, have rowed before or have never heard of the sport before now, our Learn To Row program can accommodate you. Our boats can hold individuals up to 285 lbs and any height.

What's the difference between rowing, canoeing and kayaking?

OARS: The two forms of rowing are sculling and sweeping. In sculling, each athlete use two oars, while in sweeping every rower has just one oar. The oars are locked into place using the oarlocks – this is not true in canoe and kayak racing. Kayaking uses a double-bladed paddle, which is significantly shorter than a rowing oar. Canoeing uses a single-bladed paddle.

SEATING: In rowing, the athlete sits on a seat that slides. In canoeing, athletes kneel inside the boat. In kayaking, the athlete sits in the boat, but the seat does not move.

POWER: In rowing, the main source of power in the stroke comes from the legs – whereas in canoeing and kayaking the legs do not provide any power in the stroke.

ORIENTATION: Rowers travel backwards, as in their backs face the direction they are moving. In canoeing and kayaking the athlete travels forwards and they can see what is ahead of them..

I already kayak / canoe / whitewater raft, etc. Can I skip this class and go right into one of the rowing programs?

While your on-water experiences will help with your balance and boat sense, rowing is completely different; the technique and equipment is unique. Learn to Row is important for that reason.

What are my chances of ending up in the water?

It is our goal to always be ‘on’ the water and not ‘in’ the water. That said, rowing is a water sport and occasionally rowers end up in the water. Our coaches are equipped to handle these situations quickly and safely.

can I waer gloves?

Gloves are not recommended for rowing, as one of the things we focus on is developing good bladework (the technique of positioning the blade to enter the water at the correct angle). Having direct contact with the oar handle is essential to ‘feel’ when the blade is in the correct place.

Am I too old to start rowing?

Rowing is a sport for all ages and levels, so its never too late to learn to row.

How long is the rowing season?

The season is weather dependent. Water safety is top priority, when water levels and temperatures are safe, the boats can be in the water. The season usually starts around the end of April, early May and runs until the end of October.

What is next after the class

Upon successful completion of the Beginning Sculling class and joining the club, new rowers are invited to participate in the our seasonal rowing. Rows are on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.


Address : 1 Laurier Drive, LaSalle, ON N9J 3L4