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Dragon Boat Paddles and Racing

Dragon boat racing has been around for centuries but its resurgence as a competitive sport happened in the early 90's with the formation of the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF). The sport's popularity has been growing steadily ever since. Most dragon boat races are sprints ranging from 250m to 2000m and are regulated by formal racing rules.


Dragon Boat Paddlers


The standard crew of a dragon boat is 22 people with 20 paddlers, one sweep that steers the boat and one drummer that sets the pace. The boat itself is ornamented with a dragon's head and tail. Paddlers sit in pairs beside each other on a bench and each take a side of the boat. They must be in synch as they follow the lead two paddlers and the drummer. 


Dragon Boat Paddles


The dragon boat paddles in IDBF approved racing venues do not vary in shape or size but may vary greatly in materials. Dragon boat paddles must be built to IDBF Specification 202a to be approved for racing so creativity on the manufacturers part must be in materials used. Paddlers expect dragon boat paddles to be light, strong and comfortable.


KIALOA Hybrid Dragon Boat Paddles


KIALOA Hybrid Dragon Boat Paddles are inspired by our popular hybrid canoe paddles. A hybrid paddle consists of a wood shaft and a carbon blade. The blade is constructed with a foam core using a process called resin transfer molding (RTM) that creates an extremely strong, light and durable paddle. The triple laminated wood shaft is hand-shaped and oval for a comfortable grip. The superior finish creates a wonderful hand-feel. The Ergo-T™ is also hand-shaped of wood and fits nicely in the palm.



KIALOA Makahiki Festival Paddle

Makahiki means festival in Hawaiian and the tradition of festival paddling in dragon boating is what inspired this paddle.  Festival organizers want a paddle that is durable and low maintenance, a paddle that can withstand the abuse of many paddlers and many races.  KIALOA's implementation of the CFRT® technology produces a blade that can perform with the best composite paddles out there and last for many seasons with virtually no maintenance.


Getting Started in Dragon Paddling

First start by finding a club near you.  The best way to learn about the sport of dragon paddling is talk to your local associtaion.

US Dragon Boat Federation

West Coast: Pacific Dragon Boat Racing Association

California: California Dragon Boat Associaiton

Midwest:  American Dragon Boat Association

Texas: Texas Dragon Boat Association

North East: East Region Dragon Boat Association

South East : Southeastern Region Dragon Boat Association

Florida: Pan Am Dragon Boat

Canada: Dragon Boat Canada

Europe: European Dragon Boat Federation