Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to have experience to join EBRC?
A: No, not at all — we welcome all levels. If you are new to this sport, you must complete one of our Learn To Row sessions in January, June or August. If you are experienced rower coming back to the sport, just contact us telling us about you, where you rowed, how long you have been away from the sport, and current fitness level.

Q: When do you meet?
A: It varies depending on the team but generally there’s a team practicing every single day. Teams hold water workouts are three to four days a week, early in the morning (5:20am-7:30am), with informal land workouts the other three days. On Sundays, we rest and sometimes get waffles.

Q: Where do you meet/race?
A: Practices are at the Jack London Aquatic Center and often incorporate the surrounding jogging trails…rain or shine. The advanced team competes at national, international, and regional competitions, while the beginning and intermediate rowers focus primarily on regional competitions as far away as Sacramento and as nearby as the waters of our own home base, the Oakland Estuary.

Q: Any age requirements?
A: We’ve got young and old in EBRC. Rowers range in age from 20’s to late 70’s and counting (masters level rowing starts at age 22). We also support a youth program at Oakland Tech High School.

Q: Do I need to have hella strong arms?
A: Well, it doesn’t hurt, but it’s not required. A common misconception about rowing is that the part you can see best from the shore — the upper body — is the part doing all the work. In truth, rowers drive with the legs and the arms just transfer that power to the oar. (And rowing will make most of your limbs stronger, anyway.)

Q: Sounds great, but how much does it cost?
A: Three practices/week: $360/per quarter, or $120/month
Four practices/week (competitive squads): $435/quarter, or $145/month

Dues cover just about everything you’ll do at the boathouse, from the equipment to the dedicated coaching. (Compare that cost to a gym and/or personal trainer!) Dues do not cover regatta costs.

Q: Is this a serious team sport?
A: We take our dedication to the sport seriously, but would like to think we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

Q: Are you ever looking for coxswains?
A: Absolutely. Drop what you’re doing right now and come down to the JLAC. We’ll meet you there at sunrise, carrying bags of gold and gratitude. Please yell at us, steadfast coxswain! We’re incomplete without you.

Q: What are these ERGs I’ve heard so much about?
A: Ergometers are the indoor rowing machines we use to train off the water. They’re invaluable for working on your technique and stamina, as well as measuring your fitness going into race season. We cannot tell a lie, however — we’d rather be on the water.

Q: What’s it like rowing on the estuary?
A: It’s a lot like this:


Whether rowing in the shadow of those big Port of Oakland cranes or passing the Coast Guard cutters while reveille is playing, you can’t beat watching the sun come up on the water. Come on down, the water’s fine!

Q: Do you do any corporate teambuilding events?
A: Yes! Schedule an event with EBRC and come down with your coworkers to discover how working together helps move the boat on the water. We’d love to host your company and help you blend cooperation with competition, as well as show you a side of Oakland that few get to see.

Q: What else do I need to know?
A: You’ll need to know how to swim, and you’ll need to watch a compelling safety video provided to us by US Rowing