What?! You still paddle in the winter?

Indoor training at Canal Fitness: Verdun Dragon Boat Club

Just imagine. It’s -30 degrees Celsius. You’re strapping on your boots, zipping up your parka, grabbing your paddle, and getting ready to face winter head-on… the canal?

One of the many misconceptions of dragon boating; especially in Canada is that once the outdoor training facilities closed up for the season we stop paddling. Though that is true for some paddlers, as they pursue another sport during the winter months, the vast majority of paddlers on the Verdun Dragon Boat Club use the time to ramp up their land base training and hone their paddling skills at the indoor training tank.

The two training tanks at Canal Fitness can hold about 22 paddlers in total; 11 left, and 11 rights. Unlike on the actual boat, paddlers have the freedom to get up, stretch, and even walk around between sets. This allows for 1-on-1 coaching by the coaches, more constant video reviews to see your progress from week to week and the opportunity to try paddling on both sides. You also don’t have to worry about bumping paddles or squeezing into a narrow row but you still get wet from time to time.

If you’re curious about dragon boating, and maybe a little nervous about your first time being on a boat, come join us at one of our 3 indoor practices. All levels welcome!

Brute Force (men) / Spice Forc (Women team): 8pm

Force (Mixed): 7 pm

Impact (Mixed): 7 pm

For more information:


Are there any winter competitions?

Growing in popularity, there is the outdoor Ice dragon boat festival based in Ottawa every February. The small 10 man champion boats are fitted with skates and are said to reach speeds of 40km an hour under the right conditions.

Sadly the festival this year sold out within minutes and we weren’t able to get a spot. Nonetheless, if you are in Ottawa on February 10th then I recommend checking the races out.


Hope to see you in the tank!

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