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Learn To Row FAQ’s

Q: I’ve signed up for a Learn to Row session. Do I have to attend all the classes?

A: The first two classes of Level 1, and the first class of Level 2 or Junior Camp sessions have mandatory attendance, as they include foundational information that centers on safety. After that, participants should plan to attend regularly, as any absences affect both your own learning progress and the experiences of your crewmates. Make the most of your time on the water!

Q: Is it necessary for me to buy any equipment for my session?

A: No. All equipment that is sport-specific or required by Transport Canada regulations for marine safety is provided for you.

Q: What should I wear for rowing?

A: Clothing suitable for running, yoga or cycling is generally good; please avoid anything too loose or made of cotton as it absorbs moisture - and this is a water sport! You’re required to wear a bright-colored top for visibility, and we recommend layers that are appropriate for the weather conditions. You’ll get a full advisory of what to wear and bring when you’ve registered.

Q: Do I have to be able to swim?

A: Yes. While the goal of rowing in any rowing shell is not to end up in the water, it is always a possibility. You don’t need to be an expert swimmer, but in the rare event of capsize in a large crew shell you’d need to be capable of remaining calmly with the shell and your crew until rescue.

Q: Do I need to know anything about rowing before I attend my session?

A: No. Our classes are specifically for people with little to no experience. We offer resources to participants for advance study so they can familiarize themselves with rowing terminology and safety procedures before their session – but there’s no entrance exam!

Q: What is RCA registration?

A: Learn to Row participants are required to register with Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA), the national governing body of rowing in Canada, and at the same time, with Rowing BC, its provincial counterpart. The fee is included in your session fee. RCA provides liability insurance coverage for all rowers, including all members and coaches who use our club facilities and equipment.

Q: Do I have to join the Vancouver Rowing Club?

A: No. You do not need to become a member before or after taking Learn to Row classes with us. Classes are offered outside of member programs and are priced separately to membership.

Q: What can I expect at my first class?

A: Classes first meet at the Rowing Office at the Seawall Level of our clubhouse in Stanley Park. There you’ll meet your Instruction Team, the Rowing Coordinator, and your crew. We do an orientation tour of the clubhouse facilities, including a brief overview of the Club's rich history dating back to its beginning in 1886. We cover essential safety procedures and learn the basic movements of the rowing stroke right on the first day.

Q: A friend and I want to take the classes together. Is it possible for us to be in the same boat?

A: Sure! We often have friends, couples, even families taking classes together. We are very happy to accommodate this, however to avoid disappointment please be sure to contact us well in advance and let us know of your wishes. It's a lot easier to assign groups to boats when they still have several seats available.

Q: What will I learn during my month of classes?

A: You’ll gain fundamental rowing knowledge and skills. These include rowing terminology, boat handling and set-up, proper rowing posture, proper stroke technique, and rowing habits that form the foundation of a rowing practice, should you decide to continue to row. 

Q: What’s the regatta at the end of the session all about? Do I have to participate?

A: It’s a fun, social event that’s in addition to your class time. We gather all the crews from the month’s session to engage in a little friendly competition, followed by a BBQ on our legendary deck. The events are a combination of crews showing their skills and their speed, depending on their level of experience. We strongly encourage being there, as it truly caps off the month of learning, and crews really do miss their crewmates who don’t attend.

Q: I've learned to row and love it! So…what's next?

A: Many participants have a fantastic time with us on the water in Levels 1 and 2, then are completely satisfied with just that experience – great! Others are hooked and would like to make more of a commitment to rowing and to our Club, which means membership in our Rowing Section. Details and invitations are provided to all graduates of Level 2. Currently those entering membership from Learn to Row are welcomed into our Recreational Program. Those who then wish to enter the competitive stream can join our Novice Program in October / November annually.

Q: Can you explain your cancellation and refund policies?

A: You will be asked to review and accept these policies as a condition of your registration’s completion. Our classes depend on registered participants being in the boat to operate safely and effectively for all, so a cancellation can affect the viability of a session being offered. Last-minute cancellations have resulted in other participants being needlessly turned away in some cases, delaying their progress. And after the start of a session we cannot re-sell a seat, so we cannot offer refunds.

2021 Learn-to-Row Session Prices

Level 1           $350.00
Level 2           $350.00
Para               Pricing available upon request
Junior             TBD
Corporate        Pricing available upon request (dependent upon number of participants and options chosen)
Please note: All prices include the combined RCA and Rowing BC fee of $35.00.