Introduction to Rowing

Important Notice :

Due to the Covid-19 virus outbreak Austin Rowing Club has made the difficult decision to cancel its current scheduled Introduction to Rowing courses. For more information please read the following message from ARC Vice President, Tatjana Lichtenstein.

I hope you are well and that you and your families are staying safe and healthy.

My name is Tatjana Lichtenstein and I am the Vice President of the Austin Rowing Club.  Over the past year, I have been working with Liz Barhydt. (whom you have already met over email) and our coaches to design an exciting and comprehensive Introduction to Rowing Program for the Austin community. Like you, we are very disappointed that we have had to postpone your ITR course.  The rowing community at ARC is eager to welcome new rowers to the club.  Everyone is excited for you to learn and get on the water.

While we await safe conditions, I wanted to tell you a little about what to expect at the rowing club and share some resources on rowing (see below) that might serve you as inspiration and encouragement in the next few weeks. Last year, about 35 new members completed Introduction to Rowing and the six-month Masters Novice course (the two independent components of our Learn to Program).  Many of them created new crews of eight or four rowers, other joined existing crews, and some fell in love with the single.  As the diversity of ages and backgrounds in that group reflects, rowing attracts people of all ages and all walks of life.  It is a sport that will fit almost every temperament, fitness experience, and schedule.

ARC is a strong community with a diverse membership and programming for members as well as for our Austin neighbors.  I very much look forward to welcoming you in person to rowing and to our club.  In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns that you might have.  My email is

Stay safe and healthy!

With best wishes, Tatjana

Ready to try rowing? Austin Rowing Club’s Introduction to Rowing (ITR) course is the place to start. The course is run over two days, 3hr session per day. During the course we will introduce you to sweep rowing (one oar) in a coxed 8+ boat. You will learn how to stay safe on the water, the basics of the rowing stroke, and how to handle the rowing equipment.  Even if you have no rowing experience, this is the place for you!

Cost for Introduction to Rowing is $140Courses are run both on weekdays and weekends. Find out more here.

Note : The ITR course is a pre-requisite to the ARC Novice Masters program. 

Looking for Junior Rowing? Go here.

More About Rowing

There are two ways to row, sweep and scull. Sweep rowing involves the classic long boats with eight rowers and a helmsman, known as the coxswain, calling out commands and steering. Each rower has one long oar, held with both hands. Sculling involves smaller boats known as singles, doubles and quads where each rower has two oars. You can learn more about the differences between sweep and scull here.

What You’ll Learn

The ITR course is designed to get you on the water and rowing. All participants receive an ARC t-shirt and an ITR manual. Course topics include rowing safety, equipment handling, terminology and of course rowing technique! Participants learn to row in our modern fleet of boats and all equipment is provided. ARC has a professional coaching staff that will teach you the basics of rowing so you can feel confident on the water. ARC members also volunteer in the boat with you so you can learn from rowers with on-the-water experience. From the dock to the lake, our instructors are with you every step of the way. After completing the ITR course, you will be eligible to join our Masters Novice Program.

What You’ll Need to Bring

Participants should wear comfortable but tight fitting clothing, such as cycling shorts or long leggings and athletic tops. Loose fitting clothing is not recommended because it may become tangled in the rowing equipment. Our boats have built-in shoes, so you can wear sandals, tennis shoes or other footwear to class but you need to bring socks. Bring an extra pair of socks with you in case yours get wet or you need extra cushion. In hot weather, use sunscreen, hats or visors. In cool weather, wear layers of close-fitting garments. Always bring water in non-breakable bottles to your course – you will have water breaks throughout the course. Austin Rowing Club has complete locker room facilities with showers so you can charge before or after class if necessary.

Attendance, Cancellation and Refunds

Attendance at all sessions is very important. Please contact us if your schedule changes, it may be possible to apply your fee to another class, depending on availability.  However, Austin Rowing Club does NOT provide refunds for any reason.


Classes always meet at the scheduled time! In case of inclement weather, a video presentation or land workout will replace the rowing. We will row in light rain, provided other conditions are favorable.

For more information email