Learn to Row


The goal of Learn To Row (LTR) is to learn rowing safety and etiquette, achieve basic rowing skills and technique, and get a glimpse of the excitement and fun the sport of rowing offers. RRC offers group instruction for adults 18 years or older who have little or no sculling experience. LTR includes 2 consecutive weekends, 2 hours each day on Saturday and Sunday, for a total of 8 hours of instruction.

Lake Wheeler is closed to watercraft due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Raleigh Rowing's spring Learn To Row sessions have been canceled. We anticipate the lake will reopen in June, but team boats will not be allowed on the water immediately. We look forward to offering Learn To Row as soon as it is safe and feasible to do so. If you are interested in learning to row with Raleigh Rowing Center, please contact us to have your name added to our waiting list.


How fit do I need to be to take Learn To Row?

Rowing requires strength, flexibility and coordination. LTR participants should expect to be challenged both physically and mentally.

There are five firm requirements to participate in LTR:
1. You must be able to participate actively. You should not enroll if you're recovering from an injury or are not at least moderately fit.
2. You must be able to lift 40 lbs. above your head and carry it uphill for 75 yards. You must help carry the equipment.
3. You should be able to stand up from a full squat. Getting into and out of a shell demands this strength.
4. You must be able to tread water for at least five minutes and swim 100 yards.
5. You must be committed and attend all LTR instruction at the specified times and dates.

If you are already very fit, rowing is a superb full-body workout, but the rowing lessons themselves won't be. If you have specific questions, please contact us.

What is included in RRC’s Learn To Row Membership?

The cost of an LTR Membership is $250 and includes instruction and coaching over 2 consecutive weekends, 2 hours each day, for a total of 8 hours of instruction from an experienced coach. You will learn basic safety procedures, technique, commands and parts of the boat. The first session is on land with practice on ergs to learn technique. The remainder of the sessions are on the water in quads (4-person shells) with at least one experienced crew member per boat.

After completing LTR, you will have opportunities to row with experienced members over the next 15 days. This is included in the cost of LTR. Equipment use and instruction are also included.


Where does Learn To Row take place?

LTR meets at Lake Wheeler Park, 6404 Lake Wheeler Road, Raleigh. Drive almost all the way to the waterfront building. Park in the lot to the LEFT of the road. We meet by the rowing shells to the RIGHT of the road within the fenced enclosure.


How do I register for Learn To Row instruction?

Registration for LTR is closed until further notice. We will schedule sessions and reopen registration when it is safe to put team boats back on the water.


What do I need to do before attending Learn To Row instruction?


You will receive an email from the LTR coach a week or two prior to your first LTR session that verifies the date and time of the sessions, directions to RRC, a brief outline of what will be covered during LTR and a training manual to review. In the meantime, please review the US Rowing Safety Video below.


What happens after Learn To Row ends?


1. LTR+15
Following the successful completion of LTR, you will know the fundamentals of rowing (the stroke, commands, safety and equipment) and will be encouraged to participate in a 15-day trial -- LTR+15. This 15-day period begins immediately after completion of LTR and will allow you to continue developing your skills in a coached situation with experienced rowers. The cost for LTR+15 is included with LTR Membership.

Because we rely on experienced rowers to volunteer their time for LTR+15 rows, there is no implied or expressed guarantee of available seats or the number of times you will be able to row during this 15-day period. Because there may be a limited number of LTR+15 rows, please be courteous when signing up for LTR+15 rows and remember that there are at most 9 (or 12, depending on the session) people in each LTR session, so LTR+15 rows must be shared among all 9 (or 12) rowers.

2. Novice Membership
You may be invited to join the club as a novice member if:

  • You have successfully completed LTR and LTR+15
  • You have mastered basic skills and have potential to row independently based on evaluations from LTR instructors and LTR+15 volunteers
  • You are interested in joining Raleigh Rowing Center for the remainder of the year
  • There is a mutually beneficial relationship.

Novice membership should be considered a trial period. Further instruction is necessary for you to become a proficient rower, so novice members must continue to attend novice rowing sessions, as seats are available, until coaches determine it is safe to row unattended or to join more experienced members.

If you decide to become a member and you are not a student, you must register as a novice member. The cost of Novice Membership is $275 and is valid until December 31 of the year in which Novice Membership was purchased.

If you decide to become a member and you are a student, you must register as a student member. The cost of Student Membership is $250 and is valid until December 31 of the year in which Student Membership was purchased.

Novice Membership must be purchased within 4 weeks of completing LTR+15.

Membership After Your First Year With RRC


Continued membership depends on skill progression and ability to contribute as a member of the crew. In other words, the board may again take a decision on extending membership the second year based on feedback from coaches and experienced members.