Operated by the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society, a registered non-profit society, Dragon Zone Paddling Club makes it easy for people to experience the ancient art of dragon boating, as well as many other types of paddle sports. In addition to 10- and 20-person dragon boats, the club equips guests with canoes, six-person outriggers, one-person outriggers, and kayaks.
For those who are new to dragon boating, Dragon Zone Paddling Club offers four-week classes that introduce basic techniques and get participants used to working as a team. More specialized workshops supplement foundational skills with more advanced instruction, which is especially useful for anyone who decides to join a racing team.
The waters of False Creek reach into the city of Vancouver like an arm. For years, the passage of water was used for industrial purposes, but all that changed in 1980 when the city of Vancouver decided to develop Granville Island. One of those developments was False Creek Community Centre.
Today, the centre fills False Creek with an array of recreational boaters, including kayakers, canoeists, dragon boaters, and whale surfers. Back on land, the facility boasts a pottery studio, a fitness centre, tennis courts, a water park with a large kid's area, and a talented staff of instructors who teach programs and classes for kids and adults alike.
False Creek runs through the heart of Vancouver, creeping around skyscrapers and city parks and spilling into the English Bay. The best way to traverse this urban waterway is by kayak, rented from nearby Creekside Kayaks. Its single and tandem kayaks and paddleboards give city dwellers a chance to see the skyline from a new angle as they paddle their way through the gentle waters. As the buildings light up at night, the surface reflects glowing pinpricks, creating a romantic atmosphere for evening boating. For first-time boaters, lessons impart basic skills, rescue techniques, and water safety to small groups.
Vancouver Water Adventures equips maritime adventurers with life jackets and personal watercraft for exploring the waterways of False Creek and English Bay. The staff stocks a fleet of jet skis, paddleboards, and kayaks, which riders can paddle past beaches and along inlets. In addition to soaking up scenic ocean views and spying on local wildlife, guests can accompany skilled guides on jet ski tours to the area's most impressive sights. Those operating machines must have a valid driver's license, and all jet ski passengers must be at least 6 years old without factoring in alternate theories of relativity.
A dragonboat sounds like a boat that shoots fire—but it's actually a traditional Chinese paddleboat, one of the many that members can row at False Creek Racing Canoe Club. Founded more than two decades ago, the club now boasts a fleet of outrigger canoes and flatwater kayaks and canoes that are ideal for days when big waves are away auditioning for surfing movies. While the club is members-only and does not rent to casual paddlers, novices can learn the ropes in introductory programs for kids and adults while experts can join official boating teams.
There's a whole world of sights to see beneath the surface of the ocean and above. Sea Dragon Charters explores all the wonders of Horseshoe Bay and Howe Sound. Operated by Jan and Kevin Breckman, the company leads snorkel, scuba, and kayak tours off the coast, sponsoring all-day adventures that include everything from seal encounters to a dive on the HMCS Annapolis.