FAQs

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Prospective Members

I’ve never rowed before. How do I get started?

BCR offers two programs for people brand new to the sport: Learn to Row and Learn to Scull.

Our Learn to Row program is a 3-day crash course in sweep rowing (1 oar per person). We’ll meet on a Friday evening to learn the basic mechanics of the rowing stoke on erg (indoor rowing machines) and go over some logistics. On Saturday and Sunday morning, you’ll learn all about the equipment and spend the remainder of the time out on the water learning to row (usually in our 8 person boats). After completing the Learn to Row program, you can continue onto our Novice Sweep Program to refine your improve your technique. Click here to find out more about these programs. Since we want to give people an opportunity to try out the sport before making a commitment to the club, membership is NOT required to participate in the Learn to Row weekend. To continue rowing with the Novice Program, however, membership is required.

Learn to Scull is a 6 day program to give you an introduction to the sculling (2 oars per person). The program meets 3 mornings a week for two weeks. You’ll spend each morning in either singles or doubles learning how to scull. At the end of the program, you can join the Novice Sculling program to continue working on your skills. To scull on your own, outside of a program, you will need to be certified to take the equipment out (see sculling section).

If group programs are not for you, you can also learn to scull by taking private lessons from one of our coaches. Please contact our sculling coordinator for details.

What are the differences between sweep and sculling?

Sweep rowing is where each rower uses 1 oar. Sweep rowers typically row in boats ranging from 2, 4 or 8 rowers. Larger boats (4’s and 8’s) often times have a coxswain steering the boat. In sculling, each rower has 2 oars each. These boats tend to be smaller with 1, 2 or 4 rowers. Sculling boats do not have coxswains. For more information, check out this article from US Rowing.

Where do you row?

We row at Boulder Reservoir, located north of Boulder, CO. The reservoir is one of the recreation facilities operated by the City of Boulder. We row around to reservoir in a clockwise direction, with one lap being about 2.75 miles. In its largest dimension, the reservoir is about 1800m long. Our boats are located on the southern shore of the reservoir. Click here for a map.

Where should I park at the Reservoir?

There is a small parking area located between our boats and the reservoir’s shore line. To get to the lot, continue on the main road until you pass our boat racks, located on the left side of the road. Take your next left to head towards the water and the lot will be on your left. To avoid boats and cars from crossing paths (especially on dark mornings), please do not cut through the boat area on your way to the lot. See the map below for further clarification.

How long is the rowing season?

Our on-water programs usually run from about May 1st through mid-October. Weather permitting, experienced rowers start rowing in March and finish in early November. During the winter and early part of the spring, the club offers indoor training opportunities on “ergs” (short for ergometers or the indoor rowing machines commonly found at fitness centers). For safety concerns, we will only row when the air temperature, water temperature and wind conditions deem it safe. Please refer to our club rules for such conditions.

What should I wear to practice?

Avoid baggy clothing that can get caught in the slides (the track that your seat rolls on). Most rowers wear spandex-like shorts, capris or tights depending on the weather. For tops, athletic tops that provide a good range of movement are usually more comfortable. Since rowing is an aquatic sport, it is best to wear synthetic materials, like polypropylene, that will dry fast and keep you warm even when wet. It’s usually chilly first thing in the morning so layer up. There is space in the boat beneath your feet to store an extra layer part way through practice. For people with longer hair, a hat, visor or headband is recommended to keep your hair out of your face.

For footwear, bring a pair of socks to wear in the boat. While getting ready to launch, sometimes your feet will get wet. Most rowers wear a pair of water sandals/shoes and then carry their socks separately until they get in the boat.

In addition, don’t forget a water bottle and sunscreen! There is room in the boat to store a water bottle.

Do boats ever flip?

Sometimes. The smaller the boat, the more likely it is to flip. Fours and eights rarely flip. Singles are the most common boat to flip because they are smaller and only have one set of oars to stabilize it. To row a single, all rowers take a “flip test” to demonstrate that they can recover from a flipped boat.

