Manna Rowing, founded by longtime friends Tyler Reutgen and Jay Dee Morgan, is coming to Hermosa Beach. Reutgen was born and raised in the South Bay, and the pair saw a strong need for a rowing program in the beach cities.
According to Morgan, the closest rowing clubs are in Long Beach and Marina Del Rey. And, despite the many fitness enthusiasts in the South Bay, the two saw an opportunity to promote rowing as a way to cross-train. They've built other disciples into the program.
“There are lots of types of people and a ton of the same type of fitness studios and gyms, said Morgan. "We’ve created a perfect blend of yoga, breathing cardio and strength all while in a team environment.”
Their indoor rowing program is directed at adults as well as youth. Their Pee-Wee program aims to get kids involved in rowing.
“In most rowing clubs, you have the opportunity to do a Spring Break camp or summer camp as a middle schooler, but there is nothing usually for someone younger than that age group,” said Morgan.
Teaching younger students is a major passion for Reutgen and Morgan, whose program includes three different levels of youth rowing. And, the inter-disciplinary approach helps with stress.
“There is plenty of science and research around breath control, breath awareness, and breathing techniques," said Morgan.
"They have been widely practiced in other disciplines like martial arts, yoga, and mindfulness and have proven to have major mental and physiological benefits. You are giving yourself a tool to de-stress. Children need these tools and practices just as much as adults.”
Their Pee Wee program is directed at 4th and 5th grade students, with a focus on fun, learning bio-mechanics, team-based games, relays, and technology to track progress. Manna’s Juniors program is for 6th to 8th grade students, and is described by Morgan as both fun and competitive. Here students will learn how to push themselves and build focus and discipline, Morgan says. Their High School program delves into the mastery of the rowing skill and is competitive, with three separate programs including cross-train, college-prep and club.
“I have a lot of experience with kids brand new to the sport. I saw my main job as helping these kids to fall in love with the sport of rowing. Not only to fall in love with the sport, but also the idea of training and fitness,” Morgan said.
For adults, Manna Rowing offers what they term “fun and competitive” programs.
“Each class is different with different workouts. You will always compete against yourself and your teammates,” Morgan explains.
Both Morgan and Reutgen have backgrounds in rowing and athletic instruction. Morgan was a four-year collegiate rower at UCSD, a master rowing instructor at UCanRow2, and a Long Beach Junior Crew coach. Reutgen has more than 10 years experience coaching youth sports camps with a focus on volleyball and personal growth.
The pair are offering a full scholarship for their college-prep program to a select junior-year high school athlete who may need financial aid to participate in their program.
“Indoor rowing mimics rowing on the water in the aspect of the technique, the grit it takes, and the unison of rowing with others. It is a growing sport, fueled by the use of the machines in the Crossfit community. There are some indoor races available, but only during December through February when most on-water programs are indoors because of more inclement weather,” Morgan said.
They’ll be holding their first indoor regatta, open to the public, this coming April.
He believes Manna Rowing will take the South Bay by storm.
“Athletes are looking for the edge that rowing offers. Rowing offers the ability for a child to stand out from the sea of baseball, soccer and other big-box sports. Rowing builds discipline and dedication,” Morgon says.
He adds that “Indoor rowing is an amazing experience on its own. Lots of people, including myself, like to call it a ‘moving meditation.’ It’s something that is repetitive so you can get into that flow, as with running or swimming.”
Reutgen attests “It's not just about the physical growth, but also exercising your mind and spirit.”
The Manna Indoor Rowing Club will start Monday, March 13th at the Hermosa Beach Community Center. Classes are from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday.