Our practice season is from mid-May to Labor Day, and hopefully beyond. We practice Monday and Wednesday evenings (usually at 5:30 or 6:30 PM), and Saturday mornings. We paddle 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 and parking tips
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 and/or text.
Wellness Warriors offers two levels of intensity at every practice so that all paddlers can meet their recovery needs on the water. All paddlers are welcome to practice as frequently or infrequently as they like. We recommend that if you are not consistently paddling that you join the less intensive practice boat in order to avoid injury. All practice boats will have technique drills and coaching.
- More intensive practice boat: MORE endurance pieces, harder drills and more race starts
- Less intensive practice boat: FEWER endurance drills, easier drills and less race starts
A Typical Practice
- Sign in 30 minutes before practice
- Guided warm-up to prevent injury
- 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 cool-down to prevent injury.
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 with a heel strap (no flip-flops), 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 stored in our cars (not in the boathouse).