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Author Topic: Has the sport peaked?  (Read 11473 times)
HaroldnKumar
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« on: April 21, 2008, 02:05:18 PM »

Has dragonboating peaked around false creek?

Who is excited about the upcoming season of races and festivals?

Will outrigger ever overtake dragonboating in popularity?

I just wanted a guage on how the locals feel where the sport is going.


 Thinking


HnK



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Colossus
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2008, 03:20:49 PM »

From everything I've seen and heard so far, this year looks to be a year of BIG change, with teams folding and paddlers taking a break, paddlers shuffling around to new teams...  A lot of the lower Comp and higher Rec teams from the previous years have seen a lot of change in rostering, and will probably surprise those who have been around for a while with their placing. 

It may be my work schedule/when I'm able to swing by the creek, but it seems to me that there are a lot fewer teams out on the water than there were last year at the same time of the year.  I mean, there is only a month and a half until Alcan.  Last year, no matter what time of the day I was out, I'd see at least a couple of small boats (mornings) or a handful of dragon boats (early evenings).
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BernMan
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2008, 03:33:14 PM »

I too have seen fewer DB teams out there and yet we are about 1.5 months away from the BIG race! If there are fewer teams on the water I think a combinatination of factors might explain why: 1) annual costs associated with practice, entry and coaching fees, 2) burnout and 3) more interest in OC maybe? Or maybe we just had way too many teams out there that were "watered down" so to speak that maybe they decided to merge the best of the various teams into 1. But I agree it seems less crews are out there these days.
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brainiac
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2008, 04:26:00 PM »

Perhaps the unusually cold weather has something to do with it.

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madcap
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2008, 04:51:44 PM »

Not only  are there fewer teams but the boats you do see out there are most times manned with 8, 10 or 12 paddlers. Less teams, fewer paddlers. The cold weather has something to do with it, but there is not the enthusiasm out on the creek. Fcrcc had 40 teams in their early regatta last year and have had to scramble to get 32 this year. Injuries, babies, family pressures, burn out etc, have taken their toll. I tend to agree with the thought that dragonboat has peaked, but there is also less interest in flat water and OC6 this year than there was in the past. Maybe just an off year. We'll see... 
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brainiac
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2008, 06:54:29 PM »

At False Creek, I think we have pretty much the same number of people joining up to try outrigger, in fact more than in the past couple of years (I also have the impression Pogue's OC program has grown quite a bit). Can't really judge flatwater until the summer. Club membership is down overall so far this year, but what seems to have happened is that a larger than usual number of "veterans" have dropped out. Some will come back after a bit of time off, others will take up golf or bridge.
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Colossus
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2008, 09:00:14 PM »

others will take up golf or bridge.
Don't hate.  I stay warm and dry this way!
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Never give a match up halfway through. Never say that you do not feel up to it, that your condition is bad, and throw in the towel. Fight to the very end, always looking for your chance to break through.
Bolero
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2008, 10:01:11 PM »

Perhaps other commitments take over lives - marriage, children...children...children????  And then there's aging bodies that don't want to cooperate any more...Who knows what else!!
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rightarm
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2008, 12:00:15 AM »

maybe people just want to let the perma-bruises on their ass cheeks heal a bit Wink

i think there are a number of things at play here.  Perhaps the sport has peaked, but what causes that?  Perhaps its that a significant portion of the paddling population in vancouver has outgrown the sport and moved on to other disciplines.  But it doesn't sound like that so... Perhaps its that there is a shortage of truly qualified coaches available to keep the interest of those who want to progress.  I definitely believe this may be a factor.  Add that to the grind of trying to find at least 20 dedicated bodies of relatively similar skill level and goals, and someone to steer the boat, AND another person to shout at all those paddlers in races... it just feels like its getting harder and harder to keep a team together like that.  Its no surprise to me that so many mid-range (high end rec / lower comp) teams dropped out this year.  I'm sure many of us faced the same issues, possibly even last year; while i can't speak for those other teams, i know mine was one of the teams that went by the wayside and I can definitely say it was due to all of the above. 

