Learn to Row on San Francisco Bay

Dolphin Club rowing training is designed to help adults learn how to row on San Francisco Bay for fun, fitness, and adventure.

We’re a member run club and training is offered by members, to other members, as schedules allow. Membership at the Dolphin Club is less than $600/year, and you can join on the third Wednesday of every month. There are no additional charges to row beyond the club dues.  Join Our Club

You don’t have to know anything about rowing to start learning at the Dolphin Club, but you should be aware that it can at times be a strenuous and challenging activity. You’ll need to be able to swim (you can learn that too) and be willing to enjoy getting pushed around by wind, waves, and currents.

Introductory Orientation

Our introductory orientation class will teach you the basics of how to row, how to take care of our boats, and give you a sense of the tides, currents, and safety aspects of San Francisco Bay.

Training is typically offered monthly and is available to members.

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Your first rowing class is just the first step on your rowing journey. After the class, there are lots of opportunities for you to grow and improve.


Becoming comfortable behind the oars takes time . After your first class, we ask that you follow up with more practice by yourself inside the cove. 

Improve your Rowing technique »

Swim Piloting

A great way to build experience on the bay is to support our club swims as a pilot. Rower pilots form an essential part of our swim safety, and are one of the best ways to become a part of the community.

Swim Piloting »

Group Rowing

Join outings on our multi-seat boats to quickly improve your rowing technique and meet other rowers.

Group Rowing »


Certification is a milestone for new Dolphin Club rowers. Once certified, you’ll be able to take our boats out onto the bay on your own schedule.

For your certification, you’ll need to: 

  • Make at least six practice rows to develop your technique and skill.
  • Study the Bay Safety course, and pass the written test.
  • Attend at least one Boat Night.
  • Complete an on-the-water certification row with an instructor.

Where can you go next?

After certification, San Francisco bay is open to you.


Rowers frequently get together for outings to nearby destinations including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Sausalito, McCovey Cove and Angel ISland

Fitness & Competition

The club also has lightweight open water shells and coastal boats. These are fast, seaworthy, and great for fitness and competition. The club participates in, and hosts regattas throughout the year.


Members often organize longer expedition rows to further destinations including Angel Island, China Camp, Petaluma, and Sacramento.