Training - Equipment
Three major pieces of equipment are required in dragon boating:
1. A boat (but that's pretty obvious!)
2. Paddles (we need something to make the boat move!)
3. Paddlers (we need something to make the paddles move!)
So, what do you need?
As we can only paddle one boat per team you won't be required to buy a boat - but you probably expected that! We practice in our own "Champion" IDBF-spec boat (or one of the Aoraki boats) stored at Owles Terrace, New Brighton.
On race days, each team uses whichever standard boat is allocated to them - they are all exactly the same (generally Champion "IDBF-1222 Dragon Boat" pictured below).
In the past we have had exclusive use of one of the old wooden boats - we are forever grateful to Dave Sloss and Linfield Dragon Boat Team for their ongoing support in providing us with the use of his boat.
You will need a paddle though. You can choose to purchase your own paddle or use one provided by the team. Interestingly, not all paddles are the same.
We use IDBF Standard Paddles - Abreast of Life owns a full set of thirty 202A Spec ZRE Paddles. You do not have to buy your own paddle but you may wish to do so. They cost about $300 each for the Carbon Fibre Paddles.
Most paddlers find that waxing the handle of their paddle gives a better grip. The team provides wax for this purpose.
As for you, the paddler - you will need a big heart, a big smile and an appetite for activity.
The peripherals include:
- A life jacket, which is provided by the team and is designed specifically for paddling. Please look after it well.
- You may also choose to purchase a kneepad, similar to those used by volleyball players. This protects your inside knee from bruising as you kneel on it when paddling.
- Another item that is almost essential is a pair of surf shoes or aqua shoes to protect your feet as you wade through shallow waters to get in and out of the boat.
Other than that, you may use gloves, a hat, sunglasses or whatever makes you more comfortable and thus makes the boat go faster.
Appropriate clothing is necessary for any water sport of course, but slightly less essential is a set of team 'colours'.
Each team member is provided with:
- a Training shirt,
- a Racing shirt,
- tracksuit with polo shirt,
- a dress shirt for formal occasions,
- a lifejacket for paddling (not mandatory, but recommended).
Uniforms and gear belong to the team and need to be returned if moving out of the paddling squad. They should be kept clean and well maintained. It is the responsibility of team members to wear polyprops for warmth and to supply boat or aqua shoes and bike type black shorts to wear in the boat.
Our competition and traveling uniform incorporates three colours - RED, WHITE and BLACK - in appreciation of our naming rights sponsor, VERSATILE Buildings.
- White and black (including a silver fern on the jacket) and a white (silver) fern on our Racing Shirt are for recognition as a New Zealand team if we travel overseas.
- Red and black are for recognition as a Canterbury team.
In 2010 we developed a new racing top which features more of the red in it. The white paddling top is our training top. We are also looking at the possibility of a polar fleece top to keep warm between races - this will also be red. Until these become reality we will use the competition and traveling kit we have.
Pink is, of course, synonymous with breast cancer and we always add a bit of pink (such as a Lei or hat) to our one, and only one, dress up race.