Learn to Row

Getting started in rowing couldn’t be easier! 

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The best way to learn to row is to go on a Learn to Row course at a local rowing club. You’ll meet other people in the same position as you, and you’ll get instruction on all the basics you need to row safely.

Most rowing clubs run Learn to Row courses for juniors (aged around 13-18) and adults of all ages. To find your nearest rowing club, click here and then just enter your postcode into the ‘Where?’ field to see a list of clubs in your search area. All you need to do is choose a club and then ask them how you can learn to row!

Some clubs also run intensive, usually five-day, learn to row courses for teenagers in the school summer holidays.

If you have a physical disability or sensory or learning impairment, go to our Adaptive Rowing page for more information on how you can have your first rowing experience.

Find out more

Find a rowing activity

Use this tool to find a rowing club, rowing race or training course near you

Summer Rowing Courses and Camps 2023

A round-up of intensive rowing courses in England, mainly for juniors, for beginners and those who want to develop their skills

Adaptive Rowing

Adaptive rowing is for people with impairments

What to Wear for Rowing

You don’t need special or expensive sports kit when you’re getting started


Frequently asked questions about learning to row

How old do I have to be to start rowing?

In general, 12 years old, although most junior rowers start at 13.

Am I too old to learn to row?

You’re never too old to learn to row! Last year, nearly 700 over 50-year olds took out a British Rowing membership for the first time. We have members still competing at 80 years old as well as many who row recreationally.

How long before I could row properly?

Learn to Row courses generally last six weeks, with one, two hour session per week.  This may differ from club to club.

Does it cost a lot?

Some clubs may offer free taster sessions but typically a Learn to Row course will cost between £90-£120. If you catch the bug and want to join a club, there is normally a club membership fee which may differ depending on the level you want to take up. Some clubs have special rates for young people, pensioners and social members.

Is the kit expensive?

You don’t need any special kit to start with and the club will tell you what to wear. You definitely don’t need to buy your own boat as they will be provided by the club.

Will I get wet?

Your hands may get wet lifting the boat in and out of the water and putting the blades away after your outing and you or your crew mates may also inadvertently splash while you’re learning, but you won’t have water running down your arms.

If you try single sculling (in a boat for one person), you may fall in although lots of people don’t. You must be able to swim 50m in clothing before learning to row and your club will also arrange for you to do a ‘capsize drill’ so you know what to do if you do fall in.

More in this section

Adaptive Rowing

Adaptive rowing is for people with impairments

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Learn to Row Courses 2024

A list of rowing clubs around the country who are running Learn2Row (L2R) courses this year for beginners of all ages

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Mythbusters

If you are not a rower, or have never tried rowing, you might have some ideas about what the sport is all about. We’ve tried to separate fact from fiction...

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Find Your Nearest Club

Find a local rowing club, check out our club finder

Find your nearest club

Para-Rowing Talent ID

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Olympic Rower Talent ID

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