Welcome to the Zamboanga Paddling Club

We're an inclusive, full service paddling club based in Portland, Oregon that welcomes paddlers of all ages and abilities. Our focus is on building a warm and welcoming community where paddlers can focus on fun and competitiveness together. Join us.

If you'd like to find out about the team, more information is available on Dragon Boating, Outrigger Canoeing, and our popular Youth Program.

Frequently Asked Questions

When and where are the Dragon Boat Practices?

The Dragon Boat practice season typically begins in March. However, due to COVID-19 we are currently not conducting Dragon Boat practices; we are only conducting Outrigger Canoe practices.

Teams would normally meet at the flag poles at the top of the boat ramp on the north end of the RiverPlace Marina next to the Three Degrees Hotel/Restaurant on the west bank of the Willamette River.

When and where are the Outrigger Canoe Practices?

Outrigger (OC) practice runs all year, weather permitting. However, typically stop practicing in the OC6s around mid-November and resume at the end of February or first week of March. Currently, we have one day a week for adults, one day for youth and one day for an all-club combined. See the Schedules page for more specific information about practice times, race dates, and other special events.

The Club has a boat dock at the Tomahawk Bay Marina on Hayden island on the Columbia River. The teams meet at the furthest dock ramp before heading down for practice. When available, the Aquarockets may also conduct weekday practices on the Willamette River. For these practices, the youth will meet at the top of the Newport Bay ramp in front of McCormick and Schmick's restaurant by the RiverPlace Marina on the west bank of the Willamette River.

Do I need my own paddle and PFD? What should I wear?

If you don't have these items, don't worry! For dragon boat paddling, we've got dragon boat paddles and PFDs (Personal Floatation Device) you can borrow for both practices and races. We don't expect new members to have their own dragon boat paddles. For Outrigger Canoe paddling, paddlers who have them will typically bring one or two extra paddles to practice, but as we don’t have a ready stock of spare OC paddles, it is best to let the OC coach know before practice if you’ll need one.

We practice nearly all year in the Pacific NW, and as you can imagine, practice in all kinds of weather. Typically, in the fall, spring, and winter, dress in layers in comfortable clothing that doesn't absorb or hold moisture. Tighter fitting clothes are more appropriate than a baggy fit that will catch water and drag.

Under Armor type clothes are preferable under normal t-shirts and shorts during the colder, wetter months. You may start out cold, but you will warm up quickly, so you'll want to keep that in mind when dressing.

What should I expect from the first practice?

For first time paddlers, you may feel sore for the first few practices. That's totally normal. The soreness is generally in the lower back, quads (top of the thighs), and shoulders; although it isn't limited just to those muscle groups.

It's very important to stretch with the team prior to getting on the water to minimize post-practice discomfort. Eventually, through calibrated endurance routines on the water, the soreness will dissipate and you will find yourself able to paddle continuously for longer periods without getting sore and fatigued. It just takes time.

For first timers, you won't know the stroke, or your own abilities, which is totally fine. The coaches and captains will show you all you need to know. We'll go slow at first to let everyone get acclimated before we take off.

Zamboanga Paddling Club thanks our sponsors:

The sport of Dragon Boating originated in China more than 2500 years ago. Modern Dragon Boat racing emerged in Hong Kong in 1976; today it is a hugely popular international sport, especially on the West Coast of the United States. Portland has it's share of Dragon Boat clubs, overseen by Dragon Sports USA. Zamboanga Paddling Club is proud to be a part of the Dragon Boat heritage, and the Portland Padding community.

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