You may be wondering about...

Why Duwamish?


Can't Swim?

Out of Shape?

Rowing is meant to take place on calm water. Because the river is relatively narrow in most parts and has high banks, the wind tends not to effect the water. The Duwamish offers thousands of meters of flatwater on most days.

The lower five miles of the Duwamish river is highly industrialized and the EPA has listed the area as a Superfund site. However, representatives from the EPA and from the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition have indicated to us that it is safe to have contact with the water and soil from most areas of the river. Cleanup efforts on the river are ongoing and the Duwamish Rowing club intends to be actively involved in helping with the cleanup in any way we can.

It is important to be a competent swimmer and to be comfortable around water. We will take every precaution to make sure that you stay inside the boat and not in the river. A “float test” is required before participating in rowing. This involves jumping into a swimming pool wearing the clothes that you would normally wear in the boat. You will need to float and tread water for a period of ten minutes. We will do the float test together as a crew before going out on the river. Rowing shells have flotation in the bow and in the stern, so if you were ever to fall in, its a matter of holding onto the boat until help arrives.

As long as you can fit into the boat you can row. We want this rowing club to be for everyone, and if you are out of shape we welcome you. Now is your opportunity to change your life in a very positive way. The human body is very adaptable, and we promise that if you are committed and you enjoy the sport, you will be on your way to excellent health before you know it. If you are at a point where you are overweight and you cannot fit into the boat, we can start with some land training and some discussion about good nutrition.


Older Rowers?

Never Rowed?

We will make every attempt to keep rowers of the same skill level together in the same boat.

Rowing is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It is not unusual for people to row and even race into their 60s, 70s, and 80s.

​It is not difficult to learn to row at a novice level. With some dedication and commitment it is possible to learn to row in just a matter of weeks. However, it can take years to develop the skills to be able to race at an elite level.

Narrow Boats?

Boat Materials?

Modern racing shells have evolved over the years to be as fast as possible while still being comfortable to row in. A long, narrow beamed boat that creates a small amount of wake, and has the least possible surface area to cause friction against the water has been found to be the fastest design.

​Until as late as the 1980’s rowing shells were made of wood. In recent years they have been manufactured using carbon fiber and kevlar. This allows the boats to be very stiff, very light, and a little less fragile than a wooden boat. Wood can also be difficult to form into the shapes demanded by modern hull designs.

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