Important Practice Information & Sign Up

Community Crews

Community crews: Naut Dragons – register your team once on the sign up for a “rec” practice;
Recreation Team: register your team once on the sign up for a “rec” practices; Competitive Teams: sign up for 2 practices on the sign up for “comp” practice.

Additional practices are $50 and can be purchased during crew registration or later. A maximum of 5 practices can be scheduled for a given crew, one of which must be on a Saturday. Please book your crew’s practices by using the links below.
There is a different link for each week of practices. Do not be confused by the “volunteer” on the sign ups, it’s just that is a fantastic sign up system run by a web company in Canmore. Crews have the opportunity to volunteer on the docks and earn free practices

Open Practices & Steering Assessments

Open practice – Paddlers or crews registered with the festival can come down as a full or partial crew and we will fill boats.. These are not crew registered practices, Please do not expect to get on the water with a steer that has not been given permission from the steering coaches. Note: Steers need to sign up.

Community Crew Practices

May 31
June 7
June 14
June 21

Out of Town Crews

Out of town crews are limited to one practice, on the festival Friday, at a fee of $100. You can pay for this practice with your registration and tent fees when registering your crew. Please contact Karen at, to confirm time.

Crew Practice Regulations

Crews should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled practice time in order to check in for the practice session, access equipment, complete a crew warm-up and the appropriate line-up.  Experienced crew members may be required to take boats back after the last practice. Practices are one hour long each, so the more efficient your crew members are in organizing yourself and getting geared up, the smoother your practice will run, and the more effective your practice will be.

A minimum of ten (10-14) paddlers in addition to the steersperson and drummer is required before a crew will be allowed to practice in a dragon boat at the discretion of the Safety Coordinator or the Coach in Charge.

Practices Consist Of:

  • Safety orientation
  • Warm-up and stretching
  • Boat safety
  • Loading and unloading the boat
  • Proper practice to minimize risk of injury
  • Dragon boat commands

Drills for:

  • Paddling technique including focus on different parts of the stroke
  • Timing
  • Endurance
  • Strength
  • Simulated racing (including start pieces)
  • Individualized feedback to improve technique
  • Racing strategy
  • Cool-down and stretching

Additional Crew Practice Information

  • Practices are held on Henderson Lake. The dragon boat dock is just east of Henderson Pool, in the north west corner of Henderson Lake.
  • Novice Crews and all new paddlers must watched the safety orientation video. We encourage more experienced paddlers to review the safety orientation as well. Head over to the safety page.
  • Novice crew (paddler) has 0 to 1 season of dragon boat paddling
  • Experienced crew (paddler) has two or more seasons (50% of the crew must fit in this range for the crew to be considered experienced
  • Cheques for payment of extra practices should be made payable to the Lethbridge Rotary Dragon Boat Festival. All practice fees must be paid in advance of practice.
  • Practices start in May (weather and resources permitting). All equipment will be provided.
  • Experienced crews MUST arrange to have their own coaches. All coaches must have at least two years of dragon boat racing experience.
  • Naut Dragons and Recreation crews will be provided an experienced coach/drummer and steer.
  • Clinics will be provided for steerspersons and drummers; this is mandatory for steers and is recommended for drummers.
  • All steerspersons must be accredited by the Steering Coaching staff prior to steering alone with the crew.
  • Lack of attendance is not a valid reason for cancellation of a scheduled practice. There will be a $30 cancellation fee for any practice that is cancelled without 24 hours advance notice by the crew.