Monday practice focuses on racing techniques, plus plenty of instructions for beginners. A great evening workout!
**Rain or Shine!**
You will get wet either way!
Please read all of this so you can come prepared!
I am a member of the Seattle Flying Dragon Boat Club (http://www.seattleflyingdragons.org) on Lake Union. We practice 4 times a week on Lake Union and we invite you to join us, rain or shine, after work on Mondays at 6pm (we’ll be back at the dock by 7:30pm at the latest). Dragon boating is fun and a great workout! While no experience is necessary (they’ll train you as you go) it is an intense workout so be prepared to push yourself.
If you can't make this date, check out the calendar (http://www.meetup.com/hiking-and-dragon-boating/events/calendar/) for other dates.
Your first three times are free!
There is no obligation or pressure to join the club, but if you would like to it is only $100 per calendar year and you can come to as many (or few) of the practices as you like.
We practice 4 times per week, all year round regardless of weather --a steady rain does not stop us! Practice is only cancelled if there is lightning, or winds exceed 18-20 mph, or there is very thick fog. Otherwise, we are out on the water regardless of weather. The only other reason we would not go out on the water is if less than 8 paddlers show up. For safety, we need a minimum of 8 paddlers per boat. It's very rare that less than 8 people show up (usually anywhere between 10 to 40 paddlers show up) but it does occasionally happen. Please note that many more paddlers show up than RSVP here on Meetup as most of our paddling members are not Meetup members.
What is dragon boating?
If you don’t know what dragon boating is just google it, or search for dragon boating on Youtube. There are tons of videos there including this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4LxagL1jmQ
If you have never tried it before, I recommend that you watch a couple youtube videos to get the basic idea of the paddling technique. No experience is necessary and you will be informally trained during practice, but it helps if you watch a couple videos first to get the basic technique in your mind. Here are a couple that I recommend but there are several on youtube:
What to wear:
Dress for the weather. But you will also be working hard so don’t overdress or you may get hot (they say to dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer than it actually is).
In general, cotton is discouraged, especially in colder weather. You will get wet, and cotton gets very cold when wet and takes forever to dry.
In warmer weather, shorts and a non-cotton t-shirt are fine. Any type of sneakers or water shoes are fine.
In fall/winter weather, I generally wear a long-sleeved wool shirt and fast-dry hiking pants with wool leggings underneath for warmth. You can wear either water shoes or just sneakers (with wool socks). Some members wear full-on rain gear if it’s raining, but you may get too hot from the workout. Even if it’s not raining, you will probably get wet from being splashed accidentally by the paddles. Basically, if you are wearing an under-layer of wool, it shouldn't matter much if you get wet, but you are free to wear rain gear if you prefer. It's also good to wear some kind of gloves in colder weather. They should have gripping material on the palms so the paddle doesn't slip in your hands. They can be waterproof but don't need to be.
What to bring:
It’s also a good idea to either bring a change of clothes unless you don't mind driving home wet. I just put a giant towel on my seat and drive straight home!
Also, bring a bottle of water, but not much else.
You will be provided with a paddle and a life jacket, but feel free to use your own PFD if you have one that you like.
Aside from your paddle and life vest, the only personal item you will be bringing on the boat with you is your bottle of water. There is no room in the boat for bags, towels or extra clothing. You can leave your wallet, keys, cell phone, etc in the securely locked clubhouse. You can leave your towel and change of clothes in your car. Do not leave valuables in your car.
Don't be shy!
The group is very welcoming so don’t be shy! It’s really a fun way to get out on the water, meet new people and get a super great work out in a unique way.
Where to find us:
We meet at the Kenmore Air Terminal at the south end of Lake Union located at:
950 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=950+Westlake+Ave+N,+Seattle,+WA+98109&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=950+Westlake+Ave+N,+Seattle,+King,+Washington+98109&gl=us&ei=0mmSTNXiO47CsAPQyojBCg&ved=0CBQQ8gEwAA&z=16)
Parking is free. Do not park in the Kenmore Air parking lot but rather in the large parking lot just outside of their lot. This large parking lot runs the length of Westlake Ave. and is free on weekends and after 4pm on weekdays.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What shall I wear to go paddling?
A: Paddling is a water sport and you will get splashed. Wear shoes that can get wet. Wear layers to help stay warm in the cold weather - cotton is not recommended. If it is cold and/or raining, then rain gear is appropriate. In the colder months, bring gloves that can get wet - many paddlers use neoprene gloves, but any gloves will help to keep your hands warm. Bring along dry clothes to change into after paddling.
Q: Isn't it dark when you go out evenings in the winter?
A: Yes - it is dark by the time we get on the water, the lights of the city are beautiful and the water is generally calm. We have lights on the boats when we go out during winter evenings.
Q: Do you go out in any type of weather?
A: We paddle rain or shine. Although, if there are severe storm conditions, then practice will be canceled.
Seattle Flying Dragons on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Seattle-Flying-Dragons/151505338240321)