Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I join MHCC?

Founded in 1993, Mountain Home Canoe Club is a well-established club with a diverse membership ranging in age from 25 to 70.  We have excellent coaching and consistent paddling clinics on our dock which will help you continue to develop your paddling skills throughout the year no matter your skill level.  Our equipment and dock facilities are top notch with easy access in and out of the water for our canoes.  Our club house is roomy, has a private dressing room, and provides our members with free parking during practice day or night and during holidays.  Our paddlers have access to restrooms and showers before and after practice.  Mountain Home has a fully stocked dock with eight OC-6 canoes and thirteen OC-1 and OC-2 small boats for members' use following certain protocol.  And, to top it off, we paddle on the Columbia River which offers many different water conditions based on the weather and helps to prepare us for races in other regions.  The Columbia also provides us with a variety of training routes on the river and allows coaches to locate sessions based on the challenge of our training schedule for that day.  

Where are you located and how far are you from downtown Portland?

We are located at the intersection of 33rd Drive and Marine Drive at McCuddy's Marina.  You can also take I-5 North to Exit 307 Marine Drive/Delta Park.  We are about eight miles north of downtown and about a 16 minute drive from there. 

When and how often do you practice?

We practice three times per week, Monday 6pm-8pm, Wednesday 6pm-8pm, and Saturday 9am-12pm. We usually gather at the docks 15 minutes before practice starts to ready and load canoes into the water.  Race teams may schedule additional practice sessions during the race season.

How much does it cost to join MHCC?

Dues may vary from year to year and are established by the Board of Directors. Please check the Membership Page for current dues. Dues are prorated for new members joining during the year. Dues cover the membership period of January to December. When joining MHCC, members must also sign up for paddler's insurance. This membership provides individual accident insurance as well as liability insurance for the club and its members. Please check our Membership page for more details.

Can I try outrigger first to see if I like it before paying for a full membership?

Yes. Please join us for up to one month of free practice sessions.  Email our New Paddler Contact, Brian Johnson, with any questions you may have before hand. Generally, we prefer paddlers coming out to give us a try in the fall, winter and spring before our race season begins. During the summer months, Wednesdays and Saturdays are generally crew training days. If you would like to come out during the summer please contact our New Paddler Contact (see email link above) so that we may suggest a night that will be beneficial for you.  We also offer an Intermediate Developing Paddler Program (see below) during the summer months to give people the attention they deserve during our busy competitive months. 

Do you have a Developing Intermediate Paddlers Program?

Our Developing Intermediate Paddler Program (DIPP) is for paddlers over 21 years of age and over and have paddling experience with dragon boat, kayak, sea kayak, canoe or outrigger paddling.  Sessions are strenuous.  Athletically inclined individuals are best suited for the program.  The program runs for 4 weeks every Tuesday night from 6:00pm - 8:00pm.  Sessions are for intermediate paddlers new to outrigger or paddlers who would like more coaching.  Paddlers are encouraged to arrive at the Mountain Home dock at McCuddy's Marina by 5:45pm and help ready and load boats for the session.  Mountain Home will provide guests coaches, session instructors, steers people and paddlers to help on the canoes. 

If, after completing our program, you would like to continue paddling with Mountain Home, please contact one of our coaches.

If I don't have an outrigger paddle, can I borrow one to try outrigger paddling?

Yes. We have a number of club paddles.

Where do you race?

We race wherever our crews want to go, e.g. California, Hawaii, Bora-Bora, Washington, Oregon, Canada. Most of our races are in the Pacific Northwest. We focus on the Jericho Iron (Vancouver BC), Gibsons BC, Columbia Gorge, and other races on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. 

Do you race dragon boats as well?

Yes, but this is not our focus and we do not own a dragon boat or regularly practice dragon boat paddling. We typically field a dragon boat team in the Portland Rose Festival races. We also travel to Vancouver, BC to participate in the ALCAN Dragon Boat Races and Festival by either compiling a mixed crew with Portland Paddling or going up as Mountain Home Canoe Club.

