What is Intro to Rowing?

Link to REGISTER for an Intro to Rowing class.  Find the class you want in the list.

Rio Salado Rowing Club’s Introduction to Rowing class will introduce you to the basics of rowing, so that you might discover all the fun and joy of this sport!  Depending on which class you take, you will learn to "scull", in which each rower has two oars, or learn to "sweep" row, in which each rower has one oar.  For details on sculling versus sweep rowing, click here . 

Intro to Rowing is designed for adults (over the age of 18) who have little or no experience rowing on the water. We realize some of you exercisers out there may have used a rowing machine, but we can safely say that rowing on the water is a completely different experience. You will be in a small group of people who, like you, have no idea what they’re doing, so you’ll all be in the same boat!  Rio’s Intro to Rowing class is for adults of all ages and fitness levels, though you do need some basic fitness (see below) and have been exercising regularly, before beginning rowing.  Intro to Rowing is a ton of fun, and after taking it, you will want to learn more! 

Link to REGISTER for an Intro to Rowing class.  Find the class you want in the list.

Upon graduating from your Intro to Rowing class, you are eligible to sign up for the next level class, “Rowing Level 1”.   In the Rowing Level 1 class, you will develop your skills on the water with other rowers at a similar level, instructed by one of Rio's coaching staff.   For more information on Rowing Level 1 and other classes, go here.


Intro to Rowing is a two day class designed to provide you with a basic understanding of rowing. The format is four hours each day, typically a Saturday and Sunday. The first day starts on land to give you an overview of the sport of rowing, terminology and equipment particular to rowing on the water.  We also use a rowing machine (rowers call it an ergometer or "erg") and other instructional equipment for demonstration of the stroke and practice.  After that, you will be on the water!  Day two starts with a brief review and then on the water again.  All sessions are taught by experienced coaches and volunteers.

Upcoming Intro to Rowing Class Dates

Sweep = each rower has one oar.  Sculling = each rower has two oars.

Each class is 8:00am-12:00pm, Saturday and Sunday

2/12-2/13 Sculling

2/26-2/27 Sweep

3/12-3/13 Sculling

3/26-3/27 Sweep

4/09-4/10 Sculling

4/23-4/24 Sweep

5/07-5/08 Sculling

5/21-5/22 Sweep

Cost is $150.00 

Link to REGISTER for an Intro to Rowing class.  Find the class you want in the list.

If you are unable to register, the class is full.  If you want to be on a waitlist for the class, please email Kim Charrier at KimC@rowrio.org

PLEASE NOTE: The schedule is subject to change due to weather and other unforeseen circumstances.  Like all outdoor and water sports, unsafe weather conditions or other unexpected events will impact the schedule.  Please check your email often as class approaches for communications from the coach or coordinators.  

Within a week after registering, you will receive an information email.  Please read it over carefully and email us with any questions.

COVID19 considerations: masks are optional for fully vaccinated people.  Click here for Rio Salado Rowing Club's COVID19 policy.  

A FLOAT TEST is required prior to first session.  Click here to get the form; "float test" is the second form in the list.  Please email the completed form to kimC@rowrio.org.   Participants may also bring a printout of the completed Float test to the first class.  If the completed float test is not received, the participant may not get in a boat.  They may observe and participate on land only.  No refund will be given if the participant does not have the completed float test.

NOTE: City of Tempe pools (i.e. Kiwanis Recreation Center) and Lifetime Fitness Gym pools are suggestions for where to get the Float Test done.  Call the pool to see if they can administer the test.

Fitness Requirements:

Rowing is a physically demanding sport.  While people of all fitness levels can learn and excel in rowing, in order to avoid injury and prepare you for the class, you MUST be able to do the following, at a minimum, prior to the first class.  

-- Able to lift 20-25 pounds and carry it on one shoulder as you walk for 5 minutes.

-- Able to do a full squat (go all the way down and back up) without support

-- Able to bend over and reach your hands to your knees or lower

-- Able to walk up and down one flight of stairs without using the railing

If you have any concerns about your ability to handle these physical requirements, please check with your medical provider prior to registering for the class.  If you are a para-athlete interested in learning to row, please contact Brian McDermott at brianm@rowrio.org

Questions?  Email Kim at KimC@rowrio.org or Pam at pamn@rowrio.org


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