Everyone needs a tip or two for just the right gift for your favorite dragon boater. Here are a few ideas shared by club members. All of these are things we want or use; none of us receive any benefit from sharing these links with you all.
If you are looking for the best in paddling PFDs, check out Paddle Dynamics. They sell Viakobi and Mocke. These PFDs allow you a wide range of movement while seated as well as max ventilation.
The Kialoa Paddle Bag Bag is the way to go – holds paddle and other stuff such as seat pad, sunscreen, gloves etc. Makes it easy to grab and go.
And you can’t go wrong with a paddle from Kialoa, starting at $99 up to near $300. Great selection from Kialoa.
As an add on, we also suggest a cap to keep the sun out of your eyes. Why not go all out with Kialoa?
Nothing like a good dragon boat seat pad to make long practices more comfortable. We recommend the clipless ones to avoid wear and tear on the seats.
Protect your favorite dragon boater’s phone, key fobs, and other electronic gear on and around the water with a waterproof, floating case from Ugoware.
For sure your dragon boater needs a nice big water bottle, preferably one with a cover to keep the spout out of the water that inevitably makes its way into the dragon boat. Maybe this one from Embrava Sports?
Help your hands out by making your paddle easier to hold. Give iTac2 pole grip, extra strength a try: it lasts a long time, and it’s “grippier” than other brands (in our experience).
Out for a long training paddle in the dragon boat, kayak, or OC? We suggest Clif Bloks energy chews for those needed carbohydrates and electrolytes. Good for gift baskets and stocking stuffers.
Watersports can mean a lot of time with sun exposure, on the lake or river. Dragon boating means lots of time outside at festivals, and you want to be prepared for the elements.
We suggest Burt’s Bee’s lip balm with sunscreen, always welcome in Minnesota for all-season sun exposure, on the water or on the skis and snowshoes.
Or how about a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen?
Or a longer day hanging around the festival venue might require a more robust sunscreen. Neutrogena Sport is water-resistant and PABA-free.
Protect your eyes with sunglasses, but don’t forget the strap. Or splurge a little on these floating sunglasses from
Dragon Alliance. Plus their name is Dragon and our sport’s name is dragon. Boating. https://www.dragonalliance.com/sunglasses
Your favorite dragon boater probably always has a towel or two in their kit. How about improving their beach-side towel game with a towel from Chawel that doubles as a personal changing room.
Or go all-in with an actual pop-up privacy shelter for quick changes at practices after work and festivals.
For post-practice, post-event relaxation, you’re going to want some tools to help with stretching and mobility. Plus, myofascial release is generally good for you anyway. We like this myofascial release stick for its small size and portability for taking to races, and we appreciate REI for their co-op ownership structure.
Also something like these massage balls can be good, although a softball, baseball, or lacrosse ball can do the trick too, for working on those trigger points. Make sure you know your recipient well before you show up with a baseball as a gift, though.
Having a basic foam roller on hand is always a solid choice. We like the options from Gaiam.
In Minnesota, we often say there’s no bad weather, just bad clothes. Dragon boating can mean paddling in some cold weather in Minnesota. For those early and late season practices, when the lake water is cold, consider some waterproof socks for that dedicated dragon boater in your life, like these from Dexshell.
For winter walks and getting out and about, YakTrax might be just the thing for that extra confidence walking and jogging during icy conditions.
And, keep those extremities warm with Heat Holders socks and gloves.
For your hat, though, you might want this Bluetooth Beanie hat speaker. Keep your hands free and your ears open, and still listen to your favorite music or podcasts while getting some outdoor time.
And if you want a more all-season listening solution, consider some wireless earbuds. We like these from Jaybird because you can listen with just one earbud in, for those times when you want to make sure you can hear what is going on in your surroundings.
Back to clothes, for when it’s nicer out, or as a great lightweight underlayer, consider a Minnesota Dragon Boat Club T-shirt! Blue heather Bella+Canvas short sleeve t-shirt, with the MNDBC logo in white on the left check. Email us for yours!
Of course, staying active off the water is as important as on the water. Need an extra push to stay motivated? Consider a Peloton digital membership at 12.99/month; you use your own equipment, gym equipment, or none at all. Includes yoga, stretching, running, etc….
Need some home equipment but don’t want to give over a whole room to weights? How about a set of exercise bands, like this five-band set from TheFitLife?
An App Store or Google Play gift card to cover a premium subscription to MapMyWalk, MapMyRun, MapMyRide, or MapMyFitness could be another great option, with access to training plans, mileage tracking, and more.
Speaking of apps, there are many great meditation apps out there; consider a gift card for a subscription. We recommend Calm, Insight Timer, and Headspace.
And while you’re shopping apps, maybe you want to shop for a good smartwatch with fitness tracking. We like the Galaxy offerings. Just be sure to get one that is water-resistant.
Last but not least, how about gifting a one year membership to the Minnesota Dragon Boat Club or other local dragon boat club for folks not in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area?
We had a lot of fun putting this together, and we hope this gives you some good ideas for making your favorite dragon boater’s day now and through 2021. We wish you all the best!