Ok, so if you’re a newbie like me at this whole Dragon Boat Race thing, then the morning after you rowed, all the body parts the helmsmen told you shouldn’t be sore, are. So, obviously, I wasn't doing something quite right.
The 2013 Louisiana Dragon Boat Races, which raises money for the Alexandria Museum of Art, is being held this Saturday, May 11, beginning at 8 a.m. With 47 teams, it’s going to be a competitive yet exciting experience.
This year, DIS-TRAN Steel and DIS-TRAN Wood Products has two boats; Steel Dragons One and Steel Dragons Two. Our sister companies are also competing. Beta Engineering, or known as the Beta Badgers, will be out there, as well as the High Voltage Dragons, who consist of DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations, Crest Natural Resources, Mid-State Supply and Crest Industries. We have several tents lined up on the left side, so stop by and learn more about our companies and job openings (See, I look out for you HR).
I understand the concept, and know what you’re supposed to do, but after my experience last night at practice, it’s a lot easier said than done. The most important thing to remember though is to keep a steady pace and to be in sync.
Every paddler has their flaws, but the strokes need to be short, otherwise you’re doing negative work. If the power is smooth, it allows for a more aerobic action and will be less stressful on the back and shoulders.
So how does one turn into a professional Dragon Boat Slayer within 24 hours? Well, if I said it’s easy, I’d be lying, but if you keep these techniques in mind, then you’ll know that you did everything possible to help your team reach the finish line (whether you come in first or dead last).
1. The Catch
- The paddle should enter the water gently. As chaotic as it might get with water and paddles flying up, don’t give up on the rotation during the catch and remember to save your power for the pull. Make sure that the paddle is almost vertical when the power starts.
- The rotation is the most important source of power. You should extend your hips and spine forward as much as you can while rotating. Your outside shoulder should be traveling straight forward and straight back. Your outside arm needs to extend out with your first hand finishing in the water. Crank powerfully, and finish facing slightly outward.
3. Leg Drive
- The power starts with your outside leg. You need to drive your hips, knees and upper body back, bending into the next rotation. If possible, the outside knee should be driven back. Using your top hand, the power needs to come late in the stroke, and the top arm should be bent but rigid. The shoulder does the work. Lifting up at a 45 degree angle, quickly shoot the blade forward and finish with a quick and clean exit.
We all have a little (some have a lot) of a competitive nature in us, but the most important thing to remember is that it is a TEAM effort.
Every year, someone is chosen as the Best Dressed Drummer. To support our team and vote for Shea Rax, Steel Dragons One, and Katie Nowlin, Steel Dragons Two- click here.
Photos by Callie Lohman, CHLPhotography.
To watch the 2011 USA Dragon Boat team in action for more pointers, check out this video.
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