The roots of dragon boating go back over 2,000 years to the southern provinces of China. Today dragon boat racing, still rich with tradition, is one of the fastest growing competitive team sports in the world. This sport appeals to a wide spectrum of abilities, from recreational paddlers to international competitors. People paddle for many reasons. One of the most important is exercise. Contrary to thinking, paddling is a whole body experience with core strength being the most vital. We continue our training all year long and move inside to the gym when conditions are not conducive to paddling. Our coaches set a training program that is designed to meet the goals of strength, endurance, and flexibility within an individual’s capabilities.
Our paddlers also enjoy competing in races, called festival or regattas. If you take a look at our events page, you can see that we travel 3-4 times a year to attend races. Although most of our paddlers compete, it is not a requirement. You must be warned that it becomes very difficult to resist competing because it is such a positive personal and team experience.
The Paddlefish team also enjoys a lot of camaraderie and fun. Being on the river, seeing the beautiful Pittsburgh skyline and ever increasing wildlife are well worth the effort needed to participate in a water sport.
Unlike rowing, a paddler can start to appreciate the water and the physical benefits on day one. To become an excellent paddler takes a lifetime of learning, but the basics of technique and timing are learned quickly. Experienced paddlers and coaches are always available to give instruction on safety and technique.
No experience is necessary. The Paddlefish welcome all comers over the age of 18. You will find paddlers, local, national, and international, to be a warm and welcoming group. Find your spot on a bench with 19 other paddlers all keeping time with the goal of getting stronger, better, faster!
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