Clothing‎ > ‎

Spring Training Clothing

Spring Training Clothing Advice for Novice Rowers


First and foremost, make sure you have a winter hat.


After that, layers are the best answer. Our goal is for our rowers to stay warm, but also be mobile and not wear anything that will get caught in the boat, on the oar, or in the wheels of your seat on the slide.


Synthetic fabrics are best because our sport deals with a lot of moisture, but cotton, while not ideal, is fine. A number of our rowers wear cotton for rowing and have managed to survive. In the first few weeks of the season, the novices will be mostly working on their technique, so won’t be working hard enough to be sweating a lot anyway.


Start with a non-baggy base layer for the top. The long-sleeved TJ crew Cool-Max shirt is ideal, so your goal is to mimic that as closely as practical. Then add insulation. A fleece sweatshirt or jacket is best, but a regular sweatshirt is fine, too. Again, we don't want anything too bulky. Finally, you'll need a top layer that is wind and weather resistant. A close-fitting waterproof windbreaker is our goal. Any type of waterproof jacket is fine. Breathable is best.


On the bottom, spandex or running tights are best. You can even layer short spandex under long spandex tights or, on very cold days, you can wear two layers of long spandex tights. Track pants are okay, but nothing too loose. We don't want your clothes getting caught in the slide.


You can double up on your layers for extra warmth. For example, you can wear two layers of Cool-Max shirts on the top and, perhaps more importantly, two layers of full length tights on the bottom. JL makes good tops and tights that are designed for rowing. Under Armor can also work well.


For socks, hiking socks are good in cold weather and regular cotton is good when it gets warmer.


Gloves aren't super useful while rowing, but you may want them for times when you are in the boat, but not rowing while others row. In that case, mittens are best, because they go on and off quickly.


Finally, make sure you have a warm and dry change of clothes so that if/when you do get wet, you can change as soon as possible when we get on land and don't have to ride home soggy. We row in the rain, even very cold rain and sometimes snow, so there will definitely be days when you get very wet.


Glasses do not float, so you should wear a Croakies style safety strap on your glasses so you will not drop them into the water. You can order them on for less than $10, which is a lot less expensive than a new pair of glasses.


Bring good running shoes. There will be days when we will be doing land training at the boathouse and you will need to be able to run, erg, and do other land activities.


Special note for coxswains (or for anyone else that is small and might be called on to substitute into the cox’s seat during a practice). You will not be warm from pulling on an oar and you may get wet.  You need to dress in many warm and waterproof layers. You particularly need to have layered bottoms, maybe starting with double layers of tights. Cox’s are the only ones who can wear gloves for the whole practice. Gloves must allow the cox to have a grasp (and be able to adjust) the steering mechanism in the cockpit. Snow gloves might be a bit too bulky and some other types of gloves don't have enough texture. A pair of winter work gloves that are water proof could work well (a decent pair goes for about $25 online).