Join Us

You’re welcome to join us! We row for exercise, for sociability and the joy of being on the water and, for many of us, the fun of competition is also important. Rowporty is open to everyone (over 16) – absolutely no rowing experience required.

Trial Row

Newcomers are welcome to join us for a trial row on Sunday mornings. The Sunday Social Rowing Series is designed to introduce newcomers to rowing at Portobello. A simple procedure will enrol you as a Temporary Member, lasting 30 days and entitling you to one trial row. There will be experienced rowers on board and the cox will provide basic instruction including safety aspects and technique. The sessions are always welcoming and are fun too. If you can’t make Sundays, it may be possible to join an “Ancient Mariners” row on Tuesday afternoons.

Contact Pam MacDiarmid who will send you information about getting started, including how to arrange your trial row. You will then receive details such as of the time of your boat and the name of the coach who will be looking after you.


After you’ve had your trial row, you will need to join the Portobello Sailing and Kayaking Club (RowPorty is part of PSKC) to participate in further rows. There is a  web based procedure here for joining PSKC.

Having joined PSKC, you will need to register on our online event booking system (Spond). Basically you create a Spond profile using a web browser or the Android or iOS app and request membership of the RowPorty Spond group by contacting a RowPorty admin. Contact information and further guidance on using Spond at RowPorty are available here.

Eligibility for Rows

Everyone, whatever their experience, is eligible to participate in Sunday Social Rowing. However to participate in other social rows (not training rows) you must have completed two Sunday Social Rows, e.g. your trial row and a subsequent one. We would strongly encourage novice rowers to complete at least another four social rows before signing up for any of the training sessions.

Once you have completed 5 rows, you are then eligible to participate in training rows, often in age categories, where people aim to improve their technique and fitness for competitive events.

Until you have completed 5 rows, we ask you to indicate your RowPorty experience in the comments section of an event. For example if the event will be your third row, you should describe yourself as “R3”.

What to wear & bring

You will get wet, probably up to your knees. Wear stuff that can get wet on your feet and legs. Old trainers, sandals, Crocs etc. Not wellies, they will get full of water. Launching trousers, which will keep your feet dry, and wetsuit boots/socks are also good.

You should also bring:

  • A bottle of drinking water, especially if it’s hot
  • Warm clothing to put on afterwards
  • A waterproof bag or case for your phone – or leave it behind.

We don’t have any changing facilities, but you can change and shower at the nearby Portobello Swim Centre for a small charge.


For all rowing sessions, except Sunday Social Rowing with Novices:

  • You must be a member of the Portobello Sailing & Kayaking Club.
  • You must have rowed in at least two Sunday sessions before taking part in the other sessions.
  • You must sign up via Spond. except for your trial row.
  • Please be on time, so that others aren’t hanging around waiting. If you have to cancel, then contact the rota maker as soon as possible and post in the comments section of your event on Spond. 
  • Whilst we don’t charge for rowing sessions, a donation of £1 per row is suggested to fund maintenance and upgrades.
  • Have fun & take care!