top of page

First Practice - things to know before you go

What to expect...

Expect to Get Wet!!

Wear clothing that is suitable for a water sport and the weather.


Lycra or fast drying nylon work well. Wear layers in cooler weather.


Non-slip shoes are recommended. Old sneakers or Teva-like sandals work great.

Expect a Good Workout!


Dragon boating is not a leisurely paddle down the river. However, we don’t  expect new paddlers to be able to ‘last’ the whole practice without taking extra breaks. The coach will explain how to do this safely.

You'll be asked to sign the guest paddler waiver.


Feel free to print it out and bring it with you, or fill out the electronic waiver on-line.

Expect a New Point of View!


There is nothing quite like being in the dragon boat racing a dolphin. 


People who paddle love being as close to the water as possible... and this group loves going as fast as possible!


This is one of the few team sports where a winning team often consists of all genders, ages and sizes!

What to bring...

Leave valuables locked in your car.

We have a place to leave your keys, but it’s not secured

Definitely bring

- Water


- Hat (ball cap style) 

- Sunscreen and Sunglasses

- Seat pad, called a dragon
   saddle, or padded bike shorts.

- Gloves, like sailors

   or cyclists use

Paddle & life jacket provided if needed.

Where do I park? 

Park in the Brittlebank Park lot unless it is full. Please DO NOT PARK ON THE GRASS OR MAKE A SPACE as you risk receiving a $45 parking ticket from the city. If there is a parking attendant for an event tell them that you are here for dragon boat practice. If the lots are full you may park across the street in either the state government building or one of the MUSC lots, assuming their gates are opened.

Before getting in the boat...

Although Dragon Boating is similar in many ways to other rowing and paddling sports, it has some very different aspects. The stroke is ‘unusual’ and may initially be uncomfortable. Watching the video of our practice may be insightful before getting in the boat.

Your coach will explain the stroke and the basic commands used during practice. 

Safety is a priority. It is a good idea to become familiar with and the safety procedures before arriving.

Sign the waiver.

Where to meet...

Bristol Marina

Brittlebank Park

170 Lockwood Blvd.

We launch from the dock attached to Brittlebank Park. When you park in the parking lot, go to the dock to the left. Walk down the boardwalk, past the gazebo and take your first left. Other groups may be gathering at the gazebo.


Meet us at our dock box by the boats.

While you are in the boat...

Be quiet...

A dragon boat is usually stable, but It can tip over. When conditions arise that make the boat unbalanced, the coach or steersperson will issue commands to improve stability. It is important to be able to hear these commands.



Dragon boat practice can be strenuous, especially during our hot summer months. Drink water between drills.


Breathe deeply.....

Dragon boating is exciting, especially during a race.  Lots of things to remember...technique, timing, power strategies...but most importantly...pulling in as much air as possible.

bottom of page