Membership Questions

Is membership required to row with the club?

Our Learn to Row, Learn to Scull and Clinics are open to non-members. In the case of the Learn to Row and Learn to Scull programs, we want to give people new to the sport the chance to tryout the sport before committing to the club. To continue rowing with the club after these introductory courses, membership is required.

Club membership contributes to several different functions within the club. Membership dues cover our cost to the City of Boulder to store our boats at the Reservoir and use the reservoir for boating. It also contributes to the maintenance, repairs and purchase of club equipment. In addition, members of BCR receive a Reservoir Pass that allows them into reservoir without paying the daily admission price.

There are opportunities for guests to row on an occasional basis. Please see the FAQ regarding guests.

 

Is membership required in addition to the program coaching fee?

Yes. Membership covers club costs like the storage, maintenance and repairs of our equipment. Membership also gives you season-long access to Boulder Reservoir. These are services enjoyed by all rowers, regardless of their participation in a coached program. The program fee only covers the coaching for that session.

How do I sign-up for membership?

Registration for membership and programs is operated through the Regatta Central website. You can register by clicking the “Sign-Up” link on our website or by going directly Regatta Central’s website. You will have to make a free account with Regatta Central to register. Once registered, you can either pay by credit card online or send a check directly to BCR. Save your username and log-in because you will use it for all registrations.

To find our program and membership offerings from Regatta Central’s homepage, go to the “Clubs” tab, scroll down to Boulder Community Rowing and click “Show Details.”

How long is my membership good for?

Our membership year is from April 1 – March 31st. We offer discounted memberships for people who start rowing with us late in the season (after August 1st, September 1st and winter training) to make up for the shortened membership year. All memberships need to be renewed at the start of a new membership year before rowing.

I signed up for membership but don’t have a Reservoir pass. How do I get one?

Returning Members: Your pass from last year will be reactivated after your have registered for a new membership. It usually takes about a week to reactivate your card so plan accordingly.

Learn to Row and Learn To Scull Participants: During the program you should have received a temporary entrance card to the reservoir. After you sign-up for membership, the reservoir will be notified to issue you a card. It usually takes about a week to make and then it will be available for pick-up at the front gate.

New Members: If you joined the club without taking one of our introductory programs, then the Reservoir will be notified to issue you a card after your register on Regatta Central. It usually takes about a week to process at which point it will be available for pick-up at the Reservoir front gate.

For other questions, please contact our Reservoir Liaison.

 

Where can I find information about program specific curriculum, expectations and guidelines?

Every year, our programs committee develops a document that outlines the logistics, curriculum and requirements for each program that eventually gets approved by the Board of Directors.  The Program Document is available on our website.

I am new to the sport and am interested in racing. How soon can I join the racing program?

The general progression for sweep racing is to participate in a Learn to Row program, graduate from the Novice program and then spend at least one session in the Experienced Program to continue your technique and skills. At the coach’s discretion, new rowers can bypass the Experienced Program.

Are there any attendance requirements for the sweep racing program?

Yes. One of the objectives of the program is to prepare larger boats for target regattas, it is imperative that rowers are available to practice as a team. Each racing session has a different attendance policy based on the session’s length. Please refer to the Program Document for specifics.

 

What if I can’t make it to practice due to work/family/travel?

With the exception of the sweep racing program, other programs do not have an attendance policy. With that being said, it is important to communicate absences to the coach so they can plan accordingly. Last minute cancellations can greatly affect the team because a boat can’t go out on the water without the correct number of rowers.

When you enter a program, you will be given contact information for the coaches. Last minute cancellations (sick kids, car trouble, etc) should usually be communicated with text messages or voice calls. For planned absences, you will be provided with a link to Google spreadsheets that will allow you to tell the coaches up-front when you will have to miss (simply put an X in the cells corresponding to the dates you will be absent). The coaches generally check these the night before and possibly the morning of practice to ensure they will have proper line-ups.

