Whether you’re looking to take up a new sport, for a change from another sport, for a fun summer camp for your children, or just simply interested in giving it a go, rowing has something to offer you!
Am I too old to take up rowing?
Rowing is a non-contact and non-weight bearing sport that is easy on the body so you can try the sport at any age. There are many active ‘Masters’ rowers in Ireland, competing in events both nationally and internationally, but recreational, non-competitive rowing is also very popular. See our Masters Page, or contact us for details on a club that can cater for you.
How will I learn?
In general, you will learn in wider, more stable boats than the Olympic types. For the first few sessions, many clubs will put you in boats with more experienced rowers, who will be able to teach you the basics of the rowing stroke, and rowing terminology.
What type of training will I do?
The majority of training rowers do is focused on developing aerobic capacity, usually either on the water, or indoors on rowing machines (or ‘ergs’). This is supplemented with weight sessions and cross-training sessions-usually cycling, swimming or running.
Elite rowers usually train 2-3 times a day, seven days a week!
Do I need to able to swim?
Yes, at a minimum, you should be able to swim 50m unaided, in your training clothes.
How long before I can row properly?
You should be able to take part in competitions within a few months, racing other rowers at a similar level. In Irish rowing there is a ‘Novice’ category; which caters for beginners.
Rowing is a highly technical sport, and athletes spend years trying to perfect their technique, and achieve the ‘perfect’ stroke. Even Olympic gold medalists still have technical improvements to make!
Are there opportunities for people with disabilities to take part?
Para-rowing is a type of rowing which has been adapted to cater for those with disabilities. See our Para-Rowing Page for details on how you can get involved.
Does it cost a lot to join a club?
Some clubs may offer free taster sessions, or a learn-to-row course (usually lasting a week), before you commit to joining the club as a full member. The price of these courses will vary from club to club. If you decide that you want to join the club after that, there is usually an annual Club Membership fee, which covers insurance, equipment, coaching and Rowing Ireland affiliation fee. This will depend on the club, and they may offer reduced rates for juniors, pensioners or students.
Is it very expensive?
You don’t need to buy any special equipment to start; clubs will provide the boats and other equipment for you.
You don’t need to wear any special kit to start with, regular sports clothes will do. Try to avoid wearing anything too baggy as they can get caught up in the sliding seats, or the oars. If you decide to take up the sport competitively, the only piece of clothing you will need to buy is a one-piece in your club colours: these usually cost around €50.
Some rowers choose to buy their own equipment, usually those competing at an elite level and these can be expensive, a new single scull can cost upwards of €8000!