Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is a dragon boat?

A dragon boat is a 550 lb., 40 ft. long canoe-like boat, holding 20 paddlers sitting two abreast on ten wooden seats. The paddlers use single blade paddles, shorter than most canoe paddles. A steersperson stands in the stern with a long oar and a drummer in the bow faces the paddlers. There is now a 10-person boat with 5 seats. Dragons Alive has both models

2. What experience is needed?

No experience is needed, just an adventuresome fun loving spirit. This is a team sport enjoyed by all ages, women and men. We ask that participants be at least 18 years of age.

3. How much does it cost to join?

Annual dues are $200 for a year, which gives you about 3 ½ months of twice-weekly paddling sessions (more if the weather cooperates), all coached by our certified coaches. For Veterans Dragon Boat – Capital Region, who will likely paddle once a week for the first season, dues have been waived. We are working on obtaining support that we hope will eliminate fees going forward. 

4. What about equipment?

Quick-drying clothing (not cotton) is preferred. We will loan you a life jacket and paddle for the first year. Bring water, a hat and sunscreen.

5. How does racing work?

Each team chooses which festivals they plan to attend before the season starts. Most of the festivals attended are one-day events so the cost is minimal. Each team carpools and splits the cost of the entry fees among all paddlers and coaches. Racing is why we train, on the water and off it! It gives us a goal, and it is a blast! The after-effects of the pandemic have effectively cancelled the 2021 racing season, but we plan on a full racing schedule for the 2022 season.



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