Learn to Row

First Time Rowing

BARC offers two different types of classes in Spring-Summer for first-time rowers.

  • Try It You’ll Like it (TIYLI)
    • 2-hour Introduction Course on a Saturday morning
  • Rowing Course (8hrs)
    • Four sessions comprised of 2-hrs of instruction each day. Individuals must attend all four sessions.

Try It You'll Like It (TIYLI)

BARC’s TIYLI is perfect for those wanting to get a taste of rowing. During your session, you will progress through various stations to offer you the full rowing experience.

Cost: $25 per person

Time: Two (2) hours on a Saturday morning. Students should plan to attend from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Next Availability: Spring of 2020 (in the April-May timeframe). There are no additional planned TIYLI classes for 2019.

Rowing Course

The second type of rowing class that BARC offers is our four-session Rowing Course. This class is offered for individuals who plan to continue rowing at BARC following the course.

Students are required to attend all four sessions, with no planned absences. Upon successful graduation from the Rowing Course, you are entitled to a free one-month trial membership to the club.

Cost: $100 per person


All classes will run through two consecutive weekends, Saturday and Sunday. Classes start promptly at 7:30 am.

  • Rowing Course Class #1 - March 23rd, 24th, 30th, 31st
  • Rowing Course Class #2 - May 18th, 19th, 25th, and 26th
  • Rowing Course Class #3 - June 1st, 2nd, 8th, and 9th
  • Rowing Course Class #4 - July 13th, 14th, 20th, and 21st
  • Rowing Course Class #5 - Aug 17th, 18th, 24th, and 25th
  • Rowing Course Class #6 - Oct 19th, 20th, 26th, and 27th
  • OPEN

Availability: 6 students per class

Agility & Attendance Guidelines

Both our 'Try It, You'll Like It' and rowing course classes are strenuous activities, requiring flexibility and agility on part of the student. At a minimum, we expect a student to:

  • Be a strong swimmer and able to tread water for 10 minutes, unaided and unassisted, with no fear of water
  • Be able to do moderate exercise for an hour
  • Weigh less than 220 pounds
  • Be able to sit down on the floor unaided by furniture from a standing position, and then stand back up, thus simulating getting into/out of a boat
  • Be at least 14 years of age and willing to row recreationally with a parent or legal guardian.
  • Be committed to taking all four sessions of the Rowing Course, with no planned absences.


Reservations are required for all TIYLI and rowing course classes. Please complete the "Sign Me Up, Coach!" form to let our Class Coordinator know of your interest. You will be contacted shortly to confirm your reservation for the class of your choice. Once your reservation is confirmed,

  • Provide us an emergency point of contact as we value your safety.
  • Sign a waiver of liability. Please inquire with our Class Coordinator.
  • Pay for your class. Personal checks made out to BARC for the full amount of the class can be given to the Class Coordinator.

When all of the above is complete, you will have a confirmed seat in your class.


What if I already know how to row?

BARC requires a "Check Out" for all experienced rowers before joining the club. Please see our join page for more information.

What if the class dates don’t fit into my schedule? Can I take private lessons?

BARC is an all-volunteer club, so member availability to teach private lessons is limited. For information on availability and instructor fees for private lessons, please send an e-mail to classes@barchouston.org. Once your reservation is confirmed for private lessons, please download and familiarize yourself with our BARC Private Rowing Lesson checklist prior to your lesson.

What type of clothing should I wear?

The best clothing for rowing is bike shorts and a t-shirt. In the winter, layers are helpful as you will warm up once you start rowing. Avoid bulky clothing.

Do I need to be able to swim?

Yes! At some point, you will fall into the water – it happens to everyone. In addition, a certain degree of flexibility and agility is required as learning to row is a strenuous activity. Please see our Flexibility & Agility guidelines, above.

Where do you row?

Mud Lake (also known as Lake Pasadena) in Clear Lake, Texas; please see our map here.

Rowing Improvement & Tips

Whether you are brand new to rowing or an experienced rower, we have links to rowing improvement resources on our links page, here.

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