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LTR Questions & Answers most commonly asked

Please review the Q&A's before signing up for LTR

Q: Is this LTR class for beginners? What is the cost?
A: Yes. Learn to Row is for those who have never touched an oar but can't wait to hit the water! We also invite those rowers who may have minimal rowing experience or have been away from the sport for a long period of time and feel the need for a refresher course. 

Our LTR class costs $250.00 and consists of numerous sessions, approximately two hours per session.

Q: Am I too old or fit enough to take the class? 
A: Whatever your reason for wanting to row, to get in shape, be out on the water, make friends, or eventually race, this program is where you start. If you have a desire to learn, we are here to teach you. There is a lot to learn and everyone will face different challenges, but the focus is on having fun and learning the basics. 

But please be honest with yourself. Rowing is a very physical sport. Be sure to consult with your physician before starting this new activity. This is especially important if you are questioning your age or condition and whether rowing is something you should try, and if you have ANY physical limitations or conditions, or have had surgeries. If you are not active and consider a easy stroll after dinner your exercise or have trouble going up and down a flight of stairs or have trouble getting up from a seated position from the floor, rowing will very likely be too physically demanding for you at this time.

Q. Who will carry that 60 foot boat for me to row?
A. YOU! We can't count how many students come to class ignoring the fact that the boats have to be carried by the crew (of students) rowing in class. If you have a bad back, then this is not a sport to consider.  

Not sure if you can handle the weight? Ok, can you lift and carry 30/35 pounds overhead for a few hundred yards? Seriously, you  will be expected to carry rowing shells (boats) with your teammates (30/35 pounds is your share of the carrying weight) and while this is the least favorite part of most rowers day, it is an integral part of the sport. Boats have to be carried from the rack down to the water by STUDENTS, that means you! Not sure I you can handle this weight? Then we ask you test yourself with a large bag of cat litter, dog chow or bag of something weighing 30 plus pounds. If you have access to a gym, grab a 30 or 35 bar or dumbbell and see how you do. Place it on the floor and then pick it up and press it overhead, rest it on your shoulder and walk around what is the equivalent of 200 yards. It sounds like a long distance, but this is the minimum distance from the boatyard down to the bay. When the time comes to lift the 8 person  rowing shell (weighing over 200 pounds), will you be able to carry your share?  Be honest with yourself, test yourself first to see if you can handle it. No one will carry your share and we don't ever want to see anyone get hurt because someone thought they could avoid the carry part, remember carrying equipment is a part of the sport. 

Are you cleared medically by your physician and waiting for an upcoming class?  We highly recommend you take this opportunity to start preparing for your LTR class. Build up your strength with weights and work on your cardio fitness base, bike or run numerous times a week,  you will be very glad you did. Rowing is a very physical sport so you  will find success by being fit with strength and cardio stamina while learning a whole new unique sport.

Q: What kind of shape do I need to be in and what kind of workout will I get and what are the class requirements?  
A: Currently  SCRC has members varying of ages 26-78 but keep in mind that our older members have rowed many years in their lives. Our members come in all sizes and shapes; while some started rowing back when they were in HS or college, most of us are graduates of SCRC's very own LTR. 

While it is true rowing is an athletic endeavor and a full body workout, the LTR classes are focused on technique rather than conditioning. Once you graduate and join the club you’ll discover that the amount of effort you expend is directly proportional to the workout you will get. If you end up falling in love with rowing after you finish LTR and continue to row with the club, you will most certainly become more fit, as rowing is a sport which rewards hard work and we have a fantastic novice program. We encourage you to concentrate on your fitness while off the water. Great cross training for rowing include biking, running, weights and of course using the rowing machine we affectionally refer to as an erg (short for ergometer ).  As a member after LTR you may have access to ergs to train on your own schedule between scheduled water sessions. LTR students will learn how to properly use ergs during class. 

Here are a few basics requirements to think about if you are thinking of taking our LTR:

  • While rowing is for all ages, it is a sport which requires flexibility and you must be able to actively participate in classes and carry your share of the boats weight. If you are rehabilitating an injury we ask you wait for a future class. Rowing is a physically demanding sport and you want to be working on all cylinders. 
  • You must be able to lift 30/35 pounds over your head and then walk at least 100-200 yards at shoulder level. You and your classmates will be expected to carry rowing shells (boats) to and from the water. This weight is a fair representation of your share of the load. There is no escaping this part of rowing. 
  • You must be able to stand up from a full squatting position. Getting in and out of a boat from the dock requires this leg strength as does picking up oars and boats.
  • You must be able to fit in a narrow rowing shell (not over 20")
  • You must make a commitment to attend most if not all the LTR classes especially the first few. We can not do individual make up classes. 

