Frequently Asked Questions

More coming soon!

Station L and Our Policies

  • What the hey is a Station L? And what happened to Stations A – K?
    • The question is “who”! We are a vibrant, competitive masters rowing team in downtown Portland, OR. Our organization is a member-governed 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation. Our club was founded in 1972 and the original boathouse was built on a wood chip barge moored adjacent to Portland General Electric’s Station L generating plant (the current home of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). We’ve changed locations throughout our history but the name stuck.
  • Where can I find more information about your operating rules and other policies?
    • Members can log in to view all of our policy information in our Membership Policy section. If you are not a member but would like to learn more, please contact us.
  • When do you row?
    • We have weekend coached practices year-round, with weekday water practices running from March – November as conditions permit. During the winter we organize weekday erg sessions. Practices generally run from 7-9am on the weekends and 5-7am during the week. For more specifics about practice schedules, please see our individual program pages.
    • Our Learn to Row and Sculling classes run from April through October. The schedule is announced in January. We generally run Learn to Erg classes through the winter when the conditions are not suitable for on-water classes. If you would like to be notified when registration opens for a class, fill out this form to be added to our wait list.
  • Where is your club located?
    • We are located in inner SE Portland, OR on the east bank of the Willamette River under the Hawthorne Bridge.
    • Our physical address is 1515 SE Water Ave., Portland Oregon. Bay #2. We are on the west side of the building facing the water, the second bay from the left, between Rose City Rowing Club and Wasabi Paddling. Parking is free on the weekends and before 7:30am M-F. There is bike parking as well — please speak with a captain or coach to gain access.
    • Our Mailing Address: Station L Rowing Club, PO Box 14171, Portland, OR 97293
  • I have a suggestion or a question that’s not covered here. How do I get in touch with someone?

Membership

  • I have never rowed before but am interested in trying it out! Where do I start?
    • Our Learn to Row program is a great place to get started! We have two different levels, so whether you’ve never picked up an oar before or just need to dust off those college skills, we can help you get out on the water!
  • I’m an experienced rower. How do I find out more about your programs and membership?
    • Our Programs page is a great place to get some basic information about what we offer. Generally speaking, if you are 18 or older, want to row, and are willing to do so at “rower O’Clock”, we’ve got a place for you!
  • There are so many different membership options. Which one is the right one for me?
    • Our members have many different lifestyles and interests/abilities to commit to rowing. As such, we provide a variety of options from those who can only row one day a week to those who can’t get enough. We also offer flexible payment options for those who cannot pay the entire year’s membership at once.
  • I used to row a long time ago or I have done other paddle sports. Where do I start?
    • Other water sports such as paddling and kayaking are quite different from rowing. While it certainly helps to have a familiarity with the water, it’s important to get a good foundation of the basics on which to build your mastery, so as such we recommend that everyone who does not have experience explicitly with crew rowing start with Learn to Row Level 1. For folks who have experience but may need some help relearning technique, starting with Level 2 might be appropriate. If you’re not sure, please contact for us for more information.
  • I am a member but I am no longer able to or do not want to row anymore. Can I cancel my membership or get a refund?
    • If you purchase a regular or weekend membership, or sign up as a subscription member you are committed to paying full dues for the full year regardless of injury, travel, relocation, scheduling conflicts, shifts in personal life, changes in priorities, falling out of love with rowing, existential crisis, etc. If you are pondering signing up and are not sure you want to commit for the entire year we have a Short-Term Membership option available.

