Category: Membership

Nancy Smith’s Mount Shasta Climb

I am training to climb Mount Shasta to raise money for Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP).
All of the money donated goes to BCPP. I have paid my fees for the climb. Please give me your name if you donate so I can add it to my special shirt that I will wear up Shasta to honor you. If you want to donate in honor of someone I will add their name also. I will also donate ten dollars for every supporter that sponsors me.

Please visit my page to donate and to see my training updates and posts while climbing Shasta.

Please also visit the BCPP website for tips on how to get cancer causing agents out of your environment and to see the strides they have made to help prevent breast cancer as well as all cancers.

Nancy Smith

Burlington Eclipse Event

The City is producing a full weekend of events surrounding the eclipse, and we’ve called it Obscura BTV! We have a broad City team working behind the scenes to make it all happen, but we need volunteers to help make Burlington shine. We are looking for assistance in merchandise selling, information stations, site and event work, and in event preparation activities. To view and sign up for volunteer work slots, click here: 
There is a mandatory training session on April 3rd at 5 pm in Contois Auditorium in City Hall (virtual option available, but in-person preferred). 
Thank you for your help, and happy totality!”

Dragon Boat Saddles

We have an opportunity to buy 2024 dragon saddles at wholesale price.  Linda Dyer has reached out to the Doug, the owner of Dragon Boat Saddles, and arranged an opportunity for us to make a bulk purchase of saddles at wholesale price $57 and no shipping charge.  These are his top of the line model, retail price is $76.  His website is very cluttered and confusing but this is style SS-11, just going into production.

Please contact Kevin at by April 7th, if interested.

Linda’s message:
Here is the info on the new and beautiful dragon saddles for 2024 and how you can order yours. Douglass Bedgood is the brainchild behind these popular butt pads. Here is the latest version. You can order with Teflon or without. He also has many other colors and patterns.

Doug’s message:
This photo shows what I have this year for BCS teams. They have always asked me for hot pink and here it is in the newest design.

The width is IDBF max, 8″. The platform is flexible over the front of the bench for deep leg drive strokes. The gerth around the bench is 4″ wide Velcro with a fast pull tab. There is a 6.5mm removable insert. Teflon is available for those that need effortless rotation.

These 2024 Dragon Saddles are also in many other colors and patterns. Pattern options are located on the bottom right hand of his home page.


Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

Note: There is a possibility to order a Bote Non-inflatable PFD at bulk pricing. Need to contact Judy Kinner by April 7th.

Some things to consider when purchasing a Personnel Flotation Device.

When choosing a PFD, we need to consider our intended activity, and how strong our water skills are. For the sport of Dragon Boat, it is best to choose a PFD that is designed for paddling. Today there are many to choose from. An individual’s comfort with water skills will determine the type or amount of flotation to choose. This letter includes a short discussion on types of flotation devices, links to further information, examples of a few models and an opportunity to receive a discount on certain models. The intent is to give a brief overview, and to help guide an individual in selecting a PFD that meets the needs of an each user.

In the past, it was easy, we had a special deal to purchase a single type for all members. The company no longer makes that style. The significant discounts we have been able to arrange also seem to be gone. We have decided that each paddler can purchase a PFD that best suits their individual needs. IDBF and USDBF, our Dragon Boat umbrella organizations, do not require matching team PFDs. If you would like both a new paddle and a PFD but don’t want to buy both this season, I would look at buying the paddle first.

Thoughts on buying a PFD

When choosing a PFD there are multiple options to consider. Is the PFD US Coast Guard approved. Type of activity. Your level of water skills and comfort in the water. Where you plan on paddling, type of water, how soon you expect help and how far from shore.

DHVT strongly supports purchasing only Coast Guard approved Type II or iso-12402. Some PFDs listed on Amazon and other sites are not US Coast Guard or ISO approved. To complicate matters, the US Coast Guard is changing their classification system. They’re going to an international standard (iso-12402-50 to 150). The standard is iso-12402 with varying levels of support and flotation, the last 2 to 3 digits denotes level of flotation. 50 for moderate to strong swimmers when rescue is close by, 70 equals old standard type II pfd. A comparison of old and new standard can be found at the link below.

