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We offer year-round competitive and recreational programs for rowers and paddlers. For a great way to explore our waters for the first time, or after a long break, register for our "learn to" programs. For information on our Juniors programs, click here. For information on our summer memberships for college students, click here.

BIAC is located in Redwood City providing access to great water in and around Bair Island, Redwood Creek, the Port of Redwood City and the open San Francisco Bay. 

We encourage new folks to try out several programs. Most people gravitate to one, but some of us participate in two or more! Here is a brief description of each and how to get started! You must be a member or a member's guest (for a day fee) to use our equipment.


See Rowing for an overview of rowing opportunities, Learn to Row/Scull for classes, Masters Rowing for coached groups, Adaptive Rowing Sculling, and Coastal Rowing for those programs


 See Paddling for an overview of kayak, SUP, and surfski classes.


View the BIAC Guest Policy here

  Sweep rowing in an eight
Sweep Rowing in an eight

There are also sweep fours and pairs.


See Rowing and Sculling programs for an overview of all available classes and groups.

Rowers use slender boats ("shells") with long oars, face backwards, and use their full body (60% legs, 25% back, and 15% arms in that order) for power. Rowers come in two flavors: sweep rowers and scullers.

Sweep rowing is a team sport with each rower holding one long oar in both hands.  You row on either the left (port) or right (starboard) side of the boat. Sweep boats usually have a coxswain to steer the boat and direct the crew. Beginners attend a Learn to Row session, after which they are invited to join the Novice Masters Team. Experienced rowers can row on the Recreational or Open or Competitive Masters Team. Information on all rowing opportunities is found here.

  Sculling in a single
Sculling in a Single at BIAC

There are also double and quad shells.

See Rowing and Sculling programs for an overview of all available classes and groups.

Sculling is both an individual and a team sport, with the rower holding an oar in each hand, on each side of the shell. Many members do both sweep rowing and sculling. The best way to begin sculling is to enroll in one of the Learn to Scull classes offered during the warm months.

After a few weeks, beginners are able to scull on their own as they develop their skills. Because Bay area winds and waters are calmer in the mornings, that's when you'll find most BIAC scullers enjoying themselves on our waterways. See classes and camps available to scullers at BIAC.

Kayaking in Sit-on-top Singles  

These sit-on-top kayaks are a great way to enjoy nature. We have classes for adults, and for parents and children to enjoy together.

Paddlers face forward, in the direction of travel, with power coming mainly from the upper body. Kayak paddlers sit with their legs extended in front of them. They use a paddle with a blade on both ends, rhythmically alternating strokes on the left and right.

Try our Learn to Kayak class and learn about how to paddle on your own.

Paddling a Surfski

Surfski paddlers enjoy the rougher water and stronger winds of the open Bay and often go out in the late morning and afternoon. They steer using a rudder attached to a foot plate. In 2020 BIAC invested in a fleet of brand new Epic Surfskis. These responsive watercraft let you enjoy paddling on flat water and in white-capped waves.

Our Learn to Surfski classes are geared to those who have never tried a surfski and those who want tips on how to be successful.

Paddling a single outrigger canoe

Outrigger Canoe (OC) paddlers face forward, in the direction of travel. In a single (called an OC1) with a rudder, the paddler steers using foot plates attached to the rudder. In an OC1 without a rudder, the paddler steers using a combination of paddling and drawing strokes. Periodically, paddlers switch their blades to paddle on the opposite side.

The outrigger increases the stability of these lively craft, making them a fun way to paddle on our Bay area waters.

Paddling on a Stand-Up Paddle Board

Paddling a Stand-Up Paddle Board (SUP) provides a full-body workout and a chance to play on the water. Paddle boarders stand at full height on the board, offering a unique vantage point of the waters around the Port of Redwood City and the San Francisco Bay.

Come see why SUPs are all the rage. Take our Learn to SUP class and learn the  proper form, maneuvering techniques, and how to navigate the inner harbor and Bair Island. Once you've take the class, as a member of BIAC, you can take our SUPs out on your own.

Dragon BoatingDragon Boating at BIAC

Dragon boats are traditional boats that have been raced in southern China for more than 2000 years. Dragon boats hold 22 people: 20 paddlers sitting in pairs and facing forward; a drummer in the front who sets the pace; and a sweep in the back, who steers the boat.

BIAC hosts dragon boat teams associated with the California Dragon Boat Association (CDBA).

Dragon boating is a form of paddling. A dragon boat is similar to a canoe, in that both are paddled, not rowed, and the paddles are not attached mechanically to the boat's hull. Unlike in a canoe or kayak, a dragon boat's paddlers do not switch paddling sides.

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Bair Island Aquatic Center
1450 Maple Ave., Redwood City, CA 94063
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