Dragon boat racing started in China some 2,000 years ago and is now enjoying widespread popularity throughout the world. Teams are often comprised of men and women of different ages, body sizes and races. Winning teams reach the finish line first by synchronizing their strokes, making timing and teamwork as important as strength and endurance. Dragon boating is also very affordable.
Generally 50-feet long from head to tail, dragon boats are powered by 20 paddlers working in unison with a drummer to help set the pace and motivate the crew. A steersperson in the back of the boat controls direction and makes sure the boat and crew cross the finish line in the correct lane. Races are 250, 500, or 1,000 meters in length. Teams typically complete the 500-meter races in between two and three exhilarating minutes.