There are two basic types of PFD’s inflatable and non-inflatable.

Inflatable PFD’s should only be used by people comfortable in the water during an emergency. The paddler needs to be comfortable with inflating then adjusting the PFD in an emergency situation, whereas non-inflatable PFDs are ready to go, working immediately. Inflatables contain a CO2 cartridge that will either automatically or manually inflate a bladder giving the PFD its flotation ability. If you decide to purchase an inflatable PFD, it is your responsibility to know how it works. This includes what shape the bladder is, do you need to place it around your head? A popular style is the fanny pack or belt style. The smallest inflates to a pillow shape that you hold in front, some inflate to a horseshoe that you put around your head. Another inflatable is a U shaped or vest PFD that sits around your neck and attached to a belt around your waist. They inflate, in place already in position around your neck. However, some people find that the non-inflated PFD irritates the neck when paddling. Inflatables are nice in the summer, for strong swimmers, calm waters and quick rescue options.

Non-inflatable PFDs are warmer, nice on colder days and useful for those that don’t want to worry about the extra steps needed with an inflatable. The club always has the red ones in the shed. I still use them on cold windy days. Now days, there are many styles of non-inflatable PFDs. DHVT recommends PFDs made specifically for paddling sports as they are lighter weight and cut low on the sides to facilitate paddling. Some have zippers in front, others go over the head. Some have pockets, while others have no added features that add bulk. Paddling PFD’s are mostly Type II PFDs. They do not turn an unconscious person upright in the water. PFD’s that turn a person upright in the water (type I) are usually too bulky to paddle in.

Most paddlers would love to talk about their equipment. So if someone is wearing a PFD you are interested in, ask them about it. They may even let you try it out

Listed below are some links to quality PFDs. This is not a comprehensive list, the intent is to show you some options to aid in your own investigation. When you find a brand and style you like, shop around, often there are multiple prices for the same PFD. Check sites such as Amazon, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods etc. Prices for the same item can vary as much as 50%.

  • NRS makes the Ninja as well as other vests for paddlers. As of March 2024, they have some on sale. $88 to $169.
  • Vaikobi has a paddling vest, I understand many paddlers in Florida use them.
  • Onyx has a light weight inflatable belt. On their web site it is $109. This item can be found on Amazon for $59 to $79.
  • Bote has some nice paddling vests. This is their non-inflatable PFD:


Purchasing a Dragon Boat Paddle

Note: There is a possibility to order a paddle at bulk pricing. Information is at the bottom…deadline April 7st.

Below are a few sources for Dragonboat paddles of varying quality and price.

Some things to consider when you decide to buy a paddle:

1. Be sure that the paddle has an IDBF seal of approval on the paddle blade, some paddles are not IDBF approved. If they are approved it is usually used as a selling point or they show a picture of it. You will not be allowed to use a non IDBF paddle in an IDBF sanctioned event.

2. Paddle material

  • Wood shafts have a nice solid feel and tend to absorb some shock. The majority of Dragon Heart paddlers used to own Kioloa hybrid paddles, they are still very good paddles.
  • All carbon fiber paddles have become more popular, they range in price from $130 to $380 Asian and American made.

3. In the last few years adjustable paddles have really improved and are a viable alternative. Advantages are that they can be adjusted when you change position in the boat, the crew or as you gain more experience. Different brands use different adjustment mechanisms. Some can be adjusted by moving a lever or clamp, others need an Allen wrench.

My recommendation to beginning paddlers is to try some teammates’ paddles (different brands and styles) or buy a cheaper adjustable carbon fiber paddle. Better to start with a less expensive paddle before dropping $300 plus on a paddle you might decide you don’t like.

