FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions 

Boating Home
1. Can anyone take a rowing class? 
Yes. The adult classes are open to anyone ages 18 and above who have graduated from high school. The junior rowing program is for participants ages 13-18.

2. Is there a competitive Junior Rowing Program? 
Yes. We have a competitive junior program that operates from September to May. The athletes compete throughout the west coast as well as on Tempe Town Lake. You can learn more about our program at our junior section of the website. During the summer we offer a junior program 
geared towards fun on the water; the basics of rowing, kayaking and other water recreation activities 
to help athletes stay in shape during the summer months. During our competitive season practices are 
four days per week from 4-6pm. This is a competitive sport, so attendance counts. Please understand that even though this is a club, we conduct our program with the same rules and expectations of a varsity high school sport.

3. What is the float test and who needs to take it?
The float test is a very simple test that is done the first day of class for all new rowers (not required for adult kayaking or SUP classes). The class will meet at local pool for the test and a safety video presentation. The test is a 10 minute float in which participants must get in the water wearing shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt. (Men can wear swim trunks and a long sleeve t-shirt, women can wear a swim suit underneath shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt.) The participants will then need to stay afloat for 10 minutes and put on a life preserver  while in the water. The float can include treading water, swimming the length of the pool, floating on their back, etc.

4. What is the difference between rowing and sculling?
Sculling is essentially a form of rowing. Within rowing there are two types, sweep rowing and sculling.
Sweep rowing is when the rowers are rowing with a large group (up to 8 people) and each rower only
has one oar. Sculling is typically when a rower is in a boat by themselves with two oars. Although there
are sculling boats for 1, 2, and 4 rowers. The Learn to Row 1 class focuses on sweep rowing and participants can learn to scull in Open Row.

5. How do I get to Tempe Town Lake Marina?
All of the rowing classes operate at the Tempe Town Lake Marina located on the north side of the
lake across from the ASU Stadium. Download the map.

6. What should I wear?
Rowing- General rule of thumb is nothing too baggy. Rowing garb is the same type of clothing as cyclists
and runners. Tights and spandex are ideal, but shorts, sweats or comfortable pants are fine.
Layering is also good for the colder months.
Kayaking- Clothing that you do not mind getting wet and some sort of water shoes or sneakers you do not mind getting wet. Sandals are permissible as long as they are not open back, flip-flop type sandals. Hats or Visors are recommended. Depending on sun tolerance you may want to wear an SPF coated top shirt, or a long sleeve t-shirt.  If a participant wants to wear long pants, it is permissible, however they should not be cotton or denim, they should be Polyester or Lycra (No jeans!). Finally if it is cold out it might be a good idea to wear a fleece jacket as it will keep you warm even when wet. 
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)- Clothing that the participant does not mind getting wet. There is definitely a learning curve when you first start in the sport. Most times people SUP barefoot, but we do not want people walking around the marina area barefoot. So wear some sort of water shoes or sneakers the participants do not mind getting wet. Sandals are permissible as long as they are not open back, flip-flop type sandals. Hat or Visor for day time summer/spring events. This is not as critical for winter/fall events. Loose fitting comfortable t-shirt. Depending on your sun tolerance you may want to wear an SPF coated top shirt, or a long sleeve t-shirt if it is a daytime event. Winter/Fall event participants should wear a long sleeve top shirt. Participants should not wear long pants, unless they are lycra type tights (No jeans!).

7. Do I need to provide my own equipment?
No. All of the equipment is provided by the Tempe Town Lake Rowing and Paddling program. All participants need to bring is a positive attitude and a bottle of water.

8. What if I already have rowing experience, do I need to take Learn to Row?
Depending on your experience you may be allowed to bypass Learn to Row. Contact
Ryan the assistant boating coordinator at 480-350-8069 to discuss your experience and what class might work best for you.

9. What if I have to miss a class?
Do to the teamwork nature of rowing it is important to come to as many classes as possible.
Rowers depend on other rowers to fill boats for a complete class. By missing a class you are
missing valuable information as well as maybe preventing the class from filling boats.
There are no make-ups given for missed Rowing, Kayaking or SUP Fitness classes. Intro
SUP classes can be made up only when the boating office is contacted 24 hours prior to
the absence. (480) 350-8069.

10. When do the classes typically run?
Tempe Town Lake Rowing operates on an almost year round basis. We offer four sessions of classes, they are as follows: Winter-January to March, Spring-April and May, Summer June through August and Fall-September through December. The Learn to Row and sculling classes run on a 6 week cycle so there is almost always a new class around the corner. Kayaking and SUP classes are on a monthly schedule and there is always a class starting either week to week or month to month.

11. How do I register?
Registration can be done a few ways. There is online, fax, mail in, or walk in to one of the many recreation centers in Tempe. You can register online or download a registration form at www.tempe.gov/boating.

12. Do you offer private lessons?
We do offer group events for schools or businesses, However we do not offer one on one private lessons.

13. What if there is bad weather?
We always encourage Boaters to attend class no matter the weather. If it is windy and stormy
at your house it may not be the same at the lake. If the weather makes boating unsafe usually
your instructor will have an alternative activity such as on land training.

14. Are there any kayaking classes?
We do offer a kayak fitness class as well as monthly moonlight kayaks on Town Lake. Check our current class schedule for next available class.

15. Is fee assistance available?
Fee assistance is available for boating classes. You must apply in person at the main Recreation office and you must be a Tempe Resident. 

16. Are Boat Rentals Available on Tempe Town Lake?
Yes, you can rent boats through Tempe Boat Rentals. For more information visit their website or they can be reached at 480-303-9803. www.boats4rent.com

Have more questions for us? Please give us a call or send an email.
Ryan Allison
480-350-8069 
ryan_allison@tempe.gov