What social activities do you participate in outside paddling?

We often meet during the summer for lunch after our Saturday practices. Some people go to a local tavern after evening practice. In addition, our social committee plans social events, coordinates food and hospitality events for specific races, and acknowledges members during special life events (e.g., birthdays, marriage, births). We also organize a number of fundraisers during the year that benefit local organizations like Oregon Humane Society, Oregon Food Bank, Dove Lewis Animal Hospital, etc.

What kind of coaching can I expect if I'm a beginner/experienced paddler?

Coaching is an important tradition of the Mountain Home Canoe Club. We are very fortunate to have excellent Coaches. Members are expected to understand and respect the roles and responsibilities of the Coaches. Every attempt will be made to give all members equal time and coaching. Please always feel free to contact the Coaches or any Board Member if you have any questions or concerns at all. We will make every effort to hear what you have to say and address it if possible.

Do the men and women practice separately? Or are there mixed practices?

Men and women attend the same practices, but do not always paddle together in the same boats. During race training, race teams may practice as crews. At other times, coaches may choose to balance crews so that boats can stay close together or compete during practice.

What if I just want to paddle for fun?

Fun is good, however MHCC is a competitive club and our focus is to not only have fun while paddling, but to train year round and to be competitive for every race we commit to over the year.

What if I can't make all the practices?

Not everybody does, but the dues are still the same.

What if I can't swim?

This is a good question and one we take seriously. During every practice, our paddlers make every effort to be safe on the water; however, sometimes situations could land you in the water at any time of the year. If you cannot swim, you should wear a life vest AT ALL TIMES and you should consider learning basic swimming skills before you come out to paddle. Not all members are highly skilled swimmers, however you must be comfortable enough in the water to assist in righting the canoe in the event of a capsize (or huli) and climbing back into the boat.  The water is not something to take lightly and taking responsibility for yourself and those around you is of the utmost importance.  If you can not swim you are encouraged to learn how to tread water efficiently before coming out to paddle and to always wear a life vest during practice or race events.

How are teams chosen for races?

Coaches seat race teams, basing their decisions in large part on the results of bench drills, commitment to the race season ahead and end of the year goals, dedication to practice, time trials, blending, performance, fitness and technique.

Do you get any funding/sponsorship for races?

Yes. We have a Fundraising Committee chaired by the Vice-President of the Board that recruits sponsors, organizes fundraising events, and maintains relationships with the community at large. Our fundraising events over the past few years have been to host a spring and fall outrigger race, paddling clinics, open house, and plant sale.

When can I use an OC1 or OC2?

After you become a member and complete a 'huli' drill (recovering from a capsized boat), any Mountain Home club member may reserve a small boat on the website calendar for use anytime except during regularly scheduled club practices.  Members are strongly encouraged to paddle with at least one other member and to follow established safety guidelines while on the water.  Write down on the marker board what time you leave the dock and which direction you are headed; up or down river.

Can I take a club OC1 to a race?

Yes. When you want to reserve a club canoe for a race, contact the Small Boat Coordinator at least one week before the event to be placed on the reservation list.

How do I transport an OC1 to a race?

When planning to transport a Club OC1 or OC2, contact the Equipment Manager for approval. A member wishing to transport a canoe must have a vehicle with roof racks that meet specific criteria.  The Equipment Manager will inspect your vehicle and determine whether or not it meets criteria for safe transportation.

Can guests use the small boats?

Sorry, no. You must first become a member.

What do I do if I want to bring a guest paddling?

Upon the approval of the Head Coach or Assistant Coach, any member may extend guest privileges to a potential member or visiting paddler for a period of one month. The host member is responsible for registering the name of the guest with the Secretary, getting all waivers signed, and verifying that USACK paddlers insurance is paid.