A new rowing trend is emerging that promises exhilarating action: coastal rowing. For long established in southern Europe, coastal rowing is set to become an Olympic sport at the 2024 Paris Games.
Coastal rowing is the rough water version, the mountain biking version, of rowing. This is not flat-water rowing on calm lakes, but rather extreme rowing on the open sea and turbulent rivers. Looks like fun. “It is,” says Katharina von Kodolitsch from the German Rowing Association. “Normally rowers shun the waves, but not us. We head straight for them to crank up the fun factor. Even if, or perhaps precisely because, you often get soaked.
The robust, wider and more manoeuvrable boats make it possible to navigate the waves and provide the necessary stability. An open stern enables splash water to easily run off. The boats are also suitable for rowing beginners, but as Katharina von Kodolitsch points out, they should be familiar with rowing techniques. Otherwise, there are no special physical requirements. Without much effort, you can get up to speed and have lots of fun.
Where can you try it out?
“In Germany, unfortunately the situation is still quite rudimentary,” says Katharina von Kodolitsch. “There’s a rowing club in Hamburg that has coastal rowing boats, also on the coast in Kiel and Bremerhaven. In Kiel you can also rent boats.”
The first coastal boats for leisure use are already at the start line. Sportwerft’s inflatable iCoaster already celebrated its premiere at the boot 2020.
Is coastal rowing a ‘fun sport’? “To be honest, we haven't given much thought to categorizing,” laughs Katharina von Kodolitsch. “Because the locations are different from those of classic rowing, giving us more time at the beach, we naturally associate the sport with holidays and leisure activities and not as much with the elitist image of rowing. But basically it’s just a different kind of rowing, which is a lot of fun.”