Paddling Program – OPD’s paddling program caters to both recreational paddlers who just want to enjoy the health benefits of a challenging outdoor team activity, and to more seasoned paddlers with a competitive spirit. OPD has two Kahlua dragon boats and a team of coaches who understand and will learn about individual paddler preferences and needs.
Mixing and matching of paddlers may occur for training purposes or in cases where we don’t have enough paddlers or steers to launch two boats. A minimum of eight (8) paddlers, not counting the steersperson, must be on board for a boat to be allowed out on open water.
Our coaches will determine the training program for the benefit of each paddler and for the team. Training sessions may consist of individual coaching, team timing techniques, paddling techniques, power and endurance, and race pieces.
Practice Updates – Check the "Practice Updates" section of our Home page for any practice updates, changes, or cancellations.
Practice Area – Covers areas alongside Highway 101 towards Candlestick Point or towards San Francisco Airport’s boundary. Practice is conducted within the seawall for warm-up, for beginners, and on windy days. It can be particularly windy during evening hours in the summer season.
Attire and Equipment – We recommend quick-dry top and bottom outfits with sandals or optional water shoes; sunscreen; sunglasses; Ziploc bags or waterproof key holder; and optional cap/hat, butt pad, and waterproof windbreaker. A towel and change of clothes are also recommended. Bathroom and shower facilities are available close to our practice site. It is also very important to keep yourself hydrated while on board; so, bring enough water based on your needs. OPD will provide all the other necessary equipment, i.e., adjustable paddles and personal flotation device (PFD).
Waiver Requirement for All Paddlers – Every paddler is required to complete and sign an annual waiver, either electronically or on paper, before boarding a dragon boat; no exception. Paper waivers are scanned for electronic storage and for reference in case of emergency. Electronic waivers will require your consent to conduct business electronically with OPD concurrently with your electronic signature for the waiver. Minors’ (paddlers under age 18) information will be collected upon express consent from the parent or guardian.
Additionally, paddlers who participate in races will be asked to sign specific waivers as required by the race organizers, either electronically or on paper.
Personal Flotation Device (PFD) Requirement for All Paddlers – Every paddler must wear a class III U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD at all times while on the boat; no exception. The PFD must be properly fastened to one’s torso with the straps tightened to provide a snug fit. PFDs are provided by OPD.
Safety Equipment on Board – Both boats are equipped with an emergency kit, including a flare, an air horn, and a UHF Radio set to Channel 16, which connects to the U.S. Coast Guard Command Center. Please read our attached Water Safety Manual to familiarize yourself with standard safety procedures.
Other OPD Programs – Besides its paddling program, OPD hosts or holds several other programs: water safety clinics; featured talks by a Sports Medicine doctor and by Dietitians; an “Urban Hike” program; and fitness assessments. OPD also seeks out and participates in local, national, and international events, which all provide OPD paddlers and guests with excellent team camaraderie and team travel opportunities.
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Races – OPD participates in several races throughout the year: local and national or international. Races are totally optional for paddlers who simply want to enjoy and benefit from OPD’s health programs.
Local races typically include those hosted by the California Dragon Boat Association (CDBA) and by Oakland Renegades. CDBA races include: (1) the Regional Regatta in May at Lake Merced, (2) the Sprint Races in July at Alameda Point, and (3) the Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival (IDBF) held in September at Lake Merritt in Oakland (held on Treasure Island prior to 2016). Oakland Renegades also hosts several races locally. OPD has been participating in their Halloween Howl fun costume race festival at Lake Merritt in Oakland at the end of October.
Besides OPD’s annual participation in the Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival in July, the team may decide to travel to other cities. In 2015, OPD selected New Orleans and participated in the Walgreens Greater New Orleans International Dragon Boat Festival.
Internationally, OPD has thus far participated in the 2014 Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong; the 2014 Sun Life Stanley Dragon Boat Championships, also in Hong Kong; the 2016 Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival, Philippines; and the 2017 Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival. Our next planned international destination in 2018 is … Szeged, Hungary for our OPD U16 students team to compete in the 11th IDBF Club Crew World Championships. The festival is scheduled for July 17 – 22, 2018. Stay tuned!
2017 Schedule – The 2017 racing schedule is currently as follows:
Practice Site Address – Gate Number 7, 95 Harbor Master Road, Oyster Point Marina, South San Francisco, CA 94080. The team meets right in front of the Harbormaster’s office at the end of Harbor Master Road.
Landmarks and Points of Reference – Across from the Oyster Point Yacht Club, 911 Marina Blvd., South San Francisco, and adjacent to the South City Ferry Terminal.
Parking – Ample parking is available in the area. The area is generally very safe but please practice good car security precautions by keeping all valuables out of sight with windows closed and doors locked. Bicycles should also be locked at available racks near the Ferry Terminal. If you park on Harbor Master Road, please leave at least three parking spaces next to the Harbormaster’s office for other tenants or visitors.
Practice Days and Time – OPD’s paddling season typically starts in mid February through the Thanksgiving weekend.
Saturdays from 9 am to 11 am, extended to 11:30 am a few weeks prior to race dates; starting on Saturday, February 11, 2017.
Sundays from 8 am to 10 am starting on Sunday, March 5, 2017.
Wednesdays from 5 pm to 7 pm starting on Wednesday, March 22, 2017.
Please arrive on time for land warm-up, safety reminders, and announcements. Prior to boarding, you will be required to list your name down on a manifest to indicate your presence on water. In case of emergency, the manifest will allow us to know the headcount to be communicated to the emergency responder.