8 reasons to get into a dragon boat this year

1. Your current fitness regimen just doesn’t cut the mustard
Maybe you’re a cross-fitter who needs more than the inside of a smelly gym from time to time. Or perhaps you’re sick of running on the treadmill and not actually getting anywhere. Maybe you just need something to train FOR. Dragon boat will give your gym sessions purpose as well as relief. Plus the strength and speed gains you make in the gym will not only make you a better paddler, but also inspire you to challenge yourself in many new ways.

2. Great scenery
There are so many amazing waterways to paddle on. Granted, when your coach is running a drill or you’re in a race, taking stock of the scenery is a bad idea. But to be able to train and race on the water, in beautiful and varied surroundings, is pretty freaking awesome. Just ask our friend Clayton. As someone who’s relocated for work a number of times, he’s paddled in the Swiss Alps, on Vermont’s Lake Champlain, and is now enjoying the views in Singapore.

3. Travel
You don’t have to change jobs or countries to get the best out of dragon boat. Instead, you can see the world through competition. We’ve been fortunate enough to have competed in Hong Kong, Italy, Hungary, the US, Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia–to name a few. As the fastest growing team water sport in the world, there are new competitions in amazing locations every year.

4. Bling
Yes personal successes are great, but who doesn’t like medals and trophies? If you want to compete, you can earn some pretty great rewards.

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A joyful Malia crew after winning the Summer Splash in Montreal, June 2015

5. You don’t have to start at age 5 to become great
This is nothing like, say, gymnastics, where the athletes start out young and are “retired” (or injured beyond repair) by their teens or twenties. You can start dragon boat at any age, and at any fitness level. How far you go with it is entirely up to you (see #8 below). There are racing classes for under 16s and over 60s and everyone in between. Do you really need any more reasons to give it a go?

6. Old injuries are bumming you out
Maybe you used to run marathons or ski moguls, but now your knees are shot. Or you’ve had too many concussions from your favorite contact sport. Whatever the issue, chances are dragon boat can give you a new lease on fitness and competition (maybe even if you’re in rehab!).

7. Team play and camraderie
Dragon boaters are a close-knit lot. Think about it – 22 people marooned together in close quarters out on the water for 60 or 90 minutes at a time…you get to know each other very well very fast :) You end up gaining a whole new family – heck you can even BRING your family. We have quite a few mother-daughter and husband-and-wife paddlers on our crew. How great is that?1380098_10202300415737217_1370270291_n

8. You could qualify for Team USA and go to the Olympics
Yes, really. Our club has contributed national paddlers AND coaches to Team USA to a number of World Nations Championships. Some of them didn’t even start dragon boating ’til their 40s and 50s! And with recent movement to make dragon boat an Olympic sport, you could even become an Olympian.11866475_798609730253343_1387222227174505235_n

SO, there you have it. Go find a dragon boat crew in your community and just try it out. What do you have to lose? Especially if you’re in the Burlington, VT area, your first two sessions are absolutely free.  We have both winter and summer options – just check out our schedule.

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