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Adult Learn to Row

Adult Learn to Row is open to everyone age 14 and over. Middle school and high school students may also be interested in our MS/HS LTR program.

After completing the class, rowers are invited to attend adult Novice practices through August 31st at no additional charge! 

No prior experience is necessary. Class size is limited to a minimum of 4 rowers and a maximum of 16 (please see cancellation policy below).

Please check out our swim test requirement before signing up. Please complete the swim test before class begins. If you can't, please tell your instructor and they can make sure you have a life jacket when you row.

Class registration for 2024 IS NOW Open

class schedule 2024

Registration for Adult Learn to Row classes opens March 1.

Sessions 1, 2, and 4 meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:15 to 8:30 PM. Session 3 ("Camp") is four consecutive evenings Sunday through Wednesday, 6:15 to 8:30 PM.

Session 1: June 4 to 13. $370

Session 2: June 18 to 27. $320

Session 3 Camp: July 7 to 10. $270

Session 4: July 23 to August 1. $220

We offer a 10% discount for current members of affiliated partners Catalyst Rowing Fitness, Harbor Athletic Club, and Crossfit Recursive. 2024 Teachers also receive a 10% discount with ID. MRC Winter Learn to Row students enjoy a 15% discount. Please contact the Learn to Row Coordinator for your discount code: affiliate members and teachers, provide by email your membership proof or teacher I.D.

Note: Classes may be cancelled due to low enrollment. If cancellation is instigated by Mendota Rowing Club, a full refund will be issued. If a participant cancels more than 7 days before the start of a session, a refund will be issued minus a $10.00 registration fee. If a participant cancels less than 7 days before the first class meeting, a 50% refund will be issued. Alternatively, a participant may change to another session free of charge if done so 7 or more days before the original session start date. Session registrations will close one week prior to the first classes.


Q: I've never rowed before. Can I take the class?

A: YES of course! Learn to Row is designed for folks who have never rowed before.

Q. Why are the later classes' fees less expensive?

Your class fee includes Summer Novice membership through August 31. This special group has a dedicated coach and meets at least three days a week. You are encouraged to continue practicing the basics you learned in class and gain new experience and, we hope, proficiency, by signing up for all the Novice Group practices your life allows.

Thus, the early classes effectively have a longer summer season included in the session.

Q: I want to learn to row in a single. Do you teach sculling?

A: We do! Based on class sizes and time constraints, your Learn to Row instructor can introduce both sweep and sculling techniques on land. 

In 2024 we will offer group sculling classes for Learn to Row graduates. You receive an announcement when that is open.

If you are so motivated, contact us about private lessons. While so much of what every beginner needs to know is thoughtfully presented in the group classes, we can work with you to schedule an instructor for individual or small group instruction.  

Q: Sculling? Sweep? What?

A: Sculling is rowing with two oars, one in each hand. You can scull by yourself in a single shell (boat), or in two- and four-person boats.

Sweep rowing is when you have both hands on one oar, and you row in a bigger boat with other people, with a non-rowing coxswain who steers and directs the crew.

Q: Where can I park for class?

A: Parking is available on Gorham St as well as in the James Madison Park lot at Gorham St and N Butler St.

Q: What happens to class during inclement weather?

A: We'll set up a group text with your instructor, so they can notify youearly  if class is canceled. Otherwise, please assume that class will be held and come to the boathouse.

Q: I need to miss a class. Can I make it up?

A: We have a limited number of spots in each class, and a structured schedule.

The boats require a set number of bodies, and a missing rower means at best a wonky row, at worst no one goes out.

Please do your best to sign up for a class session where you can come to every meeting. If you have an emergency, please contact your instructor as early as possible. For a make-up class, we'll try to work something out. We want to get you out rowing, right?

Q: How can I continue to row after class?

A: Your Adult LTR class includes access to coached Novice group practice until August 31st. After that, you'll be eligible for a discounted membership as a recent LTR graduate.After that, why, the world is your oyster.

Q: What should I wear to class?
Please wear or bring:

  • stretchy close-fitting shorts, knickers, or pants
  • a shirt you can move in. A UV top may be a good idea
  • gym shoes for land work including rowing machines
  • water-worthy footwear if you want your gym shoes to stay dry (e.g. Crocs or Tevas)
  • socks are important for your comfort in the boat
  • sunglasses, hat. Classes meet late afternoon and typically end around twilight
  • a fleece jacket or windbreaker as weather conditions indicate
  • water bottle. Plastic is preferred as it is kinder to the rowing shells
  • food energy snack, if helps you stay focused.
If you have any other questions regarding class content, contact the Learn to Row Coordinator.

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Mailing Address:
PO Box 646
Madison, WI 53701

Boathouse Address:
622 E Gorham St
Madison, WI

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