Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions we most frequent get asked:

Who can join?

In order to join Hope Afloat Canada, you must be a woman who has had a diagnosis of breast or any other form of cancer. You are welcome to try dragon boating up to three times before deciding to join – we have a “Welcome Paddle” usually held mid- March. Our annual membership fees are $150.00 per year.

If you or someone you know is ready to enjoy the challenge of getting fit from paddling and embrace the camaraderie of others who have experienced cancer, Hope Afloat Canada would love to hear from you. No experience necessary. Please contact us for more information.

How much does it cost?

Our annual membership fees are $150.00 per year.

What does membership include?

  • Wooden paddle, PFD, team shirt and team jacket (all on loan for duration of membership)
  • Coaching on paddling technique to prepare for racing at festivals
  • Gym pass for the Comox Rec Center (expires October 2017)
  • Annual mandatory water safety in the pool
  • Festival fees – There may be some costs involved to attend festivals but the team fundraising helps to subsidize these events

When and how often do you practice?

  • Mid-March to April: Saturday mornings 8:00-9:00 on the water, weather and numbers permitting. (After Saturday practices we like to go for breakfast at Quality Foods.)
  • April: Practices vary, though typically we add a Tuesday practice.
  • May to September: practices change to Tuesday and Thursday 6:00 to 7:00 on the water.

We meet at the Comox Marina parking lot near the gazebo and washrooms. The practice involves a warm-up on land, followed by a one hour practice in the boat, and a stretch after on land.

Check your email for notification from Marcy for the first practice and for any other changes.

Do you ever cancel practice for poor weather?

Typically, we meet at the harbour to make the weather call. If there is a howling wind the practice will be called off so check your emails for notifications on those days. On Saturdays, we still like to go for breakfast and enjoy the social time.

What should I wear?

Dress in layers; wear non-slip shoes; bring an extra change of clothes (you may get wet during the practice – it’s a water sport!), a water bottle and waterproof gloves (ex. lined garden gloves) if possible. Paddles and PFDs (lifejackets) will be provided at the marina and will be assigned on joining.

Do you ever participate in festivals?

We attend several one- day festivals held locally and the team decides if we attend any overnight, two day festivals.

What is my obligation for attendance?

Practice with the team at least 50% of practice days to improve their skills, increase their level of fitness as able, paddle in at least 50% of festivals the team enters (as decided by the team), participate whenever possible in team meetings, committees, socials and gatherings and be the best they can be, and remembering to have fun.

I’ve never paddled before. Is there a course I can take?

The Comox Recreation Commission offers introductory paddling lessons for people who would like to give dragon boating a try. This is a fun course intended to show the basic skills required in the paddling of a dragon boat. For more information please contact the Comox Recreation Commission at (250) 339-2255.

Can I form my own team?

The Comox Recreation Commission rents out their dragon boat for a reasonable fee. The rental includes paddles, approved personal floatation devices, drum, drum seat and drum platform. If you have a group of people who wish to form their own team or take the boat out for a one-time use, please contact the Comox Recreation Commission at (250) 339-2255.

Who is the Comox Valley Dragon Boating Society (CVDBS)?

Comox Valley Dragon Boat Society (CVDBS) is a non-profit registered charity. If you decide to join the team you may attend our regular meetings and engage in a variety of activities outside of paddling as a dragon boat team. We have an executive and committee structure. Meetings are held regularly. A confirming email is sent out by our president to inform you of the agenda, date, time and place.

There are several committees which would welcome your participation: Membership/Social, Safety/Fitness, Equipment/Merchandise, Fundraising, Bursary and Publicity.

When you become a member, you will also have access to a “Members Only” section which gives more detailed information about the team structure and what we do as a society for Cancer Awareness. We use a group email list to communicate information about practices or other team activities.

If you would like to join, the membership fee is $150.00 for the year. A cheque (or cash) should be attached to a membership form. This includes free dragon boat rental, free access to the fitness room at Comox Recreation and the equipment loan of PFD (life-jacket), team uniform and paddle. You will be coached on paddling techniques to help prepare us to enter into races at festivals. There may be some costs involved to attend festivals but the team fundraising helps to subsidize these events.

Do have to have survived cancer to be on the team?

We welcome a limited number of Associate Paddlers (people who have not had cancer themselves but due to personal reasons wish to paddle with us and support our team,) to enjoy the sport of Dragon Boating and be part of our team!