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Learning a new sport is exciting but also challenging. We answer a number of frequently asked questions below to give you more information on what to expect and what you need in order to enjoy our rowing classes.

  • What are the physical requirements for Learn to Row classes?
    LWRC has members of all shapes and sizes…and ages! Rowing is an athletic endeavor but the focus in Learn to Row is on proper technique and having fun. If you have concern about a physical limitation, please contact us to determine if rowing is right for you. As a rough guideline, participants should be able to perform a low squat, and shift from a kneeling and sitting position to a standing position without assistance. LTR Sweep participants should also be able to lift 25 pounds overhead.
  • What paperwork do I need to provide before the first class?
    Before your first class, please complete the LWRC Waiver, USRowing Waiver, and LWRC Float test. These forms are necessary to ensure that you will be safe on the water. Please upload these completed forms to the documents section of your Mindbody account that you created to get on the Learn to Row enrollment list. In lieu of a float test, if you are a CURRENT Lifeguard or Water Safety Instructor (WSI) or you have a SCUBA Certification Card, you may submit a copy of the appropriate certification to LWRC.
  • What are some rowing terms that I should know?
    Rowers use a lot of boating terms that may be unfamiliar to you. But don't worry - you'll pick those up quickly. Check out this rowing terminology document with a summary of the most common terms used around the boathouse as well as other useful concepts.
  • What is the difference between sculling and sweep rowing?
    In sculling, each rower has two oars. Sculling is practiced most commonly in single-person boats, but can be done in boats with multiple people. In sweep rowing, each rower has only one oar, a starboard oar or a port oar. As a result, sweep boats contain rowers in even numbers, typically two, four, or eight people. For more information take a look at the Additional Rowing Terminology.
  • Will I learn to scull or sweep?
    Learn To Row begins in sculling in stable single-person boats, i.e. wherries, Maas Aeros, or Bays, before progressing into multiple people boats. LWRC teaches sculling first to help new rowers have a good sense of their personal influence on a boat. Establishing this "feeling sense" helps sort some things out before moving into larger boats and learning sweep. The movement in sweep rowing with one oar is different than in sculling, so there will be required adjustments and learning with the transition. Expect learning whether you continue with sculling or move into sweep - rowing either style is a continual learning process. 🙂
  • What is the Learn to Row refund policy?
    You can cancel up to 7 days prior to a program beginning and receive a full refund. If you cancel within 7 days prior to a program beginning, you will not receive a full refund unless we can fill your spot from the waitlist or someone else signing up. If we are unable to fill your spot, we will give you credit toward a future LTR program. If you cancel within 24 hours of the first class, you will not receive a refund or a credit toward a future program. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact the LWRC Office.
  • Is it okay if I miss classes?
    Regardless of which LTR program you participate in, it is important you attend as many classes as you can to have the most out of your experience. The first couple of classes in all the programs will go over safety and orientation of boats and rowing basics. Because of this, it is important to attend the first three classes. We understand that emergencies come up, we ask that you communicate with your coach so he/she can plan accordingly.
  • The class I want to take is full, what can I do?"
    We operate on a first come, first serve basis. Once a class has reached its limit, we will begin a waitlist. If you are on the waitlist, we will let you know if a spot has opened up in the class and you will be able to enroll. When you are added to a waitlist, please complete your float test and sign your waivers in the event you are accepted into the class. We highly recommend to sign-up for classes early to successfully register for your first choice. Programs often fill 30-60 days before they begin, especially during the summer time.
  • What is a "float test"?"
    Enter your answer here
  • What should I wear?
    General rule of thumb is nothing too baggy. A rower’s clothing is the same as that of a cyclist or runner. Tights and spandex are ideal. But shorts, sweats, or comfortable pants are fine. Pants should not be too baggy as they could get caught in the movable seat tracks. Layering is good for the colder months, including a hat. And don’t forget a good pair of sunglasses for sunny weather.
  • What kind of shoes do I need?
    You don’t need shoes for rowing, only warm socks. The boat has built-in clogs or shoes for your feet. Wear a pair of loose shoes that are easy to take on and off on the dock.
  • Is there any recommended reading material?
    The Sculler at Ease written by Rowing Hall of Famer and long-time LWRC coach Frank Cunningham is an excellent resource for beginner and experienced rowers. You can purchase a copy on our merchandise page and pick it up at the boathouse.
  • Where should we park?
    The Fremont Boathouse does not have reserved parking, but the area has good street parking, especially in the evenings. You can use the lot right next to the boathouse for a small fee.
  • How many people are in each session?
    Learn to Row 1 is limited to 4-5 participants. Learn to Row 2 accommodates up to 8 participants. We try to keep the number low to ensure quality instruction for each participant.
  • Will I end up in the water?
    In all LTR programs, you begin rowing in stable boats. While it is a rare occurrence for someone to end up in the water during LTR, the possibility does exist. It is always best to have dry clothes in the event you do end up in the water. A coach, in a launch boat, will always be with you on the water during class.
  • I’m interested in a Learn to Row class. How do I get started?
    The first thing to do is go to the Learn to Row programs page and click the "Register" button for the program you'd like to join. This will take you to LWRC's MindBody registration system where you create an account. The club’s operations are run through MindBody so setting up an account will ensure you can easily sign up, manage your classes, and pay for your programs. Once you’ve set up an account, simply “Register” for a class you are interested in.
  • How does the waitlist work?
    We operate on a first come, first serve basis. Once a class has reached its limit, we will begin the waitlist. If you are on the waitlist, we will let you know if a spot has opened up in the class. Complete your float test and sign your waivers in the event you are accepted off the waitlist. We highly recommend to sign-up early as programs often fill 30-60 days before they begin – especially for the summer classes.
  • I’ve completed a Learn to Row class and I want to continue rowing. Now what?
    We are thrilled you’ve caught the rowing bug! To continue your rowing journey, sign up to become an LWRC member. You have a few options – all described on our Membership page. By joining as a new member, you have the opportunity try out our coached programs, meet other rowers and find some rowing buddies, and participate in other fun club events. LTR participants receive a credit toward full membership. If you’re not sure you want to sign up for a full membership, we also offer one-month trial memberships.
  • What programs are best suited for a novice rower after completing Learn to Row?
    Consider learning a different rowing discipline – If you are coming from an LTR sculling program, you might want to consider joining our LTR Sweep class. Similarly, if you were an LTR Sweep rower, join a LTR sculling class. Additionally, we offer a Novice/Intermediate morning sculling program and a Mixed Masters program that includes opportunities to sweep and scull in the evenings and Saturday mornings. For a full list of all LWRC programs click here.
  • What is a flip test?
    All members of LWRC must complete a flip test before taking a club boat out on their own. A flip test is done right off the main dock at LWRC. Under the supervision of a coach, you will row out in one of our designated flip test boats with one of our flip test facilitators, show you have mastered the basic rowing skills, actually flip the boat completely over, and successfully re-enter the boat. We usually conduct flip tests from May until about September, depending on the weather and water temperature.

Why Learn Rowing at Lake Washington?


Our coaches are very experienced at teaching new rowers the skills needed to move comfortably across the water. They are also avid rowers and very friendly. Learn from the best.


We offer a number of Learn to Row Sculling programs throughout the year that will work with your schedule. We teach in small groups for the optimal learning experience and our programs are very affordable.


An amazing boathouse in the heart of Fremont, a wide range of rowing programs, modern equipment, a full gym, and a wonderful community make Lake Washington unique.


Lake Washington is the oldest rowing club in Seattle with a mission to teach the art of rowing to the local community and spread the joy that comes with this beautiful sport.

Still have questions?

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