Participants paddling at day of the LongBoat
September 9, 2019
3 mins read

Day of the LongBoat: A time-tested UBC tradition

Whether you’re racing or not, you won’t want to miss out on this iconic event. Day of the LongBoat is sure to stand out as a defining memory from your time at UBC.

Each year for the past 30 years, hundreds of students have gathered on the shores of Jericho Beach—rain or shine—to participate in what has become one of UBC’s most treasured yearly events.

A participant at Day of the LongBoat running out of the water to grab a baton in the sand.

Widely seen as a bucket list item for all UBC students, the Day of the LongBoat is a 2-day extravaganza happening on September 28 & 29, featuring a series of competitive and just-for-fun longboat canoe races and other activities designed to build school spirit and strengthen the bonds among friends, old and new. 

You must attend at least once during your university career. If not, you’ll regret it.

Things to do, people to see

For racers and non-racers alike, there are plenty of ways to have a good time. Festivities will get underway at 9:00 am and the schedule is jam-packed.

With races ongoing throughout the day, the intensity of the competition and the potential for capsizing boats will provide plenty of entertainment value for spectators.

For the best view of the races head over to the Jericho Sailing Centre, where a DJ will be playing music from the patio at the Galley Restaurant. Consider watching the races here while enjoying a drink, a bite to eat, and maybe even a wiggle.

On the beach, the Day of the LongBoat festival is a great place to hang out. UBC Recreation will be organizing a variety of beach activities, including face-painting and team games such as beanbag toss, Spike Ball, and Flimsee.

You can also join in on contests for your chance to win prizes. It’s a great way to have fun, meet people, and try out something new.

Connect with your community

Getting involved with campus activities is one of the most important things you can do in university. Why? It’s the way you become connected to your school, your fellow students, and the wider community at UBC. It’s how you can meet new friends and discover new interests. It’s how you can begin to feel like you’re not just another number, but a part of something bigger. This is what university is all about.

I’ll tell you why Day of the LongBoat is so exciting: it’s a great way to go crazy at the beginning of the school year, before getting bogged down with readings, assignments, and exams. It can be tempting to put academic blinders on and focus only on your studies at the expense of making friends and having a social life.

Day of the LongBoat is an opportunity to break out of your study bubble to meet and interact with other members of the UBC community. Alumni, grad students, undergrads, and other community members will all be there to take part in race and non-race events.

Because UBC is a mostly commuter school, it can be difficult to feel connected to campus and the wider university community. You never know if you don’t try. You might end up meeting your next best friend. At the very least, you’ll have a good time and enjoy yourself.

No place like UBC

The Day of the LongBoat is a classic UBC tradition that is embedded in campus culture. You won’t find an event quite like this at any other university.

Talk to people who have been before and watch their eyes light up as they recount stories of their boat capsizing, the rain pelting them as they paddled, the excitement of winning the race, and the people they met on the beach.

When you look back at your time at UBC, you will only remember the highlights of your experience. While most things will fade into obscurity, the Day of the LongBoat will be etched in your memory for many years. Come show your UBC pride, cheer on your fellow students, and take part in the fun activities.

Day of the LongBoat takes place on September 28 and 29 at Jericho Sailing Centre.

Participants paddling in their canoe at Day of the LongBoat.