Frequently Asked Questions

We offer instructor led courses, starting with 3-free trial sessions to see whether it’s for you, usually held on a Saturday morning. We then progress to mid-week improver sessions (Tuesday night) and integration with the normal club times (Thurs night and Sunday morning) once you’ve become a member. Club sessions will enable you to consolidate what you’ve learned by making up crews with other experienced members. However we can arrange alternative times depending on instructor availability and other constraints such as conflicts with race dates.

At the end of Trowlock Way, just before the road bends left, there is a municipal car park area on the right-hand side.
If you were to continue straight on enter the main site and just before you reach the water’s edge, turn left and The Skiff Club boatshed is situated at the end. Look for the building with the SC logo above the door.

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Subject to the constraints that we advise depending of the Environmental Agency river condition warnings, we go out in any conditions. Providing you dress appropriately there should be nothing stopping you. We’ve even gone out when it’s been snowing and the river frozen over! See the pictures & video if you don’t believe me.

Not when you compare this to the average price of a gym or golf club membership for instance. With the annual cost for an adult working out at £20 per month (2013/2014), I think you’d agree that this equates to exceptional good value for money, especially as it includes the shared use of modern gym facilities.

Absolutely. What better way to enjoy an outdoor activity than being out on the river. We offer a varied selection of social activities both on and off the water to complement the more serious racing element, which in itself can be great fun and very rewarding. Whether it’s taking a picnic up the river, skiffing to the pub for lunch, joining in with a themed evening’s entertainment, there is always something to appeal and enhance your precious leisure time.

That depends on what you want to get out of the sport. If you wish to skiff socially then a moderate level of fitness is required. We regularly change positions in the boat to enable individuals to take a recovery period by coxing the boat whilst others skiff. If you wish to do Punting, it requires you to stand up in the boat, without a seat on which to take rest periods and therefore a degree of balance is necessary. However skiffing and punting are a good means of improving your fitness in a low impact sport. This is complemented by circuit training in our well-equipped on-site gyms, which are primarily used during the winter months to build strength and stamina.

On the water, all year round:
Saturday 08:30 Novice session
Saturday 10:00 Around Ravens Ait handicapped mock racing
Sunday 10:00 Club session – General social skiffing, turn up & make up a crew
Tuesday 19:00 Improver session
Thursday 19:00 Club session – General training consolidation and outings, followed by club supper and refreshments in the clubhouse.
Off the water, gym sessions:
Sunday 09:00 – 11:00 gym circuits
Thursday 19:00 (Run or Ergo), 19:30 – 20:30 gym circuits
Weekdays 18:00 – 19:30 Open house, all clubs share the gym facilities
Other times made by agreement.

You’ve found the right place. We’re able to offer racing throughout the season from April to mid-October, nearly every weekend at peak times, so plenty to get stuck into. Races comprise long-distance (5-6 km taking 35-40 minutes) at the start & end of the season, with short-course regattas (350-700m, taking 2.5 – 4 minutes) in between.  You can do as little or as much training as you can in order to enter these events. Obviously the more you do, the more chance you have of securing a coveted wine glass or tankard and once the bug hits you it becomes addictive.

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The Skiff Club welcomes and encourages family membership. Juniors are able to participate in the sport from about 10 years old, given the size and weight of the equipment. We already have a number of juniors, mainly in their early to mid-teens, who actively participate in the sports both with their parents and with others of their age group.

Yes, typically in their mid-teens but we take them from the age of 10 when they are able to join as juniors.

Unlikely, we have a membership range of Juniors from 10 years old to those who have skiffed competitively into their 60s. It is a great all round way to keep fit and enjoy the river.

The boats are inherently stable and very forgiving when compared to the ‘fine’ boats used in conventional rowing, as seen in the Oxford v Cambridge boat race. This means that you can change places whilst out on the water and you will be taught how to do this to ensure that you do so safely.
We operate under a set of rules that take account of the river conditions posted by the Environmental Agency. Depending on the competency of the crews these rules guide you as to what you can and cannot do safely under each condition.
The use of buoyancy aids is not considered necessary or practical when skiffing as these tend to hinder the oar stroke movement. These can however be used when acting as coxswain, should these be desired. Members are however expected to be able to swim as an added precaution and a prerequisite for joining.

Singer, juggler, lyricist, comedian, actor or poet, we’d love to have you participate in one of our events. We often find those with hidden talents willing to ‘do a turn’ to add to the fun.