Our practice season is from mid-May to the end of August. We practice Monday and Wednesday evenings on the Charles River, out of the MIT Pierce Boathouse at 409 Memorial Drive, in Cambridge. The boathouse is near the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge that spans the Charles River. Directions to the MIT Pierce Boathouse
We practice rain or shine. We will not practice if there is lightning or if it is very windy. Because the weather can be different in Boston than in the outlying communities, please plan to attend practice unless you are notified that practice has been canceled. In that event, we will notify the team by e-mail.
A Typical Practice
- Sign in 45 minutes before practice
- Guided injury prevention warm-up
- Paddling instruction and coaching in the boathouse area or on the dock
- Gear up (we provide the paddles and personal flotation devices)
- Load the boat in the assigned seating arrangement
- Practice on the Charles River for one hour. Practice includes endurance paddling to build stamina, drills to practice technique and synchronization, and race strategies such as starts and power paddling.
- Return to the dock
- Guided injury prevention cool-down.
What to Wear
Please remember, this is a water sport. You may get splashed unintentionally by fellow paddlers, and your paddling arm will certainly get wet. We advise that you wear:
- Quick-dry shorts or long pants. (We advise against cotton, which retains water, dries slowly and does not keep you warm when wet.)
- Quick-dry top
- Sandals, boat shoes or old sneakers that will give you a solid footing when loading and unloading the boat. These will probably get wet since there is usually a small amount of water in the bottom of the boat.
- Jacket, sweater, rain jacket and/or long pants if it is cold and raining (preferably breathable, e.g., Gore-Tex).
- Gloves. Some people wear biking or other gloves to get a better grip on the paddle. In choosing your gloves, be aware that they will get wet.
Suggested Items to Bring
- Drinking water (It is very important to stay hydrated!)
- Eyeglass cord to prevent losing your glasses overboard
- Sunglasses with a securing strap
- Secure hat or visor
- Boating “butt” pad or a gardener’s kneeling pad. The seats on the dragon boats are wooden and somewhat hard. A pad will make your practice more comfortable. These are usually available for purchase through Wellness Warriors.
- Change of clothes, including dry shoes or sandals, especially if it is raining. These are usually stored in our cars (not in the boathouse).