Anyone wishing to paddle should submit their names via "Paddling Session" link.... the first session each day will meet at the Bowling Club and be required to launch the boat...the second session will meet at the boat ramp and be required to house the boat.
> a minimum of 12 paddlers is required for each session.
> there is to be no children under 12 years of age in a dragon boat under any circumstances. Regardless of whether they are wearing life jackets, with their parents, racing at a competition, training or just merely going for a paddle...DBNSW insurance DOES NOT cover anybody under 12 years being in a dragon boat for any purpose



Dragon Boat paddling has a unique style. While some paddlers will be joining the club as recreational paddlers, others will be joining to compete in regattas, and then there will be a group somewhere in between.

So to start everyone paddling correctly, listed below is the "Paddling Technique" as described in the "Sweep Training Guidlines".

Please try this technique on a chair at home (perhaps in front of a mirror), so that you become familiar with the correct style when you are in the dragon boat.


Paddling Technique:

Paddlers should sit offset, with their "butts" against the gunwales (side of the boat). The outside leg should be forward and the foot (heel) placed firmly on the bottom of the dragon boat (this allows the paddler to power off the leg at the start of the stroke).

Power in paddling does NOT come from the arms, it comes from TRUNK ROTATION, with the arms little more than linkage between power source and paddle. Paddling a dragon boat does not come from brut force, it comes from the right stroke being applied in the right direction at the right time - done with coordination and balance.

The most efficient propulsive stroke runs close to and parallel to the hull. Several points must be emphasised such as:
1. power must come from the body, not arm muscles;
2. strokes must be close to the hull of the dragon boat;
3. the first 15-20 centimetres (6-8 inches) of a stroke provide the most power.

Key Points:

> sit up, with slight forward lean;
> hands correctly positioned;
> twist at hips and reach forward to place the blade squarely into the water;
> keep the arms straight, with the top hand right across, and shaft vertical;
> make the stroke using power from the body muscles: lower hand pulling, upper hand at about eye level;
> slice the blade outwards from the water as it passes the body; and
> keep the blade low in recovery - skim the surface.


> gripping too tightly relax;
> bending arms - arms must be straight;
> top hand not over the side of the dragon boat;
> blade angles incorrect - check hand positions;
> using arm, not body muscles - must twist torso; and
> too high in recovery.


Further info can be found here:

"How to Go Lank Fast in a Dragon Boat"

"The Hickox Technique"

AusDBF Sweep Accreditation Scheme


If you wish to do any additional training to compliment your paddling, have a look at this Exercise Guide