Suggested Clothing for Rowing

  • Wear multiple layers
  • Wear synthetic fibers
  • Wear form-fitting clothing
  • Label your clothing
  • Wear cotton or down fabrics
  • Wear gloves
  • Wear bulky, loose, or long clothes
  • Wear non-breathable waterproof clothing

Rowing is a very aerobic activity and we row in sunshine and rain. Rowers get wet from the weather, splashing and sweat. They'll also have times when they'll be sitting on the water, so they need warm, breathable clothes to keep them from getting chilled. Synthetic fabrics help keep wetness off the athlete's skin and dry quickly. Rowing clothes are similar to running wear: soft, stretchy and breathable, made of fabrics such as polypro, CoolMax, or DriFit. They are form-fitting and can be layered. Baggy shorts can catch in the slides under the seat, causing a jarring stop or worse. Baggy shirts and hoodies with hand warmers pockets can snag the oar handles with equally disastrous consequences.  A light, breathable rain shell is great. Avoid "waterproof" shells, which can lead to overheating and condensation.


Rubber sandals are great for slipping on and off. Heavy wool or synthetic socks keep feet warm and comfortable. Bring running shoes in case of dry land workouts.


A fleece hat to retain warmth, ball cap, or sunglasses are all recommended. 


You rarely see rowers wearing gloves, even in the cold and rain. Rowing requires a feel of the oar handle that only bare hands can provide. Usually, hands warm up with exercise, but you can tuck them into your armpits or between your legs during breaks. We also have a few pairs of pogies -- rowing "mittens" than can fit over the oar handles and shield hands until they warm up. You can purchase pogies on line.

What to bring

Water bottle; an extra shirt, socks and sweats for after practice; rain shell; and energy bar or other snack.