Novice Rowing

Novice rowers will start by learning basic rowing technique, while developing fitness and flexibility.

Our athletes will begin and learn in small boats - this provides accountability to the athletes, in addition to foundational boat-feel and water-feel skills that serve as a platform for future development.

OARS rowers will be introduced to as many boat classes as possible - as we believe developing skill across all boat classes creates learning opportunities that hone each rowers skills.

Our Novice program is designed to introduce athletes to rowing. We welcome anybody in 8th to 12th grade, both as rowers and coxswains. Our goal is to foster a life-long love for the sport, helping athletes join the rowing community. 

We will also introduce our novice rowers to a periodized training environment, and help them learn to work towards achieving goals.

Our novice rowers will learn how to think and structure goals - for both individual and the team - and how to take the steps towards achieving them. 

As athletes progress, we will introduce them to racing - first within the squad, and then at local regattas (rowing races).

We aim by end of year for all our novice rowers have developed a love for the sport, the team and training!

Novice Boys

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 4:30 - 7PM**

Saturday, 8-11AM**

One on-your-own workout

Fall Season: August 24 - December 18th

Spring Season: January 4 - May 2nd

Upon registration, athletes will be invited to OARS Novice pre-season, which will take place starting the beginning of August to help athletes get a jump-start on the year.

Novice Girls 

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 4:35 - 7:05 PM

Saturday, 7-10 AM

Fall Season: September 12 - December 18th

($200 off if registered by September 7th)

Spring Season: January 4 - May 2nd

**note - these practice times are pending. In this COVID environment, our goal is to get athletes on to the water in a safe environment. Depending on final group size, we may shift the schedule around, to reduce the number of athletes at the boathouse.


To register for the season click here

Cost: $2150 - cost is inclusive of coaching, facility and infrastructure, training, local regatta trail, entry fees

$200 discount if registered by July 24

Capacity: ​To ensure we are providing an individualized experience to our athletes, our Novice Program will be limited to 20 athletes. We know that some athletes play other competitive sports, and will leave some spots open for athletes towards the end of the season.

If we reach capacity, we will hold try-outs at the end of August. During try-outs, we will look for coach-ability, body construction, size to strength ratio, leadership, technical ability, competitiveness, positive attitude, sportsmanship, team-player mentality and general athletic potential.

2 week free trial

Want to see what it's like rowing with OARS? Try it out for 2 weeks free! Please register within 48 hours of the conclusion of your free trial to continue!

Please click here to learn more.

Frequently asked questions:​


What is a coxswain, and why do we need them?

Take a look here!

I'm busy for part of the season. Can I join late?

Yes! We understand that some athletes play other sports, or have other commitments during the season. Please register for the program you're interested in, and our coaches will reach out to arrange an appropriate start date. ​

I think I'm too small to be a good rower, should I find another sport?​

Rowing has a few options for you: at the junior level, we have both open weight (no restrictions) and light weight events. Lightweight events are for boys under 150lbs and girls under 130lbs. We also have coxswain positions available. Coxswains are a critical member of boats, and we provide dedicated training to help coxswains develop into strong leaders.

Why must we have try-outs?

We endeavor to get as many athletes exposed to the sport of rowing possible. However, we also strive to provide the best athlete experience on the water; and to do that, we have capacity constraints. We firmly believe teaching athletes in small boats, and especially the single, is the best way to learn the sport, boat-feel and watermanship - in order to keep the group manageable and safe, that ultimately requires a capacity constraint.

For the 2020-2021 season, we will have to have more stringent capacity requirements due to COVID. Our priority is keeping athletes safe. This means limiting the number of athletes at our boathouse, and keeping athletes in small boats (which is truly the best social distancing! each boat has a 10ft long bow and stern, along with oars, that keeps them within a HUGE personal space bubble outdoors). 


We hope in the future we will be able to expand our capacity, and thank you for your understanding as we manage these challenging times.

What types of precautions will there be for COVID?

We endeavor to provide a safe experience for the athletes. Because of COVID, we will ask that you and your athlete follow strict guidelines regarding their presence, impact and interactions at the boathouse. These guidelines will evolve through the weeks, as we look to local and national guidelines, and appreciate your flexibility before-hand. Ahead of the first practice date, we will provide you with the current guidelines that we must abide by at the time.

As a club, we fundamentally believe in teaching athletes in small boats, and especially the single - thus, our equipment investments in these small boats will allow us to get many athletes out this Fall. Rowing the single is an excellent way to get outdoors and social distance!


There is also a chance that we may have to shift practice times around - in which case we will work with your families to create time-slots that work with you. We appreciate your understanding as we navigate the current challenges.

I have a lingering injury from another sport, and don't know if it will affect rowing.

Rowing is a great option for athletes with injuries, because it is a low impact but full body workout. If you have a pre-existing condition or injury, please reach out and we'll try to help you learn if rowing is right for you!


Is it too late to start a new sport?

Rowing is pretty unique, in that athletes typically don't start until high school or even college. Many of the most successful rowers didn't start until they were older, and have gone on to very successful careers in the sport. We welcome anyone up to 12th grade to row with us!

Do our athletes have holidays off?

Yes! Major holidays include Thanksgiving and the Winter Holiday.

How many races are there?

We will be entering a minimum of 6 major races per season, and will have smaller scrimmages throughout - please reach out to learn more.

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© 2018  Oakland Athletic Rowing Society