FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What experience do I need if I would like to join a dragon boat team? 
  • Absolutely none!
  • Can I try paddling the dragon boat before I make a commitment to join the team? 
    • Yes.  Please contact our membership associate and she can arrange this for you.
  • What equipment will I need as a paddler? Is it necessary for me to buy this equipment? 
    • Paddles and PFDs are supplied to each member upon joining the team.  Some members buy their own paddles. Paddling gloves are useful, especially for the cooler days in Spring and Fall. Wear comfortable shoes, and clothes that you aren’t afraid of getting a little wet.
  • Is there a minimum age, or a maximum age for joining River Spirit?
    • We don’t usually take Junior paddlers – i.e. under 19 – as full members, though we do allow them on the boat as guest paddlers.
    • There is no maximum age, we welcome all adult paddlers who would like to give dragon boating a try.
  • If I join River Spirit, will it cost me a lot of money?
    • There’s a membership fee of $100.00 and a uniform deposit of $25.00 payable upon joining the team.  Other expenses can be incurred if you take part in the Dragon Boat Festivals, but participation is entirely optional.  The team subsidizes  some festivals; others are paid for by the paddlers themselves. But again, participation is voluntary not mandatory.
  • Do I have to be a “super athlete” to join a dragon boat team? 
    • We accept all fitness levels. But be warned! Much to your surprise, you may end up becoming a “Super Athlete”.
  • Will I be able to paddle if I have a physical disability? 
    • Providing your disability does not create a safety issue for the boat or other team members, there’s no reason to prevent you from taking an active part in paddling.
  • Does the team have a dry land training program during the off season?
    • Team members are encouraged to maintain a level of fitness during the off season.  The team has a weekly fitness session on a “pay as you go” basis.  Many of the team  members are gym rats and have their own fitness strategies  for keeping in shape for the next paddling season.
  • How long does the dragon boating season last?
    • Our boat is normally taken out of the water in late Fall, and we are back paddling by March (weather permitting).
  • When, and where, does the team practise?
    • Our dragon boat is moored at the Fresh Water Marina, and our practice sessions take part in the beautiful Campbell River Estuary.
  • Should I expect to paddle in all weather?
    • We don’t paddle when conditions are likely to be either hazardous,  for instance, during a ‘small craft wind warning’ or an electrictal storm. The decision not to paddle is made jointly by our Coach and team Captain.

    What is the minimum number of paddlers needed to proceed with a practice, or to participate in a festival?  

    • Our team prefers to practise with at least twelve paddlers in the boat.  To go out with less than twelve poses injury and safety risks.
    • Festival organizers usually require a minimum 18 paddlers.  We will not participate in a Festival if we have less than 20  paddlers registered.
  • What if I can’t attend a practice?
    • Not a problem!  We all have situations where we are unable to attend a practice. We do ask that you tell the team Captain ahead of time if you plan to be away. Rearranging the roster and bench order at the last minute can be a nuisance.
  • In each season how many races, festivals or events does River Spirit take part in?
    • This varies from year to year.  This year (2016) we’ll  attend five, maybe six.
    • Apart from festivals, Team River Spirit is very active in the Campbell River community .  We can be seen at many promotional events throughout the year:  Relay for Life, Terry Fox Run, Tour de Rock, etc. and take every opportunity to promote Breast Cancer awareness.
  • Will I be expected to attend every race, festival or event?
    • Your participation is entirely up to you. We give every paddler the opportunity to race. Should you choose to take part in one of the major festivals, you may or may not paddle in every race, depending on how many paddlers we have registered for that event.  Your participation in other (non-paddling) events throughout the year is also voluntary, but we ask that you support our endeavours as much as possible.
  • Besides paddling, what other commitments will I have as a River Spirit team member? 
    • Team River Spirit provides its members a great deal for a nominal annual fee. In return, we simply ask that you participate in some way during our fundraisers. We also ask that you uphold our policies and “codes of conduct” as set out in our Paddlers Handbook.
  • What fundraising does the team do and as a team member, what will be expected of me? 
    • Our fundraising events can vary from year to year.  Traditionally, we have just one major fundraiser a year, which includes both a live and a silent auction. Smaller fundraisers, such as bake sales, may take place throughout the year.  We do ask for volunteers for these events, and of course the more members that volunteer, the easier the job becomes.
  • Can I join River Spirit as a supporter and not be a part of the paddling team?
    • Yes
  • Can I bring family and friends with me on the boat to try paddling? 
    • Space permitting, any guest is welcome to give paddling our dragon boat a try.