Learn to scull


What is sculling?

In sculling, each rower uses two oars. Class participants learn to row in safe, sturdy Maas Aeros boats (we call rowing boats “shells”). These are singles – one rower per boat.  In the last class session you and three others, will experience rowing in a team boat that is called a “quad”.

In this fivesession class, novices learn how to handle the shells (lifting them, carrying them, getting them in and out of the water), safety, and basic rowing technique.  Included in the registration fee are three additional rows.  You may choose from three options:

3 rows in a single shell with an experienced OAR member – times to be determined by you and the experienced OAR member
3 rows in a team boat “Learn to Scull 2” class held on Monday and Wednesday evenings
3 coached rows with a technical coach held on Sunday mornings

Once you have successfully completed the sculling class, including three additional rows, you are eligible to become an OAR member and to continue rowing.  Membership in OAR includes access to coached practices from mid-February through mid-November, and access to a variety of club boats anytime for rowing by yourself or with others – during daylight hours!

Sculling classes are limited to six rowers to ensure positive, productive, and empowering experiences for all. Spots are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis once we receive your registration forms and payment. Registration is required. Classes fill quickly.

Classes are held on Friday evening from 6:30 pm until approximately 10 pm (includes a treading water test and a flip test at The Valley), 1st Saturday morning from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm, 1stSunday morning from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, 2nd Saturday morning from 10:00 to 12:00, and 2ndSunday morning from 8:00 to 10:00.

2020 Learn to Scull class schedule

We do plan to offer Learn to Scull programs this summer with registration opening soon! Learning to row in a single-person scull is a great way to enjoy the outdoors in a socially distanced setting.

Contact Joan Cullen at grannyjoan4@aol.com to receive program updates when they become available.

NOTE: all OAR programs and classes are subject to change or cancellation due to COVID-19.

Class 1: July 17, 18, 19, 25, 26

Class 2: August 7, 8, 9, 15, 16

Cost is $225 for non-OAR members, $50 for OAR members. Included in the class fee are three additional rows (described above).  After completion of the class and the three additional rows, $50 of the class fee can be applied towards an OAR membership.

Before registering, please contact Joan Cullen at (360) 491-7687 or grannyjoan4@aol.com to check on the status of classes or if you have any questions about OAR or the Learn 2 Scull class.

And then complete the forms below:

Sculling Class Application (Indicate a first and second choice for session number.)
OAR Waiver
Masters Information Sheet
US Rowing Waiver (separate from the OAR waiver). For insurance purposes, all persons rowing with OAR (members and non-members) must have a current US Rowing Basic Membership ($9.75 fee) even if you do not plan on participating in races. The code for our club is ‘LMACX’. You will only need this code if you have not been a US Rowing member before.

Once you’ve registered with US Rowing, please watch this Safety Video prior to attending the Learn 2 Scull class.

If you are not a member of the Valley Athletic Club, please also complete:
Valley Athletic Club Guest waiver

Send completed forms and a $225 check ($50 for members) payable to “Olympia Area Rowing” to:

Joan Cullen
OAR Sculling Class Registrar
5623 Devonshire St SE
Olympia, WA 98501

Once your application and payment are received, you will be contacted to confirm your spot in the class or to check with you about an alternative session, if your first choice is filled.

Course Outline

Day 1: Friday, 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm

At the OAR Boathouse:
Introduction to Olympia Area Rowing
Introduction to rowing basics, rowing terms, and equipment

Coaches will introduce and model rowing technique drills and workouts for beginners
Rowing safety
Technique practice on rowing machines (“ergometers”)

At The Valley:
Boat flip test
10 minute treading water test

Day 2: Saturday 10:30 am to 1:30 pm
Rowing technique practice on land
Rowing technique practice on the water (in single and/or double boats)
Focus on safety precautions
Coaches will introduce and model rowing technique drills and workouts for beginners

Day 3: Sunday 10 am to 12:00 pm
Get on the water and row!
Practice everything you’ve learned in Days 1 and 2

Day 4: 2nd Saturday 10:00 to 12:00
Get on the water and row!
Practice everything you’ve learned in Days 1, 2, and 3
Demonstrate basic sculling skills

Day 5: 2nd Sunday 8:00-10:00

Experience rowing in a team boat called a “quad” with three other participants.  At least one skilled OAR rower will be in the boat with you.