Learn to Row
Getting started in rowing couldn’t be easier!
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
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.