Learn to Row & Novice Program

Learn to Row

Date & Time: May 11, 2024 sessions are filled; Next LTR day will be in mid-June.

Register: registration through EventBrite. Space is limited, so sign up fast!

If you’d like to be added to the waitlist for a full session, or would like to be notified when the next Learn to Row is scheduled, please fill out the form below.

Overview: A two-hour session, designed to give a first taste of the sport, comprised of 45 minutes on land and 75 minutes on the water.

Location: Guzman boathouse at Birdland Marina

Format: You’ll first learn the basics of the stroke on the erg (rowing machine), rowing terms, parts of the boat, and how to get in the boat and grip the oar. (You may be doing this just prior to an on-water session including a mixture of first-timers and novices (see below). Next, you’ll go out in an eight-person boat in a mixture of new learners and experienced rowers. You’ll apply the same basics of the stroke you learned on the erg and become familiar with commands from the coxswain.

Limitations: must be 18 years or older and able to swim 200 yards without rest. If under 18, there is also a youth learn to row.

What to Bring: Regardless of the weather, dress in layers. If you wear shorts or tights they should be form-fitting. Baggy pants may get caught in the tracks on which your seat rolls back and forth. Don’t forget your socks! Our boats are rigged with shoes that you will use while rowing so you will want a pair of socks.

In Case of Inclement Weather: the instructor will notify of a cancellation via text. Rain dates are scheduled for each session (see below).

Waiver: all participants will be required to sign our waiver. (We hope to distribute this electronically ahead of the event.)

Novice Program

The Novice Program follows the Learn to Row dates, with 9-sessions over 5 weeks to further work on technique. You must complete a Learn to Row session to sign up for the Novice Program. Dates and times are scheduled when the Learn to Row date is set.
Following the Novice program, interested participants may join DMR and join existing crews or form new crews for the rest of the season. Novice rowers may also enter novice events at regattas, including the Head of the Des Moines in late September.