Learn About Rowing

Rowing programs for youth are available at many different locations in the city of Seattle! Youth programs are organized by local “boathouses” and available for boys and girls, grades 8-12. No previous rowing experience is required!

The Ultimate Team Sport!

Rowing is the ultimate team sport. Rowing gives kids a chance to work together as part of a team while guided by experienced coaches.

“Rowing is fun and different from other sports. It’s fun being outside on the water with my teammates!

“It’s a way for me to relax, to relieve my stress. It’s taught me about being part of a team that has to work together to win. There is no star in a boat.”

“Rowing has been the best thing I have ever been involved in. It has helped me physically, mentally and socially. I’ve worked harder than I ever have and accomplished more than I thought I could.”

Facts About Rowing

  • An 8-person rowing boat (“eight”) is approximately 60 feet long and weighs a little over 200 pounds.
  • A “single” is a one-person boat. It is the smallest rowing boat available, weighing approximately 25-30 pounds.
  • In 1852, a race between Harvard and Yale was the first intercollegiate athletic competition.
  • In 2004, MythBusters confirmed that an eight (8 people rowing in a boat) generates enough speed to tow a water skier.
  • Within Seattle’s city limits, there are 6,200 acres of water–much of which is suitable for rowing.

How do I join a team?

Rowing for middle and high school students is called “junior rowing” and is available at most boathouses in Seattle. No previous rowing or athletic experience is required–your coaches will teach you everything you need to know!

Partial and full scholarships are available through each boathouse as well as through Row to the Future’s Rainer Valley Rowing (RVR) program. RVR support is currently available at two boathouses: Mt. Baker Rowing and Sailing Center and Pocock Rowing Center.

Where would I row?

Seattle is a water-rich city so most residents live within 5 miles of a boathouse. Use this interactive map to find the boathouse (including boathouse contact information) that is best for you. Visit the boathouse website for more information on their practice schedule and registration.

When is practice?

Rowing is available year-round and students may join a team at the start of any season. During the school year, practice is after school, Monday-Friday, usually 4-6 p.m. During the summer, practice is typically in the morning, usually 8-10 a.m.

What is a typical practice like?

A typical rowing practice includes a warm-up activity on land before getting into boats and rowing on the water. You will get a chance to row in the front (bow) and back (stern) of the boat and work with different people almost every day. Practice typically includes some jogging and conditioning exercises to help build fitness and strength.

How much does rowing cost?

Cost varies by boathouse and season. There are fees for both registration and regattas (races). Registration fees cover the cost of coaching and equipment for an entire season. Regatta fees cover race entry fees and additional items such as snacks, and in some cases, travel by bus and hotel accommodations. The average cost for participating in junior rowing is typically:

Fall (September – November): $350 for registration; $100 for regatta fees.
Winter (December – January): $100 for registration; $0 for regatta fees. Winter rowing consists of on-land conditioning exercises and indoor rowing only.
Spring (February – June): $450-600 for registration; $600-$800 for regatta fees. Regatta fees include food and accommodations for two “away” regattas and 3-5 “home” regattas.
Summer (June-July): $175-225 for registration; $25 for regatta fees.

Join a rowing team!