Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join?

Please complete the following form and we will get in touch with you with more information:

Do I need past rowing experience?

Not at all! Every year we welcome over 100 members who have never rowed before. We will teach you all the basics before you race – one of the best parts of rowing.

I’ve heard rowing is for tall people. I’m short. Can I still row?

YES! You can be any size and still row well. If you are small, and the thought of 6 sessions a week sounds daunting, but still want to be involved – then coxing is for you. The “coxswain” is the brains of the crew. They steer the boat and verbally guides the rowers through the workout or race. The coxswain is an essential part of any crew and often makes the difference in a successful practice or race.

When do you train?

This depends on the squad, but will generally include some sort of training session six days a week. Water sessions are on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday and Sunday mornings, while erg and circuit sessions take place on the other weekdays, either before or after studies.

For coxes, training is fairly flexible – just sign up to however many sessions you want to take part in.

Where is the Boathouse/Weights/Erg Room, and how can I get there?

Please click here for directions to all places we train.

What should I wear during training?

You may see more experienced rowers wearing an all-in-one lycra outfit (a.k.a. a unisuit); however, this is unnecessary if you are just starting out.

Indoor training just requires regular gym kit, when we all train hard it does get warm in the erg room. In contrast, it can be wet and cold on the water, we are in Manchester after all, so it is important you are prepared for cold and rainy weather.

It is best to layer clothing during the fall/winter this will allow you to regulate your body temperate during outings. The following are important for outings in cold/wet weather:

  • Many thin layers (leggings, base layers, tech tops, long & short sleeved tops) rather than one thick layer.
  • Thin waterproof outer layer (splash jacket can be purchased through the club)
  • Leggings (men and women)
  • Trainers or better yet, sliders
  • SOCKS (bring multiple pairs because your feet will be wet & cold..dry socks are amazing!)
  • Hat

Avoid wearing clothing that absorbs a lot of water (including hoodies) as you will be very cold. Do not wear loose clothing as this can get caught in your blade handle/seat and cause injury.

Bring a spare of everything if it’s raining! It may also be helpful to bring a plastic bag to keep kit dry in the boat or separate wet kit from dry kit. Additionally, wellies, a visor and sunglasses can come in handy. It is always good to bring water and food/snacks to avoid post-outing feelings of hanger.

Once you have fallen in love with the sport, there will be an opportunity for you to purchase your very own MUBC unisuit and compete for the club.

Who can I contact if I want to join or I have a question?

Take a look at our join page.

What is the MUBC social scene like?

Every few Wednesdays the rowing club heads to the Athletic Union’s socials along with all the other AU sports. Our social secs also organise some more relaxed club activities such as bowling, mini-golf and curry nights to bond our squads together. All the information will be posted by our Social secs on the club Facebook pages.

How do I get put into a crew?

Your squad’s coach will organise water outings based upon member availability.

If you don’t fill out your availability, you won’t get put in a boat, so please fill it out and keep it up to date with any changes.

How often do I get to race?

The club will race at 2-4 head races in the autumn and winter and 3-5 regattas in the spring and summer, depending on the schedule. The most important of these are: BUCS Head, (Women’s) Head of the River, BUCS Regatta, Reading Amateur Regatta and Henley. Your participation in these depends on your motivation, availability, technique and physical condition.

My friends who row always talk about their erg score. What is that?

The “erg”, is an indoor rowing machine. We use this machine for conditioning and fitness testing. The standard evaluation in rowing is the 2,000-meter erg test in Regatta season and 5000m for Head season. Because it is standardised, athletes around the world can gauge how fast they are relative to their teammates and competitors. We do frequent testing at MUBC so if you do not have erg score yet, you will soon!

More information about Training on the Ergonometer here. (Article by Sport Fitness Advisor)