women planting paddles in synchrony
Club international team practice

What are the details about practices?

COVID Considerations

All paddlers must be fully vaccinated and FULLY MASKED during the practice, beginning at the flag-pole plaza gathering place, and stay masked throughout the entire practice, on the dock and in the boats, until they return to the flag-pole. There is one possible EXCEPTION to this masking requirement: If there are enough paddlers to safely control a boat, and all paddlers in that boat are willing to paddle with unmasked paddlers, masking in that boat may be made optional while the boat is under way.

All fitness levels are welcome. You will build muscles, body tone, and energy, and feel great!

Practice starts at 9:00 am, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, regardless of weather (see Exceptions, below). Arrive at the flag pole plaza overlooking the North Dock of the Riverplace Marina by 8:30am. See location map and following parking map.

screenshot of parking map near Marina
Marina Parking
Blue lines = street parking
Red diamond = public garage
Discount Options Link

The first 3 practices are free for new paddlers but must be pre-arranged (see Paddle with us). Anyone at least 14 years old (minors must be with guardian) is welcome to paddle with us for those free practices. Thereafter, if you are at least 50 years old we welcome you to join Golden Dragons.

To pre-arrange your first paddle with us, you must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and you must sign waivers. See Paddle with us before the day you come to paddle.

It’s a water sport! You will likely be splashed. Dress accordingly and for the weather.

Identify yourself as a new paddler to anyone there. They can get you started from our selection of life jackets (PFD) and paddles you can use as often as you need.

As safety is always an important concern for Golden Dragons, new paddlers should sit in boat #2 (ask which one it is) while you begin learning your stroke and practice getting in and out safely. Ask the caller, the person at the front of the boat who faces towards the back, which bench they would like you to sit on during the session.

If you would like to get started on learning about the techniques of dragon boat paddling, click Learn.

Do we always paddle every Mon, Wed and Fri?

Yes, the club plans to paddle 3 days a week (MWF 9am) year-round regardless whether it is a holiday of any kind, and whatever the weather, EXCEPT when there is a safety issue, such as:

Unsafe river: DragonSports USA declares conditions unsafe to be on the river. Examples are high winds, fast current, flooding, or floating debris. Any such declaration from DSUSA is final and remains in effect until explicitly rescinded. Check our Home page or DSUSA if you suspect a closure.

Unsafe city travel: The Portland Public Schools close or the Portland Bureau of Transportation closes some roads or bridges, usually due to weather conditions such as ice or snow. Check our Home page or local news if you suspect a closure.

At-the-dock unsafe conditions: A tiller, caller or club officer determines, usually at the dock, that paddling is unsafe, such as too few paddlers, possible lightning or fog.

Affiliated Organizations

Dragon Sports USA, Portland

Pacific Dragon Boat Association

Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association

Other Portland Dragon Boat Clubs