What is a dragon boat?
Our main dragon boats are 48 feet long boat and weigh approximately 1000 pounds. It is 4 feet wide in 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 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. However, we do charge a $10 drop-in fee as we have to pay the coaches. 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.
How long are your practices?
Monday and Wednesday 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 a 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, dragon boats do not flip over, however, they may take on water (or become swamped) if large waves hit them. With moderate intake, we simply bail out the water, if the boat becomes swamped we exercise safety drills to ensure safety and organize ourselves to bring the boat to shore. We do stabilization drills to ensure paddlers are knowledgeable and feel safe if we hit wavy water.
How many festivals do you attend each year?
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?
This depends on members available to attend. It may be a single mixed or womens team or it could be both.
Have you won any festivals?
YES, we have!
How do I join a team?
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’ll 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 do not practice on the Saturday of long weekends. We do however practice on the Monday.
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