What is Dragon Boating and Why Should I Do It?

Rip City Paddlers
So, you’ve made your way to the Rip City Paddlers site and now you’re wondering, “What is this dragon boat thing that I’ve been hearing so much about?” or, “How can I get myself on one of those rad boats?” or, “Hey, I was searching for Portland Trailblazers memorabilia, how did I end up here?” It’s cool. We’ll answer all of your questions.

First, a brief summary. Dragon boats are long, human-powered, canoe-like boats that originated over 2,500 years ago in the southern provinces of China. It wasn’t until the 1970s that modern, competitive dragon boat racing began to spread internationally. It is a team sport of power, speed, synchronization, and endurance. The crew consists of 20 paddlers (two to a bench), a caller (or drummer), and a steersperson (tiller). Today’s sport includes many divisions for men and women, ranging from teenaged to 90+ years of age. For a much more extensive history, Wikipedia has you covered.
Now that you’re intrigued by the idea of joining a water sport team and have forgotten about your Rip City basketball obsession (thanks, internet-induced ADD), here’s what you need to know about the Rip City Paddlers. We are a recreational women’s team based in Portland, OR. At the recreational level, teams often form as a means of social outlet, team building, and an alternative means of exercise. Our team is host to an incredibly diverse group of women. We are young career women and exuberant AARP members; marathon runners and women discovering a path to fitness; introverts and extroverts; silly and serious. We are moms, grandmothers, wives, partners, and independent. Most of all, we are a kick-ass team. And that’s why you should join us.
If all of this sounds appealing to you, take a moment to read through the info about practices and how to join the team. For even more information, email us at RipCityPaddlers@gmail.com.
RCP, Portland Dragon Boat Races, 2013

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