Miscellaneous Questions

I am visiting Boulder and am interested in rowing with BCR. What are my options?

There are three options for guests to row with BCR.

  1. Row as a guest with the Experienced or Advanced Sweep program. Guests may row with the experienced program for $20 per day. This includes the cost of Reservoir admission. Sweep rowers must have at least one year of rowing experience, sign all waivers and notify the club before coming. There is a limit of 8 guest rows with the program per calendar year. Please contact the Head Coach and pay the drop in fee to arrange a guest row.
  2. Row with another BCR member. Guests can row with another BCR member as a sponsor. Please pay the drop in fee with a limit of 3 per calendar year. All waivers must be signed before rowing.
  3. Take a private lesson. Non-members are welcome to take private lessons with BCR coaches.

Please refer to club rules and the Programs document for more details.

Can I store my own boat on BCR racks at the Reservoir?

If BCR has extra rack space available, individuals rent space to store personal rowing equipment. All private boats must be privately insured. Please contact the equipment manager about current availability and prices.

Do you have a boathouse?

Not yet. We currently store our boats on outdoor racks at Boulder Reservoir. We have been in communication with the City of Boulder about constructing a boathouse but we are still early on in the planning stages.

Sculling Questions

Can I take sculling boats out on my own?

For your safety and the safety of BCR’s equipment, there is certification process for scullers to take boats out on their own. There are two levels of certification: Level 1 for novice scullers and Level 2 for advanced scullers. Since our sculling equipment is on a replacement rotation to prevent our fleet from aging at the same time, access to sculling equipment is tiered. Level 2 certified scullers have access to all club-owned sculling equipment. Level 1 certified scullers only have access to designated equipment.

Level 1 Certification:

  • Rower has demonstrated understanding of basic boat-handling skills.
  • Rower is able to carry the boat and oars down to the water on own either overhead, on shoulder, or with dolly.
  • Rower is able to demonstrate awareness of personal safety and safety of other boats/people on the water.
  • Rower has demonstrated basic boat-handling skills on the water, including rowing, backing, turning in place, launching, docking, stopping quickly, and looking over the shoulder to steer.
  • Rower has performed a “flip test” with a BCR coach present. Must demonstrate ability to either get back into boat or swim to shore using the boat as a flotation device.
  • Rower has attested to acknowledgement and understanding of the risk involved in participation in a water sport and unsupervised use of BCR equipment. Rower has been instructed to carry a PFD for safety.
  • Rower has demonstrated an understanding of safe and unsafe water, weather, and wind conditions. Knows traffic pattern and best ways to handle large wakes from speedboats. Understands merit of staying close to shore and uses good judgment about when to get off the water.

Level 2 Certification

  • Must have steered 30 certified laps in another sculling boat
  • Must have additional coach permission

 

Why can I check some boats out but not others?

Access to boats in the reservation system depends on your certification level (see description above). Access in the reservation system is granted once a rower becomes certified.

How do I become certified to take out sculling equipment?

If you are in a sculling program, your program’s coach can certify you. You can also be certified by a sculling coach in a private lesson. If you wish to be certified outside of a program or lesson, contact the sculling coordinator. A certification session can be arranged directly following a regular program. A small fee will be charged to cover the cost of the coach’s time.

How do I reserve sculling equipment?

Once you have become a member and received your certification to check out sculling boats, you will be added to our Boat Reservation System. There is a short tutorial on how this system works that should answer most questions. Other questions can be directed to our webmaster.

Is a club membership required if I participate in programs?

Yes. Membership covers club costs like the storage, maintenance and repairs of our equipment. Membership also gives you season-long access to Boulder Reservoir. These are services enjoyed by all rowers, regardless of their participation in a coached program. The program fee only covers the coaching for that session.

I am visiting Boulder and am interested in rowing with BCR. What are my options?

There are three options for guests to row with BCR.

