Elissa Imran

Elissa Imran

Kenzai Member
Trainer

What is dragon boat?

  • Feb 21st, 2019 at 4:14PM

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I had this question pop up from someone I haven't trained with before, so thought I'd pop up a short post for anyone interested.

There is all sorts of history behind this sport - started in China a long long time ago. But now it has really spread to many parts of the world. The boats and races vary slightly from place to place but the idea is the same.

Here in Hong Kong our standard boats seat about 20 paddlers in rows of 2 with a drummer at the front and a steersman at the back. The newer boats are usually fiberglass with wood planks as seats. The paddles are usually wood or carbon fibre. The stroke is an intense powerful drive down into the water and pull through the water. The key to getting good power is to use the whole body - pressure from quads and glutes, rotation from core, strong shoulders and a bit of arms. And the key to getting the boat to move fast is to have all 20 paddlers in time!

I've been paddling for the AWA Globe Paddlers for almost 9 years now. We aim to be competitive but still have a lot of fun. Here are a couple shots from some recent filming. I'm in row 7 on the right side with the black jacket and orange headscarf. In a race we would have a dragonhead on the front of the boat (and tail on the back) plus a drum in front of that seat at the front...with a drummer!

It's a great workout. And great to be part of a team!

Other photos:

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7 comments

Matt BerlinMatt BerlinKenzai Member
Trainerover 1 year ago

Great share!


    Silvia D.Silvia D.Kenzai Member
    over 1 year ago

    woow...thx for sharing ...always wondered what it is about :) ...that would be something I'd enjoyed doing as well.
    Btw. u have lost so much weight since we've trained together (KB1)...looking great girl! keep it up!


      Kathleen C.Kathleen C.Kenzai Member
      over 1 year ago

      Everyone I know who is involved in dragon boats does it for charity fund raising (and fun). Is that the case in HK too?


        Elissa ImranElissa ImranKenzai Member
        Trainerover 1 year ago

        @Kathleen - Nope! It's a competitive sport here!


          Peter F.Peter F.Kenzai Member
          over 1 year ago

          Thanks for posting Elissa- that's badass!


            Scott H.Scott H.Kenzai Member
            over 1 year ago

            Curious to know how much do these Boats typically weigh? I imagine it takes quite a bit to get them going but once you all get in a rhythm it must feel pretty cool.


              Elissa ImranElissa ImranKenzai Member
              Trainerabout 1 year ago

              @Scott - not sure about our particular boats but the full size fiberglass dragonboats are generally 600 pounds or so. Not light!


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