Vermont Dragon Boat Crews

Dragon boat racing originated in China over 2,000 years ago, and has risen to become one of the most popular water sports in the world. Every two years nations meet on the water to see who is best in the world. No World Championship event is ever the same. There are always surprises, upsets, and lots of incredible paddling to awe and inspire spectators.

Races are typically held in four distances. 200m, 500m and 1000m events are on a straight course, with 4-8 boat heats in individual lanes. The longest race, 2000m, is typically on an oval 500m course with turns, and boats jostle for right of way in a single lane.

Vermont may be a long way from China, but conditions for dragon boat racing here are superb. There is a huge paddling community just north of Burlington, where we practice, particularly in Montreal. In the USA, we have plenty of competition in the Northeast — teams from Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC keep us on our toes. And we get to meet teams from further afield every year at US National Championships.


Calling all competitive humans! Are you looking for a reason to get fit and stay fit? Do you miss participating in a sport? Are you looking for a new challenge?

Come experience Lake Champlain as we do!! We’re looking for new members for our men’s, women’s and mixed teams. Whether you’ve always wanted to try this sport, or are just discovering it for the first time, now’s your chance!

July 2, 6:00 PM

Learn how to paddle and race a dragon boat, and meet new people who share your enthusiasm for competition, fitness, fun, and the water. FREE.

All equipment provided. No experience necessary. Meet at the new Community Sailing Center building just past the skate park at to check in and get your gear. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated. Pack a towel or change of clothes for the ride home—you are likely to get splashed!. Wear tech/wicking fabric as cotton gets heavy and uncomfortable when wet. For your feet: flip flops or boat shoes are best.

Space is limited so reserve your spot today:

2019 Programs

Group circuit training runs on Wednesdays at the Edge in Williston, 6:45-7:45 pm.

Winter Membership $165
November thru mid-May
Price includes weekly group circuit training, an off-water fitness/gym program, plus paddling tank sessions in Montreal in early 2019.

Summer Membership $250
Mid-May thru mid-September
You get two practices a week, an off-water fitness/gym program, entry to two races, 2 scrimmages, and more. No equipment? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Dive right in, you won’t regret it.

Join Us

Two Crew Levels

Sport: competitive crews who aspire to race their way to the regional and national championships, with an ultimate goal of vying for a berth to the World Championships.

Community: newer crews who aspire to become sport crews, but don’t have sufficient experience to do so just yet.

Three Ways to Join

#1. Get Your Feet Wet – FREE
Join us for an indoor (Nov-May) or on-water (May-Sept) session or two. Learn about the sport and meet the crew before you commit.

#2. 4-Week Trial – $30
November-May: Learn the basics, gain strength and muscle, and experience the indoor paddling tank (Jan-April only).
May-September: Learn how to paddle a dragon boat, experience the thrill of head-to-head racing, and get a great workout.

#3. Jump Right In – $165 (Nov-May)/$250 (May 20-Sep 16)
November-May: Includes weekly group circuit training, gym program, paddling tank sessions, and access to a dragon boat paddling ergonometer.
: Includes 2 on-water practices per week, an on-land (gym) training program, local scrimmages, and 2 races at the Olympic Basin in Montreal.

What to Do Next

Email us at, or reach out to us on Facebook to let us know which of the three levels you’d like to join us at. We’ll let you know when and where the next practice will be. You’ll also need to complete our online waiver/release of liability before your first session.

 What to Wear/Bring to Practice

Circuit training: wear gym clothes and sneakers; bring a water bottle.

Indoor paddling tank: wear gym clothes and flip-flops; bring a water bottle. Bring snacks and a change of clothes for the ride home.

On-water practice: Wear plenty of sunscreen, and lycra/wicking pants/shorts and shirt. (No cotton shirts or jeans please.) Flip-flops on your feet. Have a water bottle, hat and/or sunglasses (with strap) to bring on the boat. Bring a change of clothes or towel to sit on for the ride home. We’ll provide the life-vest and paddle.

We practice rain or shine—unless there is extreme wind, a torrential downpour, thunder, or lightning. In that case, we will send notification that practice is canceled via email, Facebook and Twitter. Please make sure we have your correct contact information in case we do need to cancel.

About Us

Malia (mahl-yuh) is an inclusive community of competitive Vermont dragon boat paddlers—passionate about our sport, our environment, and one another. A culture of teamwork, accountability, and healthy competition is at our core. We believe in being true to yourself and your crew.

Anyone can be an athlete, whether or not you’ve grown up participating in sports or are just discovering them now.

We’re lucky to have coaches who have both paddled with and coached championship teams — from elite club crews in Montreal to Team USA and Team Canada.

We train in both standard (20-paddler) and junior (10-paddler) boats on beautiful, temperamental Lake Champlain.  We race primarily in Montreal, Canada and in the Northeastern USA. Many of us also cross-train on (and race) outrigger canoes (OC1 and OC6).

We work hard and have fun (and winning doesn’t suck)!

Join us!