What else? it could be a sign of the times.  Physical activity is the buzz word right now and there is a lot of health promotion from local and provincial governments... however, paddling is not exactly an easily accessible sport in the big scheme of things... it can be expensive, has a small selection of venues, is weather limited (except for the hardcores)... people are being fed imagery of all the great things they can do to be healthy and stay active, and paddling... may or may not be high on one's list of ways to accomplish this.

Add that to the $ squeeze.  Living in the lower mainland is expensive, we all know that.  I think most of us can relate to having to pick and choose where we spend our discretionary funds.  If one is stuck between choosing $240 for a paddling membership or $240 for some other activity which may be more easily accessed, the other activity is likely to win.  Most of us who use this forum probably can't relate to this as if you're on a dragonboat forum, you're likely a die-hard and would sell your first born to pay those fees.  But only a small portion of the paddling community is represented by this group.

I know for me personally i'm about to move to port coquitlam, and me making a trek the creek more than once or twice a week won't be feasible.  Of course there are paddle clubs closer, but then again, maybe that's where lots of people are ending up?  Perhaps the reason we don't see so many teams on the creek is that lots of paddlers have moved to the burbs and paddle with teams out there now?


spring has sprung, the grass is ris, I wonder where all the paddlers is???
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Anyrock
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2008, 09:12:09 PM »

It doesn't cost just $240 to dragonboat, depending on the team that would be the entry fee - I typically have paid $500.  Then you have your in town race costs and your out of town race costs.  Depending on how many races you enter you can be looking at a couple thousand dollars once you hit Calgary, Nanaimo, Victoria, Kelowna......

That kind of cuts into your normal vacation money - unless of course, you are wealthy.   Which I am not.
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brainiac
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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2008, 09:56:57 PM »

$240 is the cost of a full club membership at False Creek. If you want to participate in the men's training program (db or oc) and get coached by Kamini, it costs another $200. Throw in regatta and travel costs and it can add up.
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rightarm
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2008, 12:05:11 AM »

yes yes, i'm very much aware dragonboating costs more than $240... TRUST ME, been there done that.  the point i was trying to make was that is about the cheapest way for one to get involved in paddlesport, whatever the discipline... and yet as i said when choices have to be made, perhaps more and more people are choosing to spend their dollars pursuing other passtimes
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uh no, sorry, its not called back half rush... its called FRONT HALF LAG!!!!
Colossus
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2008, 12:12:59 AM »

perhaps more and more people are choosing to spend their dollars pursuing other passtimes
I made the decision to get involved in motor sports instead...   cause of course thats MUCH cheaper than paddling...  Rolling Eyes Confused
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Never give a match up halfway through. Never say that you do not feel up to it, that your condition is bad, and throw in the towel. Fight to the very end, always looking for your chance to break through.
HaroldnKumar
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2008, 08:14:24 AM »

Thanks for all the replies. If the sport has peaked, is the sport cyclical? What can the local community do to grow the sport other than the acquring more resources in the form of coaches, facilities,  and developing new talent? What made the sport grow in the past and can that be replicated?

happy paddling

HnK
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brainiac
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2008, 11:28:41 AM »

To grow the sport, you need to make it easier for people to get into, especially kids, and you need to market it. This requires a level of organization I think is missing, at least around the creek.

I'm guessing there are roughly 100 teams paddling out of VOS (Pogue), FC, DBA, or DZ. Each of these teams operates like a mini club, doing its own recruiting and management. The "club" the team belongs to is really just a db rental facility. Wouldn't it be far more efficient to have the clubs do the recruiting and management instead of a each team?

Note that False Creek operates both as a DB rental facility and a "true club". The true club side has lasted for over 20 years. How many individual DB teams have similar longevity?
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