Practice

The Oakland Renegades Dragon Boat team is part of an Oakland Park and Rec program that launches from the Lake Merritt Boathouse.  We practice twice a week:

  • Monday evenings, 5:45pm – 7:00pm
  • Wednesday evenings, 5:45pm – 7:00pm
  • Saturday mornings, 10:15am – noon

No prior experience is required, we provide instruction, paddles, and personal floatation devices (life jackets).  Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned vet, we have a spot for you.  Renegade attitude is welcome and encouraged!

First time? Here’s what you need to know

  • Timing is the key: follow the lead strokers at the front of the boat.  When their paddles go in the water, your paddle goes in the water, when they pull, you pull, when they snap back into position, so do you.  Simple.
  • You’ll get at least a little bit wet, so dress accordingly.  Nothing fancy needed, dress in comfortable workout attire.
  • A solid stroke relies on your core (abs, back, hips).  If you were to paddle just with your arms, most people would burn out well short of a 500 meter race piece.
  • There are a few links on our Resources page that help with the concept of a sound stroke

The person leading the workout will make specific calls:

PADDLES UP – Extend your outside arm forward with the paddle over the water and ready to stroke

TAKE IT AWAY – Start paddling

LET IT RIDE – Bring the blade of the paddle out of the water (rest)

PADDLES ON THE GUNNEL – Similar to LET IT RIDE, allow the paddle to rest accross your knees and on the edge of the boat , or the gunnel

HOLD – Put the blade of the paddle into the water perpendicular to the direction the boat is going, stopping the motion of the boat

BRACE – Put the blade of the paddle flat into the water to stabilize the boat (usually while paddlers switch sides)

Race Calls

PADDLERS ARE YOU READY? – Lean forward, extend your outside arm forward aggressively with the paddle over the water and ready to stroke

ATTENTION PLEASE! – Remain leaning forward, bury the blade of the paddle into the water

GO! – Paddle your ass off.  But stay in time!