Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will I be behind if I don’t have prior experience?
A: If you have never touched an oar before in your life, don’t worry! Many of the most successful rowers in history walked on to their college teams with no experience. In fact, over 50% of Olympians began their rowing careers in college. Our expert coaching staff will teach you the precise technique required to row effectively and help you get into the best shape of your life! While it helps to have an athletic background (especially from similar endurance sports such as cross-country, swimming, or cycling) all you really need to succeed at Cal Lightweight is a willingness to work hard for yourself and your teammates.

Q: What kind of resources does Cal have for experienced rowers?
A: Athletes who come to Cal with rowing experience from high school or junior college can expect to immediately row with the varsity men or women. They will be able to immediately take advantage of our top-of-the-line new Resolutes, and will also be able to get their workouts done in our new erg room featuring brand-new Concept II Model E ergs. Cardio equipment and weights are conveniently located two floors above the erg room in the RSF student gym.

Q: Aren’t practices really early in the morning? What if I can’t wake up?
A: Water practices are held 5am-7:30am and land practices are held 6am-7:30am, which allows students to be back on campus in time to make their 8am classes. Don’t let the early wake-up scare you! You’ll adjust quickly and the early practice time allows you time for schoolwork, classes, clubs, or socializing in the evenings. The rewards of rowing are well worth the time commitment!

Q: Isn’t rowing one of the most expensive sports? What if I can’t afford it?
A: While rowing is generally an expensive sport, our $800 a semester dues are some of the lowest in the country. Dues cover the cost of coaching, equipment, boathouse and racing fees, and overall operating cost. We have a policy of letting everyone row regardless of financial situation, so if you are in need of reduced dues you just have to let us know!