Sculling Program

Sculling with Des Moines Rowing


Sculling involves each rower holding two oars to control the balance of the boat. Recreational and racing singles, doubles, and quads are available for appropriately trained scullers to use in our club. In order to use any club sculling equipment, you must have passed the club Learn to Scull program, have demonstrated certain skills in a single or double to the Sculling Coordinator, or have been listed as a sculler on your 2009 or prior membership application.  There are separate certifications for lake and river sculling, as well as for bow seat in a double or quad.

Getting Started


Current DMRC Members | $150

Our Learn to Scull Program is comprised of 6 lessons per session. Each candidate must have taken a coxing theory clinic by the end of the sculling instruction. For available clinics contact our coxing coordinator

In addition to learning club policies, procedures and safety, you will learn how to safely and effectively handle sculling equipment, maneuver during docking and rowing, and successfully complete a self-rescue in the water.

Once new scullers have been certified, they are encouraged to practice on the lake or other safe setting with a sculling partner.  First year scullers may also row in a double or quad on the river with more experienced, certified members in the bow. Following club guidelines of required experience and training, scullers may request additional certification for river and bow seat in a double and quad.  

Enrollment in Learn to Scull is first come, first served.

Contact the Sculling Coordinator, sculling@desmoinesrowing.org, for further information.

Nonmembers | $150

This program is developed for people new to the sport of rowing who wish to learn sculling before sweep rowing. Participants in this program are not expected to have any prior rowing experience. This program offers a second “learn to row” point of entry to the Des Moines Rowing Club and supplements the sweep rowing programs in place, as well as the sculling lessons in place for existing members.

As is the case with all club programs and operations, safety is of paramount importance. All program participants will be taught safe rowing practices, safe equipment use and handling practices, safe weather and water conditions, and responsibility for personal fitness before engaging in rowing using club equipment. Sculling students will be made aware of the club’s safety guidelines and the impact of high winds and inclement weather on rowing small sculling shells. They will also learn how to handle on water problems and how to self-rescue in the event of capsize in a single or double scull.

Once participants have completed the program they will have the option to become a full DMRC member. Please speak with your Sculling Coordinator regarding annual DMRC membership fees and volunteer requirements. 

New sculling DMRC members are encouraged to practice on the lake or other safe setting with a sculling partner.  First year scullers may also row in a double or quad on the river with more experienced, certified members in the bow. Following club guidelines of required experience and training, scullers may request additional certification for river and bow seat in a double and quad.  

Contact the Sculling Coordinator, sculling@desmoinesrowing.org, for further information.

Bow Certification

Scullers who sit in the bow seat of a double or quad are the navigators and must know how to steer the boat. They are responsible for the safety of others and require an higher level of experience and knowledge.  In our club, these rowers are required to be certified for bow seat in doubles and quads. Please contact our Sculling Coordinator if you are interested in obtaining this certification: sculling@desmoinesrowing.org

To see what sculling equipment is available for your level of sculling, please see our Equipment Policy.