We row in cold weather, hot and humid conditions as well as rain. Dress accordingly and plan to row. In extreme fog and when there is thunder and or lightning class will meet at boatyard anyway and the coach will direct the class members where to meet for an indoor session. 

Q. I'm not sure if I should sign up, I'm concerned about my age and / or physical limitations. Who should I talk to?
A. If you have a concern about a physical limitation, please contact us to determine if rowing is right for you. Email the Membership Director or  Safety and Training Director

If you have a disability you may qualify for our clubs Adaptive Rowing Program. For more information and to make inquires about the program click on ADAPTIVE PROGRAM or visit the web page listed under Rowing programs found on our home page. If would like to discuss this option further please email us.

Q: I already kayak / canoe / sail / paddle board or raft, etc. Can I skip this class and go right into one of the rowing programs? How about if I have erged?

A: Sorry but no. Honestly while these water friendly  experiences will help with your boat sense, rowing is completely unlike any other paddle sport, for starters we sit backwards! The technique and equipment is very unique. 

Our LTR class is a prerequisite for anyone who has never participated in this sport. 

Use of a rowing Ergometer ( Erg) is a great tool to build strength and endurance and rowers use them for land based cross training. Having this experience will be a great asset in your LTR class, but it not a substitute for learning actual rowing which includes oar technique, balance and crew timing. As the saying goes Ergs don't float.


Q: What do I need to wear/bring to my LTR classes?
A: The first class or two may be land-based, or partly land-based. It's useful to begin by learning the technical basics of the rowing stroke on the rowing ergometer (what rowers refer to as an ERG). In the early LTR sessions you will also learn about the rowing equipment, terminology (whole new language) and our boatyard. For each LTR session you should bring drinking water, typical workout cloths, sneakers and socks, a hat/visor,  sunglasses and sun lotion. For safety reasons no chewing gum is permitted while rowing or erging. You should dress for the weather conditions of the day and wear comfortable but not baggy cloths. There are many moving parts of the boat in which fabric can get caught, such as in the sliding seat wheels or the end of an oar handle hooking loose tops. You'll notice most rowers wear form fitting spandex style unitards, or snug shorts and a dry fit style snug shirt. ALWAYS BRING DRINKING WATER to each class. 

Bright color cloths are also important. For safety reasons the brighter you are the more you will stand out to other traffic (other rowers and power boats) on the ICW. Even in large crew boats bright clothes please. 

Always keep a pair of sneakers in your car on class day in the event the water session is changed to a indoor workout.

Q: What are my chances of ending up in the water?
A: Rowing is a water sport and there has been the occasional instance of a rower ending up in the water. Our goal is to keep you dry - for this reason you must be able to swim or thread water for at least 10 minutes unassisted in order to take our LTR. 

If ending up in the bay makes you nervous, relax, the larger boats such as an eight person sweep boat or a 4 person sculling quad both used in LTR and novice groups are very difficult to fall out of. 

Smaller boats tend to be more unstable, but new rowers are taught in wider hull single boats if learning to scull and larger boats when learning to sweep. These types of boats are far more stable. 

Q. What happens after LTR?
A. If you have completed the LTR, you may be invited to join the club. 

SCRC offer Novice sessions required of all those who finished LTR  or who have minimal rowing experience or those who have not rowed in a long time and need a technical refresher period. 

Sarasota County Rowing Club's LTR is for anyone over the age of 18. If you are interested in middle and high school aged youth rowing, please contact our partner organization Sarasota Scullers Youth.

Sign Up For Learn To Row

Join SCRC's adult Learn to Row to experience the ultimate team sport. You can sign up for our next LTR class by contacting Head Coach Dragos Alexandru: or (941)284-7111 or sign up on the Wait List form link below.

We look forward to seeing you on the water!

These sessions will be conducted by SCRC Head Coach Dragos Alexandru. 

This is an example of LTR who have just lifted a rowing shell and have the boat up overhead and ready to lower down to shoulder to carry the hull to or from the bay. Can you lift 30-35 pounds over your head?

No rowers escape carrying their rowing shell down and up from the water to the boathouse.

Hows your balance? You will push the boat up overhead before slowly rolling the boat to your waste and then squatting down to place it in the water.

Hows your balance? You will push the boat up overhead before slowly rolling the boat to your waste and then squatting down to place it in the water.