Oakland Strokes Rowing Club

Oakland, CA
Ages: 
Preteens, Teens

Parent Reviews

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My son is 14 yrs old and just completed his Novice (first) year with the Oakland Strokes. I've never seen him so enthusiastic and encouraged with any sport before he started rowing. The transformation with his self-discipline, healthy eating habits, fitness level, and time management has really pleasantly surprised us, as my husband and I didn't know much about the sport. 

The coaches provided a lot of guidance to the kids, and just enough "pushing" to challenge them to do their best. It's pretty apparent that the coaches love the sport. As parents, we like that no one sits out -- everyone participates in races, practice, conditioning and taking care of the boats. It's also amazing to see first year high school rowers who have never been on a boat, go on to achieve college scholarships by the time they graduate high school. It's inspirational and motivational for my son and his teammates.

The sport itself requires commitment, physically and time-wise. My son chose to skip several outings with friends, sleeping in on Saturdays starting in the Fall through May, and even no vacations during the Spring race season. But he gladly chose to do it because he enjoys rowing and knows every person on the boat is needed. Learn How to Row camps are offered in the summer and the regular season runs the full school year, which is the path my son took starting in middle school.

I do have to say there is a learning curve for parents who aren't familiar with the sport. But we learned by getting to know veteran and new parents by volunteering at the events, and a Team Snap put together by some Novice parents. I believe the organization will have an official liaison between the coaches and parents this year to help provide information and answer questions.

It's wonderful that you are encouraging her interest! I've been a rower for ~45 years, and my child was recently was on Artemis and is now on Strokes. They are both fantastic programs, great coaches and kids, and both really different in their training, resources, practice commitment, way they develop the middle school program, expectations, size and funding. I would recommend trying both programs ASAP and letting her decide which is the best fit for her from there. Both teams have an intro session as well as summer camp, just let the middle school coaches know your daughter is checking out both teams.  Be prepared to spend lots of bucks/apply for scholarship, do your volunteer hours, and maybe fall in love with rowing too. Check if the high school you think she may be attending is associated with a rowing program and see if there are any opportunities there. I think the local races may be done for the season (May 5-7 is a big Sacramento race), but attending a race would be another way to see how the various teams work and how they are supported by parents, coaches and team-mates. Check the  regatta central website: https://www.regattacentral.com/regattas

Row on!

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Oakland Strokes Summer Rowing Camp

April 2004

Has anyone had experience with the Oakland Strokes rowing camp? I am looking on behalf of my 14 year old son. Thanks! Rachel


My then 13-year-old daughter attended the Oakland Strokes rowing camp last summer and loved it! She enjoyed the camp and the sport so much that she joined the team. Crew is a really great sport, and the Strokes gives kids an opportunity to meet other high schoolers from a number of schools, keeps them in great shape, and enhances their college applications. This camp, geared to late-middle to high school kids, is fun whether or not your child has any long-term interest in the sport.


Oakland Strokes, a nationally recognized junior rowing club, offers a week-long summer camp for 12 to 18 year- olds who have no prior crew experience. Morning or afternoon sessions are available for $175 per session. The camp will be held at the Jack London Aquatic Center on the Oakland Estuary during the weeks of June 21, June 28, and July 26. Financial assistance is available for Oakland residents. Find more information and a summer camp application on our website, www.oaklandstrokes.org. Pam Bluhm


November 2003

The Oakland Strokes is a long established and very successful Junior level rowing club. Membership in the Oakland Strokes is open to all high school students and financial aid is available to those who qualify. Practices are held in the Oakland Estuary close to Jack London Square. This is a great sport that encourages physical fitness and teamwork, and is a real asset on college applications! We are recruiting new members through November 30 for both men's and women's groups. For more information, check out our web site, www.oaklandstrokes.org
Sally West


November 2003

During November the Oakland Strokes is recruiting high school students for their novice men?s and women?s rowing teams. This is a challenging, fun, and competitive sport and you need no prior rowing experience . Founded in 1974, Oakland Strokes is a co-educational junior rowing program that has members from over 35 East Bay high schools. Prestigious colleges eagerly seek rowers. Recent Strokes alumni are rowing at Yale, Cal, Princeton, Washington, Dartmouth, Penn, Stanford, Cornell, USC and Michigan as well as many other fine schools. To find out more about the Oakland Strokes, visit the team?s website at www.oaklandstrokes.org David