  1. Row as a guest with the Experienced or Advanced Sweep program. Guests may row with the experienced program for $20 per day. This includes the cost of Reservoir admission. Sweep rowers must have at least one year of rowing experience, sign all waivers and notify the club before coming. There is a limit of 8 guest rows with the program per calendar year. Please contact the Head Coach and pay the drop in fee to arrange a guest row.
  2. Row with another BCR member. Guests can row with another BCR member as a sponsor. Please pay the drop in fee with a limit of 3 per calendar year. All waivers must be signed before rowing.
  3. Take a private lesson. Non-members are welcome to take private lessons with BCR coaches.

Please refer to club rules and the Programs document for more details.

I’ve never rowed before. How do I get started?

BCR offers two programs for people brand new to the sport: Learn to Row and Learn to Scull.

Our Learn to Row program is a 3-day crash course in sweep rowing (1 oar per person). We’ll meet on a Friday evening to learn the basic mechanics of the rowing stoke on erg (indoor rowing machines) and go over some logistics. On Saturday and Sunday morning, you’ll learn all about the equipment and spend the remainder of the time out on the water learning to row (usually in our 8 person boats). After completing the Learn to Row program, you can continue onto our Novice Sweep Program to refine your improve your technique. Click here to find out more about these programs. Since we want to give people an opportunity to try out the sport before making a commitment to the club, membership is NOT required to participate in the Learn to Row weekend. To continue rowing with the Novice Program, however, membership is required.

Learn to Scull is a 6 day program to give you an introduction to the sculling (2 oars per person). The program meets 3 mornings a week for two weeks. You’ll spend each morning in either singles or doubles learning how to scull. At the end of the program, you can join the Novice Sculling program to continue working on your skills. To scull on your own, outside of a program, you will need to be certified to take the equipment out (see sculling section).

If group programs are not for you, you can also learn to scull by taking private lessons from one of our coaches. Please contact our sculling coordinator for details.

What are the differences between sweep and sculling?

Sweep rowing is where each rower uses 1 oar. Sweep rowers typically row in boats ranging from 2, 4 or 8 rowers. Larger boats (4’s and 8’s) often times have a coxswain steering the boat. In sculling, each rower has 2 oars each. These boats tend to be smaller with 1, 2 or 4 rowers. Sculling boats do not have coxswains. For more information, check out this article from US Rowing.

Where do you row?

We row at Boulder Reservoir, located north of Boulder, CO. The reservoir is one of the recreation facilities operated by the City of Boulder. We row around to reservoir in a clockwise direction, with one lap being about 2.75 miles. In its largest dimension, the reservoir is about 1800m long. Our boats are located on the southern shore of the reservoir. Click here for a map.

Where should I park at the Reservoir?

There is a small parking area located between our boats and the reservoir’s shore line. To get to the lot, continue on the main road until you pass our boat racks, located on the left side of the road. Take your next left to head towards the water and the lot will be on your left. To avoid boats and cars from crossing paths (especially on dark mornings), please do not cut through the boat area on your way to the lot. See the map below for further clarification.

How long is the rowing season?

Our on-water programs usually run from about May 1st through mid-October. Weather permitting, experienced rowers start rowing in March and finish in early November. During the winter and early part of the spring, the club offers indoor training opportunities on “ergs” (short for ergometers or the indoor rowing machines commonly found at fitness centers). For safety concerns, we will only row when the air temperature, water temperature and wind conditions deem it safe. Please refer to our club rules for such conditions.

What should I wear to practice?

Avoid baggy clothing that can get caught in the slides (the track that your seat rolls on). Most rowers wear spandex-like shorts, capris or tights depending on the weather. For tops, athletic tops that provide a good range of movement are usually more comfortable. Since rowing is an aquatic sport, it is best to wear synthetic materials, like polypropylene, that will dry fast and keep you warm even when wet. It’s usually chilly first thing in the morning so layer up. There is space in the boat beneath your feet to store an extra layer part way through practice. For people with longer hair, a hat, visor or headband is recommended to keep your hair out of your face.

