Want to join, but don't know where to start? 

What is dragon boating?  

Dragon boating originates from China, is now a world wide team paddling sport, using either 20 man or 10 boats with decorative dragon heads and tails. The length of the races can be 200m, 500m, 1km or 2km and the normal crew number is 22, including 20 paddlers, 1 steerer and 1 drummer. It is a variation of rowing that originated in China and is still associated with the traditional Chinese dragon boat festival or Tuen Ng Festival in Hong Kong. 

Is there an age limit? 

In New Zealand the youngest who can race is 12 years old.  There is no limit at the other end. 

What if I don't have a team?  

Check out our teams page from September to find out who is recuiting and attend one of their trainings to try out, or you can look out for our Give It A Go (GIAG) events advertised on our Facebook Page

When should I join? 

Ideally, you should start in October so you can learn the ropes before we get into the racing season. However, you can start whenever you find us. Contact us to find out more. 

Do we need our own boat?   

No. The Auckland Dragon Boat Association will supply the boats and are available for practices from October to April. They are also provided at all our regional Association events. 

Do I need my own lifejacket and paddle?   

Nope, We've got you covered. Just turn up and we'lll supply everything you need.

What should I wear for practices?   

Wear comfortable clothing that does not hold or absorb moisture and has a tighter fit rather than loose or baggy. Keep in mind you will warm up quickly after the practice begins. A thermal layer such as Dri-fit / Coolmax or Polypropelene shirt is a good idea. Shorts or similar tights are best for your lower body. You will get wet so be sure not to wear your brand new running shoes. Old shoes, water sandals or aqua socks make the best footwear. You may want to bring a change of clothes for afterwards. Some people prefer to sit on a gardening pad or towel while they are practicing. 

Wow - dragon boating looks really hard. Do I need to be super fit?  

Not at all! It's actually one of the easiest sports to learn.  You will need to have a reasonable level of fitness to compete in a race, but stamina is something you build up over time when you train with the crew. It doesn't matter if you are unfit when you start out because we'll work on that together in a friendly, highly-supportive environment. 

But what if it rains? 

Dragon boaters are made of tough stuff, and yes, we even go out in the rain! In fact, it can be quite pleasant as the water is often calm. You're bound to get wet. 

But seriously, if it's raining outside, you should turn up anyway where we'll make an assessment prior to getting on the water. Often the weather will blow over by the time training starts, but you just don't know until you get there. We will never go out in dubious weather conditions (white caps or lightning being the main indicators) which may pose a safety risk to the team. And if it does get cancelled, we'll head to dinner at a pub instead! 

Can we capsize?  

Yes, dragon boats can capsize. However, as long as you have a Level 2 qualified sweep and follow instructios the chances of capsizing are minimal – it happens very rarely. 

What sort of safety measures are in place?   

Each crew is required to go through a safety session where capsize and rescue procedures are taught.  All paddlers must be able to swim 50 meters, are required to wear lifejacket and all training sessions. 

What if I can't swim?  

Unfortunately it is a safety requirement of the ADBA that all participants must be able to swim 50m - there are no exceptions.  However it only takes one month to learn to swim.  The YMCA and many other pools offer adult swim classes.  Once you complete this, join dragon boating. 

How do I join?  

From the end of September each year keep an eye on our website for teams recruiting new paddlers. If you're eager right now, contact us to find out more

How often do you train?  

Depending on the team, 1-3 times a week from October till March with 3 weeks off at Christmas time. 

Where is training?  

Westhaven Marina, Public Boat Ramp, Pier Z, Auckland City ,

Lake Pupuke, Killarney Park 

When are the dragon boat events held?

January/Febraury - Auckland Anniversday Day Regatta

Feburary - Kai Iwi Lakes training and camping weekend

March - Regional Championships

March/April - National Championships