Basic Rowing Training Class

Rowing on the Bay is an immensely challenging endeavor. However, it can provide unlimited opportunities for enjoyment and growth to those who are patient and diligent enough to become competent. Fortunately, you don’t have to know anything about rowing to row at the Dolphin Club. Over the years we’ve developed a process that will get you teach you the basics of how to row our boats, understand the tides and currents, and basic rowing technique.

Do note that rowing is an intense physical activity that we do on open water. There are no skill requirements, but make sure

  • You are physically fit
  • Can tread water comfortably for twenty minutes
  • Are comfortable dealing with wind and waves.

Step 1: Basic Rowing Training
Regardless of your previous experience in rowing, every member who wants to row must take the Basic Rowing Training Class. This class is an introduction to our fleet of boats, what it means to row on the San Francisco Bay, and a chance to meet other members who are interested in rowing. 

The class is offered once a month and only available to Dolphin Club members. Details about registration are shared during the new membership orientation and on the internal club message board.

Step 2: Six In-Cove Rows
If you have no rowing experience the next step would be to complete six training rows on your own inside the cove and practice the techniques you learned in the rowing training class. After taking the Basic Rowing training class you are only allowed to row on your own, in a single, inside of the cove. If you want to row outside of the cove, before you’ve completed your final certification, you can row in a double with another certified member.

Step 3: Boat Night
Another part of the certification process is to attend at least one boat night. Boat nights happen every Tuesday night from 6PM-9PM, where members and non-members, swimmers and rowers, help maintain our wooden fleet. It’s a great way to meet other rowers and folks who just like wooden boats.

Step 4: Certification Test
The certification test involves an on-the-water skills test and a take-home written test on tides and currents of the bay.

Once certified, rowers are free to take our Dolphin Club singles and doubles onto the bay on their own schedule and within the limits of our safety rules.

Training and certification for Vikings, Open Water Shells, and LiteBoats are ad-hoc and are offered on a 1:1 basis.

Basic Rowing Training Class Materials
Rowing Training Overview
Rowing Training Guidebook
Tides and Currents Guide