Classes and Lessons

  • What classes do you offer?
  • Do I have to take Learn to Erg before I take Learn to Row?
    • Learn to Erg is not a prerequisite to taking our on-water classes — it’s just a nice bonus for folks who would like to get ahead or just want to make sure their erg form is on point.
  • Do you have morning classes? How about evening classes?
    • Our Learn to Row class schedule varies throughout the year depending on when the most sunlight is available. Generally, we start with evening classes in the spring, move to morning classes during summer, and then back to evening classes in the fall. Check out our class schedules for more details.
  • Do you offer sculling classes?
    • The short answer is “yes”, however A) we offer sculling classes to current members only, and B) we require that members have at least one year of sweep experience before registering for a sculling class.
    • If you are not currently a member, it is possible to learn to scull at Station L but the road is rather long, as you must first join the club and then get one year of sweep rowing under your belt before taking the sculling class. The reason for restricting classes to members is that membership fees help subsidize the equipment costs, and we require a year of sweep practice because we’ve found that starting in big boats provides an easier, more stable point of access, with more opportunity to help students form good habits before getting in a tippy little boat. If you are not a member and are looking to jump right into sculling, you can check out some of our other fine Portland-area rowing resources.
    • If you are a current member, you can register for a sculling class here.
  • I have some rowing experience. Where do I start?
    • If you have rowed before (say, in college, 10 years ago or so, perhaps?) then we recommend starting with Learn to Row Level 2. If you have recent experience and are interested in joining the club, we would love to have you come down for a guest row (or three) to check us out!
  • I have some experience with paddling or erging. Where do I start?
    • Other water sports such as paddling and kayaking are quite different from rowing. Folks who have taken our Learn to Erg class will have a great foundation of rowing form, but rowing on the water involves a greater overhead of process including getting familiar with the equipment and learning how to respond to calls from your coxswain. While it certainly helps to have a familiarity with the water and/or rowing form, it’s important to get a good foundation of the basics on which to build your mastery, so as such we recommend that everyone who does not have experience explicitly with crew rowing start with Learn to Row Level 1.
  • I took Learn to Erg. Now what?
    • You have a few options. You can take Learn to Erg as many times as you’d like; you can jump into a Level 1 on-water class and be ahead of the game with everything you’ve already learned; or you can go back to your gym and wow your trainer with your fine rowing form.
  • I took Learn to Row. Now what?
    • Once you’ve completed both Level 1 and 2 and have the go-ahead from your instructor, you’re ready to join the team! Learn to Row graduates are eligible to join at a considerable discount. You will probably have a lot of questions about membership — hopefully our membership resources will help you get started, but if you need more information, our staff is happy to help.
  • What if I can’t make it to every class?
    • We recognize that many things in life can get in the way of perfect attendance. If you miss multiple class sessions within a course, it may impede your ability to move on to the next step in rowing. To keep our instructor-to-student ratio balanced, we do not allow students to switch back and forth between sessions, so if you are unable to attend a class, there is no opportunity to make it up. That said, most people are able to advance without issue despite an absence or two.
  • Can I get a refund because of schedule or an injury?
    • If you notify us 5 or more days before your first class that you are unable to attend, we can issue a refund or transfer your registration to another class. Once the class has begun, we are unable to offer refunds. If we must cancel a class due to extenuating circumstances (unsafe water conditions, for example) then we will reschedule or issue refunds for classes missed.
  • Can I take a class twice?
    • Sure! Many of our classes are designed to be taken more than once. Feel free to talk to your coach if you would like more feedback about what might be appropriate, but some members choose to take a class multiple times to get more experience in a focused environment.
  • Do you offer private lessons?
    • We offer private lessons to current members. Popular applications of private lessons are for those who want to have a private lesson to get more confident in a 1x or who want to do a deep dive of form analysis on an erg. Private lessons are $75 for 90 minutes and can be shared amongst a small group. Please make arrangements with a coach before making a payment.
  • I’d like to do arrange a group event or team-building activity. Do you do that?

Guest rowing

  • How do I find out more about guest rowing or arrange a guest row with Station L?
    • We love having guest rowers, almost as much as we love being guest rowers when we travel. If you’ll be visiting Portland and would like to join us for a row or two, take a moment to read more information and request a guest row over on our Guest Rowing page.
  • I am an experienced rower. Can I rent a boat or take out equipment on my own?
    • Unfortunately we are unable to offer equipment for non-member use. If you are an experienced sculler, the RiverPlace Rowing Center may be able to provide equipment (view more information here).

Rack space, Rentals and Miscellaneous

  • Do you have boats to rent?
    • Unfortunately we are unable to offer equipment for non-member use. If you are an experienced sculler, the RiverPlace Rowing Center may be able to provide equipment (view more information here).
  • Can I store my boat at Station L?
    • We do not currently have the capacity to take on any more rack storage. Our situation may change in the next year or so, but in the near-term, we suggest exploring other options.
  • Are you dragon boaters?
    • As our Willamette paddling neighbors can attest, paddling is its own noble craft. The mechanism of getting a boat to move is quite different between the two sports, with paddling being forward facing and primarily upper body vs. rowing in which participants face backwards and use their legs as well.
  • Why are practices so early?
    • There are several reasons for our early morning schedule. For one, we share the river with many other users, and traffic (during the summer, especially) is less abundant in the wee hours. Secondly, many of us have to get to work! And rowing in the evening is less preferable, because (lastly) the water is typically at its finest in the morning.
  • Do I have to carry the boat? It’s really heavy.
    • Unfortunately that is an inescapable requirement of the sport. However it should not be unduly painful. If you are having difficulty carrying the boat, talk to your coach or coxswain.
  • I want to be a more experienced and confident coxswain. How can I do that?
    • We have coxing clinics each year. For more information, contact your captain. There are also a variety of online resources available to help you increase your knowledge before you even sit in the ninth seat. To get more experience… ask! Talk to your coach and let them know that you want to get more experience. If you have a bit of experience and are looking to hone your skills, there are other opportunities to coach other squads and Learn to Row.
  • I am learning how to scull or want to brush up on my knowledge. Where can I find information about the Captains Test?

© 2017 Station L Rowing Club
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