Edition 53Featured Story

Dragon Boat Racing – An Ancient Kind of Adventure

Dragon Boat Racing: An Ancient Kind of Adventure

The ancient activity of Dragon Boat Racing has been practiced in China for over 2,500 years. The dragon boats were originally used to transport warriors to battle and the dragon boat name came from the sounds coming from the boats as they stroked their paddles through the water.


There are paddles of all shapes and sizes, though for competitions they must be between 106 and 130 centimetres. In competition, the paddles are made from carbon fibre and weight around 250 grams or more. In training, though, the paddles are wooden and weigh well over 600 grams.

The handles may be palm grip, palm with ripples, or T-piece and the shafts can be shiny, round, matte, or elliptical. However, all the paddles must be manufactured to the guidelines as set out by the International Dragon Boat Federation.

Dragon Boat paddlers often change the size and style of the paddles they use depending on the types of water they are competing in and what seat they will take in the boat.

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