Links to purchase paddles:

  • Kialoa web site: check out the Yin Yang hybrid paddle. You will also see some teammates with the Kialoa adjustable paddle.
  •, This is the latest version of the Gladiator paddle, A less expensive adjustable carbon paddle we have bought in bulk in the past. We buy from a distributor in Montreal. The new version is an updated, all carbon paddle with a custom aluminum quick change adjusting lever.
  • ZRE and Burnwater are two high end paddles many people like, they can be found sold through many distributors. A quick google search will give you many options.
  • Lastly Amazon is selling two brands of dragon boat paddles: Hornet and ZJ sport. Just check the delivery date, some come direct from China others are in the Amazon Warehouse. I know nothing about the ZJ Sport Dragon boat paddle but their OC paddle is a fine paddle. At the 2018  camp Trevor was selling their Hybrid OC paddle. I have noticed a couple of Hornet paddles around and you can ask their owners what they think.
  • There’s a Hornet distributor in Burlington. It is a possibility that members can purchase cosmetic seconds for a discount, approximately $80 for fixed length and $100 for adjustable. Lynn Bryan is the contact person ( Please reach out to her to find what is available, stock changes. This is an ongoing offer as paddles become available.

One last note, there are many dragon boat paddles in use. If you see a different model ask about it. Most paddlers like talking about their paddles.

If there is enough interest, Padlzone has offered us a discount (about 20%) in a bulk purchase of their Padlzone paddle shown in the above link. After discount, it would be approximately US $155.00. I usually place an order then pick up the paddles during our first Montreal Dragon Boat event, so no shipping. I need to know who is interested by April 7th. Please let me know by email I will let interested individuals know by April 8nd if we have enough people showing interest.

Kevin Wise

HOW TO: Remove your name from a calendar event

Are you signed up for an event you can no longer attend? Please remove your name from the sign-up list. Here’s how!!!

First, go to the calendar event. Here, I am signed up at the bottom as Testing, Michelle. Click on the “View Your RSVP” link.









Then on the RSVP screen, change your RSVP to “Not Going” and click Update RSVP.







Here’s where it can sometimes “go south.” When you click update, the system will update but it brings you right back to this screen. So it may not be obvious that it worked (especially since our calendar can be kinda slow). I usually see a brief “flash” of the screen. If it doesn’t seem like it worked, then give it 10-15 seconds, then click on the “View Event” link at the top and be sure your name has been removed.








You can still view your RSVP at the bottom of the Attendees list, and can change your RSVP back to “Going” unless the event capacity has been reached.

Email Michelle if you’re having trouble!

2023-24 OST Session One Sign-ups

A message from Head Coach, Brett Haug

Hey All,

As mentioned in the previous email with details about the Off-Season Training (OST) Program, registration will open at 5:00 pm today.  I just want to go over a few more details with you all.

First at the bottom of this email is the class schedule for Session 1 of OST. I want you all to be aware that I am willing to add in additional classes and even change some classes if there is significant demand. So, while we will mainly stick to this schedule there might be some variance between today and next Monday when OST begins.  I will make that clear as needed.  You will also note that there are less options to zoom the classes that are also being taught in person. We saw last year as in-person (IP) classes have filled back up again, it is difficult to teach that hybrid style so we are doing are best to separate the virtual/online training from the In-person training, but still offering enough options that will work for everyone.

The Virtual/Online training option will also have a strictly YouTube Circuit sent out each week in addition to the zoom options you see on the calendar. I will go over exercises and modifications in depth for you to complete with at home equipment.

I will also send out YouTube videos to the In-Person packages so you can fill your week with training options everyday.

To SIGN UP, go to the members page and click the link labeled OST. You will then have all the options to sign up for the package and classes you want. Again, the previous email gave you all details on the program options. Wellness program will be labeled (WP) and Competitive Prep (CP). If a class is labeled a specific program and you did not sign up for that program, you may still sign up for that class if it works better for your schedule. Please just let me know if you do so. All packages start at $155. There is a youth price available at a discounted rate.