For footwear, bring a pair of socks to wear in the boat. While getting ready to launch, sometimes your feet will get wet. Most rowers wear a pair of water sandals/shoes and then carry their socks separately until they get in the boat.

In addition, don’t forget a water bottle and sunscreen! There is room in the boat to store a water bottle.

Do boats ever flip?

Sometimes. The smaller the boat, the more likely it is to flip. Fours and eights rarely flip. Singles are the most common boat to flip because they are smaller and only have one set of oars to stabilize it. To row a single, all rowers take a “flip test” to demonstrate that they can recover from a flipped boat.

Is membership required to row with the club?

Our Learn to Row, Learn to Scull and Clinics are open to non-members. In the case of the Learn to Row and Learn to Scull programs, we want to give people new to the sport the chance to tryout the sport before committing to the club. To continue rowing with the club after these introductory courses, membership is required.

Club membership contributes to several different functions within the club. Membership dues cover our cost to the City of Boulder to store our boats at the Reservoir and use the reservoir for boating. It also contributes to the maintenance, repairs and purchase of club equipment. In addition, members of BCR receive a Reservoir Pass that allows them into reservoir without paying the daily admission price.

There are opportunities for guests to row on an occasional basis. Please see the FAQ regarding guests.

 

Is membership required in addition to the program coaching fee?

Yes. Membership covers club costs like the storage, maintenance and repairs of our equipment. Membership also gives you season-long access to Boulder Reservoir. These are services enjoyed by all rowers, regardless of their participation in a coached program. The program fee only covers the coaching for that session.

How do I sign-up for membership?

Registration for membership and programs is operated through the Regatta Central website. You can register by clicking the “Sign-Up” link on our website or by going directly Regatta Central’s website. You will have to make a free account with Regatta Central to register. Once registered, you can either pay by credit card online or send a check directly to BCR. Save your username and log-in because you will use it for all registrations.

To find our program and membership offerings from Regatta Central’s homepage, go to the “Clubs” tab, scroll down to Boulder Community Rowing and click “Show Details.”

How long is my membership good for?

Our membership year is from April 1 – March 31st. We offer discounted memberships for people who start rowing with us late in the season (after August 1st, September 1st and winter training) to make up for the shortened membership year. All memberships need to be renewed at the start of a new membership year before rowing.

I signed up for membership but don’t have a Reservoir pass. How do I get one?

Returning Members: Your pass from last year will be reactivated after your have registered for a new membership. It usually takes about a week to reactivate your card so plan accordingly.

Learn to Row and Learn To Scull Participants: During the program you should have received a temporary entrance card to the reservoir. After you sign-up for membership, the reservoir will be notified to issue you a card. It usually takes about a week to make and then it will be available for pick-up at the front gate.

New Members: If you joined the club without taking one of our introductory programs, then the Reservoir will be notified to issue you a card after your register on Regatta Central. It usually takes about a week to process at which point it will be available for pick-up at the Reservoir front gate.

For other questions, please contact our Reservoir Liaison.

 

Can I take sculling boats out on my own?

For your safety and the safety of BCR’s equipment, there is certification process for scullers to take boats out on their own. There are two levels of certification: Level 1 for novice scullers and Level 2 for advanced scullers. Since our sculling equipment is on a replacement rotation to prevent our fleet from aging at the same time, access to sculling equipment is tiered. Level 2 certified scullers have access to all club-owned sculling equipment. Level 1 certified scullers only have access to designated equipment.

