NEWBIE FAQ Ready to try your hand at the world’s fastest-growing water sport? Here’s everything you need to know: Blazing Paddles follows CDC guidelines regarding pandemic protocols. Please call us to cancel your appearance if you are ill. As of June 2021 we wear masks onshore and you may remove yours once on the water. We account for vaccination status in how we seat people. If you prefer not to tell us your status that's ok. We will presume unvaccinated if not told otherwise. About 90% of our paddlers are vaccinated.
When are practices for newbies? PLEASE CALL OR TEXT US AT (954) 232-7434 TO CONFIRM BEFORE COMING.
IN BROWARD COUNTY -- They are held every Saturday at 8:30 AM at Holland Park in Hollywood, subject to change.
PLEASE CALL OR TEXT US AT (954) 232-7434 TO CONFIRM BEFORE COMING. We sometimes change the schedule due to races, the weather and other factors, and we would not want you to make the trip to the park and not find us there. Bring at least 20 ounces of water or a sports drink. Consider sunscreen and a hat. No special equipment necessary. You will need to wear a PFD (personal flotation device) which we can provide, and sign a waiver.
When are practices for members?
IN BROWARD COUNTY -- Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:45 PM (location is at Plantation FL, please contact (954) 232-7434; and Saturdays at 8:30 AM (Holland Park, Hollywood FL 33020)
What should I wear?
Keep in mind you will warm up quickly after the paddling begins, and you may get wet. Quick-drying fabrics are a good idea. Sleeveless shirts and tanks can leave you subject to chafing from the PFD, and to sunburn. Shorts are usually best for your lower body. Your shoes will very likely get wet.
How do I join the Blazing Paddles Team?
You will need to complete a membership application, pay annual dues, and come to practice. Team members each serve on at least one task force to help the team with such things as recruiting and retention, equipment maintenance and repairs and seeking sponsorships.
What level of fitness is needed to join the club?
There is no minimum athletic skill level or dragon boat paddling experience required initially for participation. We recruit both beginners and experienced paddlers who are open-minded and keen on learning the sport. Most of our members came to us with no experience and no better than average fitness. If you are coachable and dedicated, our captain and coaches can help you become an excellent paddler.
Do I need to know how to swim?
You do not need to know how to swim in order to participate in this sport. All members are required to wear a personal flotation device (PFD). Accidental capsizes are very rare. Several members of the team are certified as lifeguards.
Is it safe to be on a dragon boat?
All activities on the water include some inherent risks. However, dragon boat racing is enjoyed all over the world by people of very varied fitness, knowledge and skills. Here in South Florida we usually have warm water and mild air temperatures, making the activity even safer than it would be in a colder climate.
When and where are the races?
There are dozens of races around the world. (See the calendar for a partial list). We try to participate in as many races as we can in Florida, and at least one race outside the area each year. We most commonly race in Deerfield Beach, Wilton Manors and Key Biscayne. Members of the team have participated in races (in dragon boats or other paddlecraft) in many other locations in Florida, plus Washington, DC; Houston, Texas; Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee; Decatur, Alabama; and Cardiff, Wales. In 2010, members of the team were on the crew that set the World Record for Longest Race Completed by Dragon Boat when they paddled from Kansas City to St. Charles, Missouri — 340 miles — in 38 hours and 5 minutes.
We love our sport, and look forward to sharing it with you soon. Paddles Up!