What is Dragon Boating?
For those unfamiliar with the sport, dragon boating simply put, is a boat of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steers person paddling to cross the finish faster than their competition. It’s a team sport in its purest form that encompasses the elements of power, speed, synchronization and endurance.
With its beginnings in Southern China, dragon boating today is the fastest growing international team water sport. Each year, race festivals are held around the world in Asia, Australia, Europe, Canada and the United States, one of the largest festivals in the North America, the San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival, is held annual in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The appeal to dragon boating is mainly contributed to the sport’s ability to accommodate a wide spectrum of skill levels ranging from novice to competitive. At the novice and recreational level, teams often form as a means of social outlet, team building and an alternative means of exercise.
For the spectator, the true display of the sport’s intensity and skill is witnessed in the competitive ranks. Competitive paddlers rigorously train to condition themselves in the areas strength, endurance, form, mental focus and most importantly timing. Teams with well conditioned paddlers in near perfect synchronization, fueled by competition, provides an impressive event of a cascade of boats brusting through the water. At this level dragon boat racing becomes a sport of inches and an exciting event for its spectators.