You are here: Programs | Adults - Learn to Row

Adult Learn to Row and Novice Program

This program is for adults interested in learning the basic techniques and styles of sculling and sweep rowing. The program is a low impact sport available to adults of all athletic levels. The twelve day introductory Learn to Row program includes instruction on land as well as on-water sessions to learn basic rowing technique. The monthly Novice rower program focuses on improving technique and training together as a crew. NOTE: On-water activities for all rowing programs are dependent on weather and river conditions.

Learn to Row

The Learn to Row (LTR) program includes 12 days of instruction over a six week period (two days per week)($200). Three six-week sessions are offered beginning in early April. Participants may register for either morning (5:30 - 7:00 AM) or evening (6:30 - 8:00 PM) sessions. Training takes place at the ARC boathouse (City of Albany Boat Shed at the Corning Preserve). Participants can join the Novice program with successful completion of LTR and minimum attendance requirement of nine classes.

On-land instruction includes: working on ergs (stationary rowing machines), learning the basics of the different types of rowing (sweep rowing and sculling), rowing terminology, stroke technique, and rowing safety, including preventing injuries and proper technique for carrying boats.

On-water instruction includes: basics of sweep rowing and sculling, basics of how to be a coxswain, and training on how to steer a sculling boat from the bow.

Schedule for remaining classes - Monday and Wednesday 6:30 to 8:00 PM ($200)

Novice Adult Program

The Novice program offers continued instruction in sweep rowing and sculling technique, and experience coxing in a variety of boats. Sessions are offered on a monthly basis starting in June and continuing through the fall. Novice adults who want to join the ARC Masters rowing program must complete a minimum of three months at Novice level. Transition to the Masters rowing program will be based on the coach's assessment of participant technique and team rowing skills.


You must be able to swim in order to participate in any ARC program. You should be able to tread water for 10 minutes and swim a distance of 100 yards (4 pool laps) without stopping. The coach's launch is equipped with life jackets for each participant in the event that a rower goes overboard.

You should consult with your physician before starting any strenuous exercise program such as rowing. NOTE: A fully-rigged eight person rowing shell weighs around 200 pounds. With eight people lifting and carrying, each person shoulders 25 to 30 pounds. You should expect to lift 25 - 30 pounds above your head.