The following video is presented by the Australian Dragon Boat Federation and introduced by the Australian coach. It goes for approximately 15 minutes but very worthwhile – it’s never too late to improve your technique.

The following link also explains our technique.


Common Faults

  • Missing the catch. This refers to pullback being activated before the catch is “locked”, thereby reducing the effective power in the first half of the stroke. If you are using good technique there will be heavy feel on blade for whole time blade is in water (from catch to exit).


  • No or minimal rotation. Some people crouch forward with a bent back, and assume this is rotation. Think of having a rod up your back, and you are rotating around the rod.


  • Bent bottom arm.

  • Poor timing. We not only need to enter the water together but also exit together. If you have a short stroke you will tend to exit early, which increases the chance of “pushing” (rating too high). People at back of boat especially need to be careful as it is “softer” water. They need to especially concentrate on reach and digging blade deep in water.


  • “Dragging” the exit. This refers to a paddler taking pressure off the blade half way through the stroke. The paddler therefore starts to move forward through the water, instead of backwards, it creates drag rather than forward momentum. A lot of water is seen splashing behind the paddle.


  • There is no ‘i’ in Team. Think of your team mates and paddle as one.