In addition to the package you choose, which will give you two in person classes each week, you can add the “All Class Pass” or Zoom add Ons. The All-class pass will give you a guaranteed third class per week and you can join ANY additional classes as long as there is room.

*This means EVERYONE must be good about using the calendar. If you cannot make a class you will take your name off the calendar for that day, so other people may sign up. Penalty burpees will be applied LOL.

Sunday morning classes will be both In person classes and Zoom. Go back to back for maximum benefit!!


6:30 am Circuit (CP)6:30 am Row fit (zoom only)8:00 am

Circuit (WP/CP)

12:30 pm Circuit (WP)12:30 pm

Strength (CP)

12:30 pm Circuit (WP)9:00 am POGA (Zoom & IP option)
5:00 pm Strength (CP/WP)5:00 pm Strength (CP/WP)5:30 pm

Circuit (CP)

10:00 am


9:50 am Row Fit (zoom & IP Option)
6:00 pm Circuit (CP)6:00 pm Circuit (WP/Zoom Option)

Again, please reach out to me at if you have any questions. Please let me know if you would like something added or changed in the schedule. It is not guaranteed to happen but if enough folks feel the same about a certain topic, I will make a change!

Lets get it FOLKS!

2023 Off-Season is HERE

A Message from Head Coach, Brett haug

Hello All,

Well folks it is time for our Second favorite season, Off-Season Training (OST) SEASON! This season is truly where the magic happens for you as an individual.  Preparations for May and the 2024 dragon boat season start in November!  The beautiful thing about OST and the winter months with DHVT, is the fact that you have the Opportunity to completely change your life (for the better). This all-inclusive program provides the framework to create a lifestyle focused on the best health and wellness practices based on the most up-to-date research, while providing elite workout programming. This program will turn you into the strongest paddler possible, but more importantly give you all the tools to live a long and healthy life.

When focused on a goal in the future, whether being prepared for the start of the season to enjoy the paddling season to the fullest or preparing for the Club Crew World Championships (and everything in between), one thing is absolute…. It is a process that takes time. Progress is not made in a day, a week or even a month. It is made slowly and steadily over the course of the entire winter. Goals are met by overcoming obstacles while choosing the path that will challenge oneself most. Putting yourself in a position to be challenged is not easy, but when you have teammates pushing alongside we can all make positive changes together!

The Process

We begin with correcting any imbalances, inefficiencies and muscular dysfunctions by identifying potential problems which we will do with the help of our friends from Burlington PT. We will use this information to create better joint stability and mobility thereby building a strong foundation. You can ONLY build strength on top of a strong foundation, not one that leaks and is full of cracks… (sometimes my body feels like that, lol). As strength continues to build, we will incorporate power and plyometric movements to generate force at a quicker rate (like we do in paddling). Finally, we will translate our strength and power to sport specific movement patterns that will allow ALLL that work to have a major impact on our paddling abilities. All the while cardiovascular capabilities will be progressed throughout the off-season as well, giving you a well-rounded physical base.

Whether you need to create a whole new lifestyle because you want to feel healthier and happier alongside feeling stronger or are interested in elevating your fitness abilities, I will ask each of you to set some short and long term goals for this off-season. I will ask you to hone in habits outside the gym in combination with our fitness plan to feel the full effect of our OST Wellness program.


As in past seasons there will be plenty of options for you to choose what works for your goals and life best, including the Classes listed below:

OST Circuit

This class is the bread and butter of our OST program.  It is your one stop shop to make improvements on each aspect of fitness. This circuit training class includes, strength training, mobility work, power exercises, cardiovascular training, core exercises and more. The goal is to improve overall fitness related to dragon boat paddling and have FUN while doing so! All levels welcome. Workouts will vary slightly based on the program you choose. (read more about that below)

VT Strong (strength Class)

The focus of this class is strength development.  This workout is a weight lifting class meant to improve your overall strength. Taking into consideration each individual requires specific attention, modifications will be made as necessary to make sure each individual is improving their strength in a safe and effective manner.

