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What to Wear

You don’t need a lot of expensive sports kit when you’re getting started.

But if you do decide that rowing is for you, then you will benefit from investing in some quality technical layers that will keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, but above all, dry.

Your clothes need to be comfortable so you can move in them but not too baggy – you don’t want them getting caught in the oars or the runners.


Hat: You lose a third of your heat through your head so in the colder months you need to keep it warm with a woolly hat. In warmer conditions a baseball cap can protect you from the sun.

An all-in-one: An all-in-one is a lycra suit generally used for racing, but could become part of your regular training kit as they are made from good wicking fabric and allow you to move easily. In summer this might be all that you wear and in winter it can make a good base layer.

Tracksuit: Tracksuit trousers are good in the winter to keep your legs warm, particularly when you’re off the water, rigging boats or at a regatta.

Leggings: Any type of leggings are good for rowing because they won’t catch on the boat. Long leggings are great in cold weather whereas close fitting shorts work well in the summer months. The fabric tends to dry quickly when wet.

T-shirts/Tech top: T-shirts are great for all weather – worn on their own in hot weather or built up in layers in colder weather. In the cold it’s better to have lots of thin layers rather than one thick one!

Body warmer: Body warmers or gillets are a good option for cold weather as they keep your trunk warm whilst not impeding your arms.

Gloves: Gloves are not ideal for rowing in as they do not allow you to feel and hold the blade handle correctly. However “Pogies” are specifically designed to keep hands warm when rowing! Gloves are essential if you’re coxing in cold weather!

Socks: It’s a good idea to wear socks when you’re rowing as chances are you’ll be putting your feet into the shoes in the boat. Football style socks are particularly good as you can pull them up to your knees and keep your legs warm if it’s cold!

A change of clothes: It is important to always have a towel and a spare change of clothes with you when training in case you get wet.

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