Surfboat rowing is a a type of coastal rowing in which a team of rowers compete using surfboats, which are oar-driven boats that are designed to be used in the ocean under severe wave conditions.
Surfboats are primarily used for lifesaving or rescue missions in beaches, and competitions revolve around mimicking lifesaving tasks. Surfboat rowing is a difficult sport that requires extreme strength and endurance.
The course used for surfboat rowing races are about 400m in length, circular in shape with floating buoys.
At the start of the race, all crew members of each boat stand close to their boats holding its hull in knee-deep water. All the boats are positioned about 23m apart from each other.
The race begins with a starting signal, after which the crew members push their boats for a short distance to gain momentum and the jump on to it and start rowing.
The boat that first crosses the designated flags from the seaward side is declared the winner.
Surf boat rowing is extremely popular in Australia and New Zealand. Surfboat rowing competitions are conducted as a major part of Surf Lifesaving competitions.
- Coastal (Offshore) Rowing — a type of rowing performed on open water, requiring wider and more robust boats than those used on rivers and lakes.
- Ocean Rowing — involves rowing races across entire seas and oceans.
- Surf Lifesaving — competitions consist of performing various tasks performed by lifeguards on the beach.
- Beach Sprint Rowing — short rowing race in the open water also involving a beach sprint.
- Ironman Surf lifesaving — combines four major aspects of surflifesaving into a single race.
- Surf Kayaking — involves surfing in the ocean using a kayak
- Surfing — participants stand on a surfboard, and use the waves for propulsion
- Sweep Rowing — each rower has just one oar which is maneuvered with both hands to propel the boat.
- Indoor Rowing — competitions performed on a rowing machine that simulates the on-water action.