Dragon Boat World Athlete: The Man Behind the Paddler–My Coach in the Boat, My Dad at Home

This Q&A was with Dragon Boat World Athlete Robin Eschbach, National Athlete – Dragon Boat Team Germany.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Robin Eschbach


NAME: Robin Eschbach
BIRTHPLACE: Bad Säckingen, Germany
AGE: 22yo
POSITION: Paddler, Captain of Thunder Dragons
PADDLING SIDE: Right and Left
HEIGHT: 1.83cm
WEIGHT: 82kg
STATUS: Single

IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships, GoldPremier Open, 1000m, 2013
IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships, SilverPremier Open, 500m, 2013
EDBF European Championships, GoldPremier Open 200m, 2000m, 2012
German National Championships, GoldPremier Open 200m, 500m, 2000m, 2015

Our next featured Dragon Boat World Athlete, Robin Eschbach, hails from Bad Säckingen, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. When Robin is not busy training and competing to represent his country, he works as a climbing and a Stand Up Paddling (SUP) instructor. He’s been doing Kayaking as an alternative competitive sport for 16 years now.

In 1999, when he was still a member of his Kayaking club, that was when he was introduced to the dragon boat world by no less than his own father, Matthias Eschbach. Ten years of hard work and a huge breadth of experience later, he competed in his first Dragon Boat Premier race; but this time, in the same boat together with his dad.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Robin Eschbach

During that time, Robin said, “Dad was my teacher and also the Captain of the club– Thunder Dragons. He was and still is my strongest influence in my dragon boating career and through him I learned a lot about the sport’s techniques and race structures, including sportsmanship and lessons in losing and winning races.”

Let’s get to know more about Robin, his passions and what other sport he does aside from Dragon Boat.

Q: How long have you been with the German National Team? How long did it take you to qualify in the team?

A: It’s my 5th year now and I’m proud to be able to get in the team during my first shot. 🙂

Q: Aside from Dragon Boat, what other sports do you do to maintain your fitness level?

A: In the summer I’m also doing Kayaking, Canoeing and Stand Up Paddling and during winter I’m doing cross country Skiing and training units in the gym to keep my fitness level up.

Robin Eschbach Dragon Boat World Athlete

Q: How long do you prepare for a competition like World Championships? Which major race are you preparing for next?

A: I always try to train a lot but then on the last three to four months before the competition I would increase the intensity of my training. The next race I’m preparing for is the European Championships in Laghetto dell’EUR, Rome, Italy, 27th-31st July 2016 and the upcoming German Nationals where I will be paddling with my club team.

Robin Eschbach Dragon Boat World Athlete

Q: Any personal ritual you have before you get in the boat before racing? If none, how do you keep your focus on the race?

A: I have no personal ritual before the race; but I just try to keep my focus on the race and still keep in mind the race structure and the technical details of it. I always look forward to the “silence” during the Starts. I believe it is important for a team to remain constantly motivated in reaching for their goals.

Q: Outside the dragon boating world, who is the athlete that you admire most and why?

A: That would be Martin Johnsrud Sundby. He is a Norwegian Cross Country Skier and I admire him because he trains more than any other Skiers in the World Cup (and they train a lot). With a lot of hard work that he put in his training, he has dominated all the male Skiers in the World Cup this year. So I admire his attitude to train more than everyone else in order for him to reach his goals.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Robin Eschbach

L-R: Matthias Eschbach, Robin Eschbach, Felix Stortz, Jörg Kaltenbacher

“Two years ago, while my dad was still paddling with the team, I took over his place as the club’s Captain. I am very proud to have become a successful paddler and Captain because of him—my Coach in the boat and my father at home. I would say that I owe him most of my success in this sport; especially when I first went for tryouts for Team Germany in 2011.”, Robin ended.

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