Q & A Fielded by Steve Knight, NRC President
Q: Why should I consider the rowing club?
A: Rowing offers many benefits to your overall health. The sport provides both aerobic and anaerobic conditioning to the body by involving all major muscle groups and challenging the cardiovascular system. Participants can choose the intensity of the activity. Rowing is non-impact and can be practiced for most of one's life.
My favourite benefit, of them all is that rowing in the tranquil setting of Kootenay Lake instills a love for nature and provides therapeutic benefits such as stress reduction, who doesn't need a little more of that. There are mornings when a few of us row to Troop Beach and back and don't see anyone else out there.
Kootenay Lake is amazing. We would be really happy if you joined the rowing club but if you decide not to, please find a way to enjoy the lake. The Nelson Kayak and Canoe Club is great. The Dragon Boat Club is awesome. The NDCC rents canoes, kayaks and paddle boards by the hour at Lakeside. Hellman's rents too.
Here are some links to their websites:
Q: What surprised you about rowing?
A: I enrolled in NRC's LTR program 5 years ago. I was really surprised by the speed of the boats and by the importance of maintaining balance and symmetry as you move up and down the slide. The oars deliver a lot of torque because of their length and the boat movement reminds me of a knife edge moving through the water.
Racing shells are technical and challenging to master and if you prefer to row in a more stable boat we have those too.
Q: What are the rules?
A: The rules are a little bit different between the Master's program and the Junior's program. The rules for the Master's program are that you have to be able to swim, you have to row with a life jacket (we prefer the type that strap around the waist and deploy with a CO2 cartridge), you have to row with a partner, you have to row in good weather and you have to row when there is good visibility (not in the dark or in the fog). The rules for the Junior's program are the same except for the fact that a coach must be on the water at all times.
There are other rules and best practices and those will be explained during the lessons.
Q: Do I have to buy my own life jacket?
A: After the first year, yes you need to buy your own life jacket. We have waist belt life jackets in the club and they are provided for those in the LTR program.
Q: Why can't I row alone?
A: The Nelson Rowing Club considers the safety of its members to be the top priority. For a few months of the rowing season, the water is really cold and hypothermia can set in quickly. There are a few other hazards on the lake such as motor boats and debris. In case of an accident we do not want a member to be alone on the water.
Q: I have completed my lessons how do I contact other members to row?
A: Members communicate for rowing dates via the Slack app for NRC members. Announcements are also provided on this platform.
Q: Why aren't there pre-scheduled time slots for the Master's program?
A: We find that most people prefer the option of rowing at any time of day rather than to be confined to the same time slots week after week. This also provides our club members with flexibility to work around the weather which can change frequently here in the mountains. It works really well when a person joins the club with a friend who is on the same schedule.
In the past when we have had pre-scheduled time slots throughout the week we did not receive enough of a turn out to justify having the coach and coach boat on the water.
Q: I have previous rowing experience do I have to take Learn To Row?
A: Not necessarily, an experienced member of the NRC will provide you with an orientation and take you out in a double. The club rules will be explained to you. If everything goes well, you will have to pay the annual membership and sign the waiver form. Occasionally rowers who come from a sweep background find it challenging to scull so we may suggest retaking LTR.
Q: What style of rowing do members practice?
A: All of our boats are rigged for sculling, which means that there are two oars for each person in the boat. Over the season our members put a lot of kilometers into the shells and sculling is a more balanced movement. Varsity teams in the US sweep in races but practice in sculls because putting on that many miles is hard on the body.
Q: What type of boats does the club own?
A: Our boat house is near capacity, we have recreational singles, racing singles, recreational doubles, a racing double, a touring quad and racing quad.
Q: How long is the rowing season?
A: The rowing season begins in April and ends in October or early November. The variations are due to weather.
Q: If I have other questions?
A: Additional inquiries can be made through the Contact Us page on this website.