What is a Dragon Boat?

A dragon boat is a human-powered watercraft, often decorated to look like a dragon. The crew of the dragon boat consists of around 22 people (but can reach as many as 50). There is one drummer, many paddlers, and a sweep (or steerer). 

The drummer sits at the front (the bow) of the boat – facing towards the paddlers – and is considered to be the “heartbeat” of the dragon boat; they set the pace for the paddlers. 

 

The paddlers sit side by side, facing towards the bow and paddle to control the speed of the dragon boat. 

 

And finally the sweep stands at the back (the stern) of the boat. The sweep steers the boat with a sweep oar, but also looks out for the safety of those on board. Races can be 250 metres or 500 metres long. Dragon boating benefits not only physical health, but psychological health as well and is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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