Golden Dragons PDX Dragon Boat Paddling Club

About the Golden Dragons PDX Paddling Club

Who are the Golden Dragons?

The Golden Dragons PDX Dragon Boat Paddling Club is men and women, at least 50 years old, who paddle dragon boats for fun, fitness and friendship year-round on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. The club was founded in 1996 and currently has more than 150 members. We are an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

We have Open Practice three days a week, despite rain, heat or holidays (hover over the calendar on the upper right for Practice details).

The Golden Dragons also enter team(s) of interested members in about two dozen local, regional, national and international dragon boat paddling competitions each year. We regularly compete in the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race, other races from Tempe, AZ to Vancouver BC, as well as overseas.

We don't just paddle and race. We also enjoy spontaneous and planned get-togethers for hiking, skiing, kayaking, food, birthdays, lectures, full moon paddles, biking, walks, holiday parties and other convivial activities.

How do open practices work?

  • All fitness levels are welcome. You will build muscles, body tone, and energy, and feel great!
  • Practice starts at 9:00 am, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, regardless of weather (see Exceptions, below).
  • Arrive at the North Dock of the Riverplace Marina by 8:30am. See map to the upper right.
  • The first 3 practices are free. Thereafter, you'll have to join the club.
  • Anyone 14 years old or more (minors must be with responsible adult) is welcome to join us for those free practices. However, only those at least 50 years old can join the club.
  • You must sign waivers. See our Membership Director at the Little River Cafe (southward down the walk from the marina dock) before paddling. View Golden Dragons waiver and DragonSports USA waiver.
  • It's a water sport! You will likely be splashed. Dress accordingly and for the weather.
  • Identify yourself as a new paddler to anyone there. They can get you started with the right person.
  • Boat, life jacket (PFD) and paddle will be supplied.
  • As safety is always an important concern for Golden Dragons, new paddlers should sit in boat #2 (ask which one it is) while you begin learning your stroke and practice getting in and out safely. Ask the caller, the person at the front of the boat who faces towards the back, which bench they would like you to sit on for practices.
  • If you would like to get started on learning about the techniques of dragon boat paddling, go to the Learn page.

Do we always paddle every Mon, Wed and Fri?

Yes, we paddle 3 days a week year-round, regardless whether it is a holiday of any kind, and whatever the weather, EXCEPT when there is a safety issue, such as:

  • Unsafe river: DragonSports USA declares conditions unsafe to be on the river. Examples are high winds, fast current, flooding, or floating debris. Any such declaration from DSUSA is final and remains in effect until explicitly rescinded. Check our Home Page Announcements or DSUSA if you suspect a closure.
  • Unsafe city travel:The Portland Public Schools close or the Portland Bureau of Transportation closes some roads or bridges, usually due to weather conditions such as ice or snow. Check our Home Page Announcements or local news if you suspect a closure.
  • At-the-dock unsafe conditions: A tiller, caller or club officer determines, usually at the dock, that conditions are unsafe, or there are too few paddlers for the conditions.
Open Practices
Where We Practice
  • N Dock, Riverplace Marina (NDRM)
    Click "Website" to see a map. Website

Parking for Practices

Blue lines = street parking

Red diamond = public garage with Paddler special here.

Contact Info

If you can't find the information you want, please email the Membership Director or someone else on the Officers page.

Golden Dragons PDX Facebook page.