First of all, I always wear my paddling dragon tattoo! It empowers me to move forward with confidence.
After paddling for two years in all kinds of weather--from 34 degrees to pounding rain to downright hot days--I have a good idea of what clothing works for me. Now that it's nearly spring and temperatures are well above freezing, it's time to shed our winter Gator Gloves and winter hats.
Every paddler has her own clothing preferences, body temperature and budget. You'll find what works for you through trial and error. You don't have to spend a fortune to outfit yourself for dragon boating, but if you insist on buying everything new and not on sale, you could.
I'm lucky to live in the Portland metro area with plenty of options for purchasing clothing. Almost every bit of my paddling clothing I've bought used, mostly at various Goodwill stores. The only things I insist on buying new is footwear and gloves. I wash all my thrift shop purchases before wearing them.
Here's what I wore this morning to paddle on a cloudy day with temperature around 50 degrees:
Double Fifth Dragon Boating.
Double Fifth Dragon Boating. Some women also wear quick-dry shorts.
* Water bottle: You'll want a water bottle. During practice, we take our water bottles onto the boat, but on race day, we don't. Sometimes I reuse a plastic bottle from water I've purchased. I keep filling it up. You can spend more money and get better water bottles. Be warned that I've lost several water bottles that have bounced out of the boat.
* Dry sack to keep your valuables dry and safe. My first year of paddling, I didn't have a dry sack, and it was tough keeping my stuff dry on the boat, but my second year, I splurged and spent about $30 at REI for what's essentially a clear, plastic dry sack for my cell phone. It hangs around my neck by a sturdy cord. I put it underneath my PFD so it's not in the way. You can buy dry sacks of many sizes. When I kayak for the day, a larger dry sack can be tucked at my feet.