Skiffing & Rowing

Skiffing refers to the sporting and leisure activity of rowing (or more correctly ‘sculling’) a Thames skiff. A Thames skiff is a traditional hand crafted, clinker-built wooden craft of a design, based on Thames wherries, which were operated by ‘Watermen’ as a water taxi service in London, and have been seen on the River Thames and other waterways in England and other countries for nearly 200 years. Sculling means propelling the boat with a pair of oars (blades) as opposed to rowing, which requires both hands on a single oar.

Skiffs have fixed rather than sliding seats, and the blades are held in thole pins at the side of the boat rather than in outriggers. The blades are made of wood with leather collars and traditional spoons. Pressure is applied by the feet against an adjustable wooden plate known as a ‘stretcher board’. Skiffs are usually ‘Singles’ with one sculler, or ‘Doubles’ with two scullers (one behind each other) and a coxswain. However skiffs with more scullers or incorporating sail are also used. Skiffing takes place in the Netherlands and Argentina, using the design of traditional Thames skiff, although Argentinian skiffs usually have outriggers instead of tholes.

  • Each skiff costs over £20,000, and are always ordered in matched racing sets of two or three (blades cost around £500 a pair)
  • The Skiff Club, founded in 1895, is the oldest skiff club in existence. We are based on the Middlesex bank of the River Thames, on the non-tidal waters between Teddington Lock and Kingston.
  • Summer Regattas: ours is always in early September, with high-tea, a bar and a traditional Jazz Band. What better way to watch the world go by – All welcome.
  • Jerome K Jerome wrote of his up-river expedition in ‘Three Men in a Boat’ – “there were thousands of skiffs at places like Richmond, Kingston and Oxford”.
Individual Punting
History
Skiff Racing
The Henley Regatta
Club Meanders

Club Sessions

Club Night

Every Thursday at 7pm we meet for a social and frienly evening of club training or a river outing culminating in a dinner at 8.30pm

Social Rows

Friday 10am, & Sunday 10am

Training

Gym (Circuits/Weights)
Mon 6.30pm, Thurs 7.35pm

Ergos
Mon & Thurs 7pm, Sat 8am

On the Water
Sat & Sun 8.30am

Club Night 7pm
On water or Winter Ergos & Circuits

Club Gym

Membership includes access to a heavy weight & light weight gyms, with modern equipment. Specific times are scheduled for our Club together with shared sessions available.

Family and Friends Welcome

We cater for youngsters from 10 years old & welcome families, individuals or groups of friends. No previous experience is necessary.

Skiffing & Rowing
Regattas
Skiffing & Rowing
The Great River Race

Why not sign up for a

taster session or

join our Learn to Row course