Level 1 Certification:

  • Rower has demonstrated understanding of basic boat-handling skills.
  • Rower is able to carry the boat and oars down to the water on own either overhead, on shoulder, or with dolly.
  • Rower is able to demonstrate awareness of personal safety and safety of other boats/people on the water.
  • Rower has demonstrated basic boat-handling skills on the water, including rowing, backing, turning in place, launching, docking, stopping quickly, and looking over the shoulder to steer.
  • Rower has performed a “flip test” with a BCR coach present. Must demonstrate ability to either get back into boat or swim to shore using the boat as a flotation device.
  • Rower has attested to acknowledgement and understanding of the risk involved in participation in a water sport and unsupervised use of BCR equipment. Rower has been instructed to carry a PFD for safety.
  • Rower has demonstrated an understanding of safe and unsafe water, weather, and wind conditions. Knows traffic pattern and best ways to handle large wakes from speedboats. Understands merit of staying close to shore and uses good judgment about when to get off the water.

Level 2 Certification

  • Must have steered 30 certified laps in another sculling boat
  • Must have additional coach permission

 

Why can I check some boats out but not others?

Access to boats in the reservation system depends on your certification level (see description above). Access in the reservation system is granted once a rower becomes certified.

How do I become certified to take out sculling equipment?

If you are in a sculling program, your program’s coach can certify you. You can also be certified by a sculling coach in a private lesson. If you wish to be certified outside of a program or lesson, contact the sculling coordinator. A certification session can be arranged directly following a regular program. A small fee will be charged to cover the cost of the coach’s time.

How do I reserve sculling equipment?

Once you have become a member and received your certification to check out sculling boats, you will be added to our Boat Reservation System. There is a short tutorial on how this system works that should answer most questions. Other questions can be directed to our webmaster.

How do I sign-up for programs?

Registration for membership and programs is operated through the Regatta Central website. You can register by clicking the “Sign-Up” links on our website or by going directly Regatta Central’s website. You will have to make a free account with Regatta Central to register. Once registered, you can either pay by credit card online or send a check directly to BCR. Save your username and log-in because you will use it for all future registrations.

To find our program and membership offerings from Regatta Central’s homepage, go to the “Clubs” tab, scroll down to Boulder Community Rowing and click “Show Details.”

Is a club membership required if I participate in programs?

Yes. Membership covers club costs like the storage, maintenance and repairs of our equipment. Membership also gives you season-long access to Boulder Reservoir. These are services enjoyed by all rowers, regardless of their participation in a coached program. The program fee only covers the coaching for that session.

Where can I find information about program specific curriculum, expectations and guidelines?

Every year, our programs committee develops a document that outlines the logistics, curriculum and requirements for each program that eventually gets approved by the Board of Directors.  The Program Document is available on our website.

I am new to the sport and am interested in racing. How soon can I join the racing program?

The general progression for sweep racing is to participate in a Learn to Row program, graduate from the Novice program and then spend at least one session in the Experienced Program to continue your technique and skills. At the coach’s discretion, new rowers can bypass the Experienced Program.

Are there any attendance requirements for the sweep racing program?

Yes. One of the objectives of the program is to prepare larger boats for target regattas, it is imperative that rowers are available to practice as a team. Each racing session has a different attendance policy based on the session’s length. Please refer to the Program Document for specifics.

 

What if I can’t make it to practice due to work/family/travel?

With the exception of the sweep racing program, other programs do not have an attendance policy. With that being said, it is important to communicate absences to the coach so they can plan accordingly. Last minute cancellations can greatly affect the team because a boat can’t go out on the water without the correct number of rowers.

When you enter a program, you will be given contact information for the coaches. Last minute cancellations (sick kids, car trouble, etc) should usually be communicated with text messages or voice calls. For planned absences, you will be provided with a link to Google spreadsheets that will allow you to tell the coaches up-front when you will have to miss (simply put an X in the cells corresponding to the dates you will be absent). The coaches generally check these the night before and possibly the morning of practice to ensure they will have proper line-ups.

Can I store my own boat on BCR racks at the Reservoir?

If BCR has extra rack space available, individuals rent space to store personal rowing equipment. All private boats must be privately insured. Please contact the equipment manager about current availability and prices.

Do you have a boathouse?

Not yet. We currently store our boats on outdoor racks at Boulder Reservoir. We have been in communication with the City of Boulder about constructing a boathouse but we are still early on in the planning stages.

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