What is a dragon boat?
A dragon boat is a 48 foot long boat that weighs approximately 900 pounds. It is 4 feet wide at the middle and narrows down to 8 inches at the bow and stern.
How many people are in a dragon boat?
There are 22. There are 20 paddlers; 10 rows of 2 per seat, a steersperson at the back of the boat and a caller or drummer at the front of the boat.
What are the dates of your paddling season?
Our paddling season runs from April 1 to September 30.
Please check the website Practice page for specific dates and times for the programs we offer.
Where do you practice?
We practice at Pioneer Park in Kamloops, BC. We paddle on the South and North Thompson Rivers.
Do I need to pre-register to join a program and become a member of the club?
No, you do not need to pre-register to join a program or the the club. Come out to any scheduled practice, fill out a waiver form and attend a practice.
How do I join the club and pay my membership fee?
You will need to fill out a registration form at any scheduled practice and can pay for your membership by cheque or cash.
Do I need to bring a life jacket and paddle to practice?
No. The club provides life jackets and paddles. You are welcome to bring your own life jacket and dragon boat paddle if you have them.
Can I try dragon boating before I join the club?
Yes. We offer two free practices for individuals to try out the sport before we ask that you pay your membership fee. We require individuals to fill out a waiver prior to entering the dragon boat for the first time so arrive a bit early to fill out this brief form.
What programs do you offer?
We offer two programs. The Regular program which runs 3 times a week and the Recreational program which runs 1 time per week. Both programs will provide the full dragon boating experience with excellent coaching of the paddle stroke, drills and race pieces.
How do I know what program to join?
To decide on what program to join you first need to decide how many times a week you want to paddle. The Regular program is 3 times a week and the Recreational program is 1 time a week. Next you may want to consider your fitness and athletic ability. If you are a bit uncertain about your paddling or fitness ability then the Recreational program may be a good starting point to get your feet wet – pardon the pun.
How long are your practices?
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday practices are approximately 1.5 hours long.
Saturday morning practices may go longer.
What do you do at a practice?
We start with a warm-up to loosen the muscles and get everyone energized. We often have dry-land discussion then go for 45-60 minutes of paddling on the water with breaks between drills. Practice concludes with a cool down stretch.
Do you switch sides when you paddle or do you stay on one side all the time?
We switch sides on a regular basis when we paddle. We do this to ensure balanced muscle development and it also makes paddlers strong on both sides and minimizes injury.
What do I wear to a practice?
It depends on the weather; Hot or cold. We recommend dressing in layers so you can take some layers off or put some back on.
SPRING\FALL PADDLING: It is a good idea to wear a windproof and\or waterproof jacket to protect you from the wind, nylon pants that won’t get too wet and will dry quickly, old runners and socks that you don’t mind getting wet and dirty and even waterproof socks.
SUMMER PADDLING: You should wear sunscreen, have a hat, sandals are good for footwear.
Always bring a full water bottle to each practice. Hydration is very important on cool or warm days.
Does a dragon boat flip over?
Generally a dragon boat does not flip over though it may take on water if large waves hit it, which we can simply bail out of the boat. We do stabilization drills to ensure paddlers are knowledgeable and feel safe if we hit wavy water.
How many festivals do you attend each yer?
We typically attend 3-5 festivals per season with competitive and\or novice teams based on member interest.
How many teams do you take to festivals?
We usually take a womens team and a mixed team. If enough interest we will take a third team which makes for a very exciting appearance at a festival – 3 teams from Kamloops cheering each other on as they race!
Have you won any festivals?
YES, we have!
How do I join a team?
Our club is unique as we paddle together as one big crew every practice rather than paddling as separate teams. There are festival sign-up sheets for those who want to sign-up for a festival, then teams are organized.
Can I join the club if I don’t want to go to a festival?
Yes. You can join the club and attend practices without going to any festivals. But once you hear about all the fun had at a festival you will soon change your mind.
How long is a dragon boat race?
A standard dragon boat race is 500 meters long and can take 2:00 to 2:45 minutes to paddle depending on the crew. Some festivals also have sprint races of 200-250 meters and guts and glory races that are 1,000 or 2,000 meters in length with several turns.
How many days is a festival and how many races do you get to race?
Festivals are usually two days long; Saturday and Sunday with practice times available on the Friday. Each team gets 4 races in a festival; 2 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. If bad weather occurs you may see cancellation of some races for safety reasons.
Some festivals are one day festivals which can have 3-4 races in one day.
Do you have practices on long weekends?
We usually practice one day of the long weekend and take one day off either Saturday or Monday, depending on members preference.
Do you offer paddling sessions for groups without having to join the club?
Yes we do. If you have a work, sport, family or other function and want to try dragon boating we can facilitate one day, 2-3 hour sessions, for groups of 16-20 per boat for a minimal fee. Send us an email and we will get back to you to organize your session. Minimum age requirements apply.
How do I find out about the local breast cancer survivor team?
The Spirit Warriors breast cancer survivor team have their own website where you can contact them. Check out: www.spiritwarriors.ca