Recovery on Water always welcomes new members.
No one on our team rowed previous to joining ROW. Everyone comes to our team as a beginner!
To join us for a practice, contact us! Let us know you’re interested so we can fill you in on practices, what to bring and answer any questions you may have. We have two people you can reach out to:
- Sue Ann, breast cancer survivor, co-founder of ROW and our Membership Coordinator at 847.332.2519 or email@example.com or
-Coach Jenn Gibbons at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312.505.3568.
Before you get in a boat, we require that you:
-Fill out a waiver–we will send it to you when you contact us!
-Come learn to row indoors on an indoor rowing machine–we will set you up to learn!
-Observe a water practice to see other ROWers rowing on the river –so you can see how it works!
While ROW offers 4 practices a week, most members attend ROW once or twice a week. Some come for all practices, some come for a few-it’s entirely up to you and all athletic levels are welcome.
Spring/Summer/Fall Practice Schedule (April 1 through October 31):
6 PM – 8 PM: Monday nights and Wednesday nights on the Chicago River at 2850 S. Eleanor
7 PM- 8 PM :Tuesday nights- indoor rowing at Rowfit Chicago, 1455 W. Hubbard
Winter Practice Schedule (Starts November 1 through March 31):
Sunday Mornings, 9:30 AM to 11 AM, ROW Headquarters, 629 W. Cermak, Suite 201
Monday and Wednesday nights, 6 PM – 7:30 PM, ROW Headquarters, 629 W. Cermak, Suite 201
Thursday nights, 6:30-7:30 PM, Dammrich Rowing Center, Dammrich Rowing Center, 3220 Oakton, Skokie
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What do I wear for rowing?
It is important that you wear snug clothing so that nothing gets caught in the sliding seat. When outdoors, dress in layers to provide enough warmth while getting boats ready for launching and then remove layers as you warm up. Wear socks and easily removable footwear. You will leave your shoes on the dock and use the shoes that are attached to the boat. Most of our rowers wear spandex shorts or pants and bring a cover-up for when we’re not on the water.
Are there different types of rowing?
There are two types of rowing – sweep rowing and sculling. In sweep rowing, each rower uses only one oar. The most commonly used boats are fours and eights, with a coxswain on board to help steer the boat. In sculling, the rower uses two smaller oars. The boats are referred to as a”single” (one rower), a double (two rowers) or a quad (4 rowers). Sculling boats do not have a coxswain. ROW offers both of these kinds of rowing to its members.
What parts of the body are most stressed in rowing?
One of the beauties of rowing is that it exercises most muscle groups of the body—the legs, back and core, arms, shoulders, and hands. Although there is no hard impact on the body, such as in running or contact sports, the lower back is vulnerable in rowing. Proper warm up and stretching can prevent most back injuries.
What if I don’t have a lot of body strength?
Rowing can be enjoyed at a wide range of strength levels. Since the main power comes from your legs, not your arms, and since most people have more strength in their legs and upper body, you will do just fine.
How long will it take until I “get it”?
It will take some time, and that is more than okay! No one on our team knew how to row before joining. Working out on the erg will build the muscles and skill you’ll need for water practices. It takes a few water practices to grow confident, but you’ll get there!
What if I can’t lift the boat or have weight on my shoulders?
That is not a problem. We have plenty of volunteers who are here to help carry boats and make practice run smoother.
Do I have to race?
ROW team members do not have to compete. We encourage members to participate in races or cheer on their teammates—but it is not mandatory to compete or attend regattas.
What if I tip the boat over?
This is almost impossible to do! The long oars act as outriggers and stabilize the boat. Even though the boat may feel wobbly, you will soon get used to it and learn how to “set” the boat evenly in the water. There is always a coaching launch following the boat carrying flotation, first aid and other safety equipment.
How long are the boats and what are they made of?
The longest boat (or “shell”) is an “eight” and is around 59 feet long. Shells are made out of fiberglass and carbon to reduce weight, maintain stiffness, and handle stress. The heaviest shell weighs around 250 pounds and is carried by eight people. The lightest shell, a single, weighs around 35 pounds and can be carried by one person. Like automobiles, shells are manufactured by many companies with varying methods of construction, types of materials used, designs and colors.