Row Fit (cardiovascular Training)

This class uses the rowers and body weight exercises to deliver a low impact cardiovascular workout that targets the whole body. Using specific work/rest ratios this class will improve multiple aspects of your cardiovascular abilities. Everyone is able to take part in this class regardless of experience or fitness level.

HIT (High Intensity)

This class will push you to the limit using a variety of lifts, cardiovascular training and compound body movements designed to improve all aspects of fitness. Fun competitions and challenging routines make this class one you will love… once completed of course.

This is an advanced class


This class is a yoga class focusing on lengthening muscle tissue creating greater joint mobility. The term Poga refers to a yoga class that is specific paddlers, focusing on specific areas of the body the tighten after a long season of a repetitive motion. This is an extremely important element of fitness because without proper mobility and flexibility, it is very difficult to continue to improve strength.  Performance will also greatly suffer in the boat if your body is restricted by tight musculature. Stay Loose my friends.Other Aspects of OST

In addition to fitness classes, OST will also provide:

  • A workout guideline to follow on days in addition to classes. These workouts can be done at a satellite gym location, during open gym hours at VPF or at home.
  • Lifestyle and Nutritional blogs- This information will help shape a lifestyle around best wellness nutrition practices. While workouts are incredibly important for any health or sport related goal, more is needed to create real long lasting change. It’s the work you do OUTSIDE the gym that truly has a profound effect.
  • Fitness assessments- It is very important for you to know where you are individually and to see how your hard work creates positive change.
  • YouTube Videos- You will receive additional workouts to follow to help support your program virtually.
  • Zoom Nutrition Talks- Hone in healthy nutrition habits by expanding your knowledge while chatting with professional coaches.

Sign Ups

Sign-ups will start on Monday October 23rd at 5:00 pm! When signing up for an OST package there will be a few options for you. First you will choose the classes (two per week) that work best for your goals and schedule, but I will also ask you sign up for a specific program. Each program has its own programming specific to goals represented by each program.

  1. Competition Prep– This package is based on the idea of prepping for one goal, becoming the most elite paddler you can be. This is a build up to the 2024 competition season and the goal is to improve strength, cardiovascular abilities, power etc. specific to the sport of dragon boat.  This package is designed to develop our bodies for the Club Crew World Championships and other competitive races during the 2024 season. Those not going to CCWC may still sign up for this package of course.
  2. DHVT Wellness Program– This package is an overall fitness and wellness program that focuses on the improvement in body mechanics while developing strength and fitness for everyday activities. Of course, the focus will be on making improvements focused on dragon boat paddling but this program will allow you to function better in your daily life as well.
  3. Virtual/Online Training Option– We want to give everyone the opportunity to train with us, regardless of how far away they are from VT.  This option will keep you on the same page with your VT teammates and working towards the same goals. This also might be a good option for those that cannot meet any of the times for training at the gym. This option will provide you flexibility to workout on your own schedule.

In person training packages (#1 and #2) will be able to add virtual/zoom classes to their packages. We will also offer the “all class pass” as well, which will guarantee you three classes per week and allow you to fill into ANY additional classes that have space available.


OST Session 1 will take place from Monday October 30th – Sunday Dec 31st. There will be no classes on Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas, or the day after Christmas.

Whether your goals are injury prevention, improved paddling performance or a stronger and healthier life in general OST is where the magic happens! Let’s all push each other to the Absolute BEST VERSIONS OF OURSELVES that we possibly can be. This program is all about creating a newer better version of yourself and your Life!

Please reach out if you have any questions at
Be Well
Brett Haug

Instructions to Log in to the DHVT Members Page

New to Dragonheart Vermont and wondering how to get to the members page and calendar? Been a while since you logged in and can’t quite remember how to do it? Here are quick start instructions (with pictures) to help you get started.

Contact Michelle Miller if you are still having trouble.


Laptop/Desktop Computer Instructions here.


Smartphone or Tablet Instructions here.


Laptop and Smartphone-Tablet icons by Icons8