What is Coastal Rowing?

Coastal rowing is the “adventure side of rowing”. Utilized for ocean-rowing or inland rowing on rough-water lakes and rivers, coastal rowing adds a new dimension to traditional flatwater rowing. The standard boats are singles, doubles and coxed quadruple sculls and the races are traditionally 4-8 kilometers in length. The boats themselves are quite different than flatwater boats with added stability and toughness that also makes them ideal as learn-to-row boats. In addition to their own equipment and technique, coastal rowers must also be aware of tides, currents and be able to maneuver through rough water and near other marine traffic.

We asked Janice Mason, a previous Rowing BC Board Member and Olympian who completed the 750-mile Race to Alaska in 2016, why she suggests coastal rowing to others.

Coastal rowing is a fantastic way to enjoy rowing in our vast, open, beautiful environment. One can experience such a variety of conditions that you would never get out into in a racing shell. The boats are much more stable thus more relaxing for new rowers (less tippy) and even fun for us old experienced rowers whose joints aren’t quite as mobile as when young.

Whether you are looking for an opportunity to race among the world’s best coastal rowers, or are a weekend warrior looking for another opportunity for adventure on the water, now is the perfect time to get involved in coastal rowing. 

Get Involved in BC Coastal Rowing

The following Rowing BC-supported camps and regattas are appropriate for experienced coastal rowers, and any rowers transitioning from flatwater to coastal provided they are comfortable in a flatwater racing 1x. Click on the box to learn more about each event.

Those interested in learning to row for the first time should reach out to a rowing organization in their area (view the full list here).

Get involved in Pacific Northwest Coastal Rowing


2020 Coastal Events Calendar

View coastal rowing events taking place in Washington and BC here.

Looking for equipment?

The three main manufacturers of coastal equipment are EuroDiffusions, LiteBoat and Mass Rowing Shells.

Canadian distributors of the equipment are:

  • EuroDiffusions – Charles Hass based in Ontario (1-514-894-3264 or
  • LiteBoat – Dominique Preney based in Nelson, BC (
  • LiteBoat – Ian Graeme and Janice Mason based in Victoria, BC (1-250-418-1294 or