Des Moines Rowing offers several opportunities for all ages to learn to row.

Learn to Row (sweep)

In sweep rowing, each rower holds a single oar. There are 2-person , 4-person, and 8-person boats. These are called “pairs”, “fours”, and “eights” respectively. Fours and eights have a coxswain, someone who steers, coaches, and motivates.

Many people enjoy the teamwork and camaraderie of sweep boats, since they tend to be larger. Larger boats are generally faster, which can be exhilarating. Those who like coaching and leading others may enjoy training and volunteering as coxswains. Many members take turns coxing since there tends to be a scarcity.

If you would like to learn sweep rowing, check out our Learn to Row and Novice Program.

Learn to Scull

Sculling involves each rower holding two oars to control the balance of the boat. Sculling boats come in one-person, two-person, and four-person varieties. These are called “singles”, “doubles”, and “quads” respectively, and our fleet includes all of these . Many people enjoy the flexibility of sculling since it requires less schedule coordination. The individual challenge and tranquility are other appealing factors.

In order to use any club sculling equipment, you must have passed the club Learn to Scull program. There are separate certifications for lake and river sculling, lighter and narrower boats, and to scull in the bow seat in a double or quad, since this requires steering at a higher rate of speed.

Youth Learn to Row

For youth between the grades of 8th – 12th grade, youth learn-to-row days are offered with the Youth coach and current team members. Participants learn the fundamentals of sweep rowing and about the youth rowing program. Learn more about Youth Learn to Row. While the Youth Learn to Row is the best time to learn and discover if rowing is for you, youth may also join at other times if it is cleared with the coach.