What to Wear

There are a couple of rules of thumb when it comes to rowing clothing.

  • If it’s cold at home or school, it will be 10 degrees colder at the boathouse.
  • If it’s hot at home or school, it will be 10 degrees warmer at the boathouse.
  • Your rower will get wet.
  • Your rower will get dirty.
  • No baggy shorts!
  • No hoodies!
  • No short shorts.
  • Avoid cotton, especially when it’s cold.
  • Always wear socks!
  • Always have running shoes!
  • The only bathrooms are porta-potties.

Rowing is a full body sport. As a result, rowers have to wear clothing that does not impede the movement of any part of the body. When sitting on a rolling seat, baggy shorts can be a big problem. They will get caught in the seat rollers and get greasy and torn. They will also keep your rower from rowing properly. Oversized sweatshirts will also impair the proper motion, and they make it hard for the coaches to assess body mechanics.

  • Tight shorts or tights- rowers can wear loose shorts over the top and take them off on the dock if they are bashful. Fleece tights are great when it’s cold.
  • Form-fitting shirts that they can tuck in. If they are too loose, their thumbs will get caught. If it’s not tucked in, it will get caught in the seat rollers.
  • Fleece- when it’s cold, form-fitting fleece will keep them warm.
  • Multiple thin layers are better than one thick one.
  • Wool or fleece socks- when cotton socks get wet putting the boat in the water, their feet will be cold for the rest of practice. Use wool or fleece until it’s hot out, and the water is warm.
  • Hat/Headband- it keeps their hair out of their face and the sun out of their eyes. A knit or fleece hat will keep their whole body warmer on a cold day.
  • Sunglasses- the glare off the water can be unbearable. These are essential for coxswains.
  • Warm when wet fabrics. Avoid cotton.
  • Elastic laces, like Lock-Laces, in their sneakers to speed up docking.

At Regattas

There will be a lot of time on land, eating, rigging boats, eating, unloading and loading the trailer, eating, cheering on teammates and eating. There is usually not a private place to change, and the only bathrooms are porta-potties. It is important to plan layers accordingly.

There are several additional items that will make the regatta experience a lot more comfortable for your rower:

  • Dry clothes to change in to, including lots of warm socks!
  • Clothing that is easy to get on and off without a lot of privacy.
  • More fleece
  • Hat and gloves
  • Sandals to speed up dock in and dock out times
  • Rain gear
  • Boots- the trailer and dock areas at regattas tend to get muddy. Girls seem to like wellies, while the boys seem to prefer duck boots. 

Last, but not least, is the bag they carry it all in. If they bring lots of dry clothes, but they get soaked because the bag is sitting out in the rain for four hours, they will be cold and miserable. Use plastic bags to keep dry stuff dry, and to separate the wet from the dry.


Orders for uniforms and other Niskayuna rowing logoed clothing are open at the beginning of each season. We have made an effort to standardize uniforms, so that you will not have to purchase a new uniform every year. Check the Niskayuna Rowing web site for a link to our uniform store.


Many parents are reluctant to buy their children nice rowing apparel, given the abuse that it sustains at the boathouse, but good rowing apparel need not be expensive, and can be used for other sports.

Stores like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Target and Old Navy have a large selection of both name brand and store brand rowing appropriate clothing. There are Under Armour, Nike, Reebok and Adidas outlets in Lake George, Lee and Woodbury. Online stores like REI, Campmor and Athleta can have very good deals, and check outdoor equipment stores like EMS, or ski shops for end of season sales.

One of the best places to purchase rowing specific clothing is at large regattas. Most of the rowing apparel companies have regatta specials, and you can save on tax and shipping.


Monograms Plus on State Street, near the Blue Ribbon Diner, can embroider names and the Niskayuna Rowing logo on most clothing items that you purchase elsewhere.

Lost and Found

Clothing items and water bottles left at the boathouse are placed in the lost and found bin. If an item is labeled with your child’s name, it becomes easier to recover. Unclaimed items left at the end of the season are laundered and then auctioned off.