Since 1985 hundreds of new rowers have learned how to row and how to row better at Open Water Rowing Center.

Novice Program: Learn to Row


Rowing a single scull is an exceptional, full-body exercise that most anyone can learn, though it can seem a bit awkward at first. Our three-day program will train you in the basics of sculling and safety on the water and take you from novice to the exhilaration of a proper rowing stroke.

Novice Program: $225 per person

Novice Program Details

  • Class length: Three private or semi-private two-hour sessions over three days; best if you can schedule these consecutively or no more than a week apart.

  • Time:  The Novice Program sessions can be scheduled during the week or on weekends. Weekdays sessions can be scheduled on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays–call for times as weekday coaching schedules vary. On Saturdays and Sundays, the first Novice Program session runs from 11 a.m.–1 p.m.; sessions 2 and 3 are from 8:45–10:45 a.m.  To reserve a space in a Novice Program, call OWRC at 415-332-1091 or email us.

  • What to bring: We provide all rowing equipment. Wear relatively close fitting and flexible clothing appropriate for the weather and warm socks (no shoes in the shells). Sun protection is advised.

Successful completion of the Novice Program certifies  you to use club shells – usually the Maas Aero, the LiteSport or the LiteRace.

Experienced Rowers


We have a unique rower’s “playground” just beyond our dock, but before you can enjoy it you need to get checked out by our coaches and certified to use our equipment and facilities. A 1 hour check-out may be all that’s needed to orient you to our waters and ensure that you can safely handle our often changing water conditions.

Check Out: $75 per hour, pro-rated depending on your experience

Rowed sweeps in college but have never sculled?

Sculling is sufficiently different that you will need to take a private coaching session, or if it’s been a long time since you rowed, our novice sculling class may be best to get you back on the water. Speak to OWRC staff about whether a full novice sculling program or a private coaching session is best. You’ll be certified as “novice” but as an experienced rower will likely progress quickly.


Rowed flat-water shells or “traditional” rowing boats?

Our coaches will want to give you an orientation to our boats – be it an open water single or our traditional dory – and our bay water. Let them know your type and level of experience.  When they are confident that you are safe in our boats, and comfortable on our water, you will be certified to row in Richardson Bay. Rowers with lots of sculling experience may move quickly to take the Rough-Water Clinic and other advanced courses.


Experienced Open-Water Rower?

You must be eager to get back out there! We understand. You will need to be checked out and oriented to our boats, boathouse and waters.  How much orientation you’ll need and what level boat you will be certified for will depend on your specific experience and your boat handling skills on our water. Call or drop by OWRC and talk to our staff.   They’ll set you up with the best way to get back on the water.

Contact us to schedule your appointment!