In dragon boating, as in life, it is essential for us paddlers to observe and be aware of the proper etiquettes of the sport. How well one behaves and carries himself during a team practice, and especially in races, speaks of the paddler’s or even the team’s character.
As we train hard to make up for a strong team, let’s also keep training ourselves towards achieving a certain decorum—the basic foundation for a harmonious, respectful and happy dragon boat community.
We have carefully chosen some of the best letterings/typographies on Instagram and other websites to go with the ‘dragon boat-iquettes’ that every dragon boater should know, observe, and, yes, live.
1. Be cheerful. Always wear a cheerful demeamour during races. That eye-blinding smile of yours may be used against your competitor, no? One cheerful mood can be infectious at the race site–spread it. It’s always a good feeling to race ‘happy’.
2. Be friendly. Always greet your competitors. Say, ‘Good luck!’, ‘All the best!’, ‘Have a safe race!’, ‘Go (insert team name)!’ Pump up the motivational atmosphere by giving compliments to your teammates and competitors as well. ‘Amazing performance!’, ‘Well done!’, ‘Great timing!’, ‘Good race!’
3. Be generous. Share all your knowledge of the sport to the ‘newbies’. In situations where there are more paddlers, as opposed to the crew needed for a certain race/category, let the new(er) paddlers play. It’s their time to shine, so your trust and support is important to them. This has been a perennial issue for most teams, but a real respectable paddler shouldn’t grumble about such things, they should be embracing it. That’s what true athletes are.
4. Be considerate. Offer to help hold the boat (your own or others’) if there’s a need or when the waves are crazy at the boat loading zone. Offer to lend a hand for other dragon boaters (teammates or otherwise) who have difficulty standing or getting out of the boat right after a heat. While it’s every paddler’s duty to take care of the team’s equipment, always help in lifting and returning the boat, as well as your team paddles and life vests to where you store them. No divas and lazy a*ses please. In all races, know where the First Aid/Medics tent and ambulance are located.
5. Be respectful. Just be. Mutual respect is essential amongst teammates and team officers. As a team officer, you need to be impartial in fulfilling your duties and do not overstep your bounds. In carrying out team activities, don’t do everything by yourself–administer inclusivity. For teams who are sharing a complex, always ask permission when you need to borrow other team’s boats, rudders (sweep oar), trolleys, or drums. It’s also good manners to ask permission from your current team when you want to paddle with other teams.
6. Be fair. Follow the Chief Starter’s instructions carefully and honestly. If he calls on your team to do one stroke forward, just do one. For straight line races, strictly stay in the middle of your lane and don’t ride on the bow wave of your competitor. That’s ‘wash riding’ and it’s not allowed under IDBF regulations. The Umpires are watching you. Never ever cheat. After all, nothing feels like winning a clean, fair game!
7. Be present. Show up during ‘team’ trainings. Don’t show face two weeks before your race. That’s not very cool. So long as your schedule permits, Go! And please try to be on time. When you’re racing, stay with your team and try not to roam around the race venue ALL the time.
8. Be polite. When there’s a need to protest or complain about a race or another team, go to your team manager first, then to the race officials. Talk calmly and keep your composure at all times. It is always great to be admired for our sportsmanship, isn’t it?
9. Be mindful. Volunteer for any river, lake, or sea clean up activities in your area. As dragon boaters, we should be the boosters in saving the waters because it’s our ‘playground.’ And hey, let’s please clean up our space after each race. It’s not that hard, really!
Do you observe these Dragon Boat-iquettes?
Images: Instagram, Instagram, Instagram, Instagram, Crated, Instagram, Pinterest, Pinterest, Instagram, BelindaLoveLee, Instagram, Instagram, Behance, YoureFineValentine, YoureFineValentine, Instagram, Etsy