FAQ for new paddlers

How physically fit do I need to be to paddle in a dragon boat?

Dragon boating is a fun and accessible sport for people of all ages. If you are a team player who is reasonably fit (e.g. can get in and out of a boat with minimal assistance and can walk up a flight or two of stairs without difficulty) and you enjoy being on the water, then we urge you to give it a go! Dragon boat paddling offers the opportunity for people of all ages to take part in a team sport. There is also an opportunity to meet new people and enjoy a healthy social life. It is the ultimate sport for everyone to learn team work and have a great time.

Do I need to buy a paddle?  What equipment do I need?

Although you may wish to eventually buy your own paddle, clubs have paddles and all the other equipment that might be required for dragon boating.  You do not have to bring one.  You will, however, want to wear certain clothes and bring a water bottle — see below!

What do I need to wear or bring to go paddling?

First and foremost, expect to get wet — it is a water sport!  Dress in comfortable clothes that provide good freedom of movement, such as shorts and a t-shirt.  You will likely need to step in the water, so wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet (e.g. thongs, Crocs, old sneakers, etc.).  In the cooler winter months it is advisable to wear a long-sleeved thermal top (wool thermals are especially good).  Bring a change of dry clothes and shoes, and perhaps a small amount of money in case the club members are socializing after training.

Be sure to wear sunscreen, sunglasses (don’t wear expensive ones that could accidentally fall in the water), a snug-fitting hat and be sure to bring a bottle of water, especially in the summer.   Avoid wearing jewellery or watches that could fall off or get water damaged.  Tying back long hair is also a helpful tip.

Is there place where I can change into my paddling clothes?

Most clubs have change room and toilet facilities available, as well as paddles and personal floatation devices (PFDs).  Some clubs have waterproof boxes for car keys that are taken in the boat during training, while other clubs are able to lock their change rooms and in some cases paddlers need to have pockets or lanyards to keep their keys on while padding.  Double check with the club to find out more about their facilities.

Where can I find a club?

Most clubs cater for both competitive and non-competitive members and all enjoy the fun, social aspect of the sport as well. There is a dragon boat club out there to suit you!

Click here to find a dragon boat club in your area.

DBWA is the State governing body for the sport of dragon boating in Western Australia