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Mixed Ability Coastal Rowing

Mixed ability coastal rowing enables more people to enjoy the waves.

Our aim is to increase grassroots participation in coastal rowing by making it more accessible and inclusive – and that must include those with a physical, sensory or mental impairment.

Para-rowing and adaptive rowing is typically seen as being for those with a classification such as PR1,2,3 and AR1,2,3. We want to extend the range and enable those with replacement knees, arthritis, anxiety, etc, etc to go rowing and enter mixed ability coastal rowing events, and to a large extent do away with a classification system, which can be a barrier to participation – lets start by getting lots of people rowing.

Para-rowing and adaptive rowing have been developed primarily by the river rowing community and rowing federations. Many of the athletes are in adapted river boats, some with stabilising floats, some with fixed seats, some with other adaptations to their boat.

The coastal rowing community is making adaptive rowing more accessible. Coastal rowing boats are inherently more stable than their river cousins; and we mix adaptive rowers in crew boats with non-adaptive rowers, hence the term “mixed ability”. This approach requires less boat adaptations; it is easier for rowing clubs and centres to manage adaptive rowing.

A coastal quad gives a mixed ability crew a very stable rowing environment, (obviously going out in sea and weather conditions to suit the crew) and reduces the risk of capsize. Managing risk in this way is key in making rowing more accessible to more people.

The Coastal Rowing Centre and Coastal Barbarians are on a journey to promote and facilitate mixed ability coastal rowing. The Coastal Barbarians are planning to enter mixed ability doubles and quads in events during 2024.

We are pleased to announce the National Trust has received funding to construct a new changing facility at the Knoll beach.

We would love to hear from all those who are interested in mixed ability coastal rowing and also those interested in supporting this activity. Take a look at joining the Coastal Barbarians.

Feel free to drop us a line at or call 01305 257 774