Dragon Boating

What is dragon boating?  It’s a team sport you can pick up at any time, and, it’s fun! Typically, 20 team members paddle the boat, with a drummer seated on the bow drumming a stroke rate for the paddlers. A steersperson stands at the stern and controls the direction of the boat.

Dragon boats are paddled for recreation and raced competitively around the world and right here in Hartford, Connecticut. Our annual Riverfront Dragon Boat and Asian Festival, held in August, draws teams from the northeast and beyond.

Give dragon boating a try – there are so many ways to get involved: be a member of one of our teams, as a one-day team-building experience, full-season teams and unique opportunities to try dragon boating for yourself, your friends, or your organization. Get involved! Register using the links below, or view all open programs. 

Register a Team

Register a team to compete in our annual Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival, with racing at club and community levels! Learn more here. 

Paddling Programs

Get in the Groove with Dragon Boat Paddling
Learn to paddle a dragon boat or get your season going! This is a coached group so no experience is necessary. If you already paddle with another team in our Hartford race, you can get on the water early or if you can never get enough dragon boat paddling, this is your opportunity for more. All equipment is provided.

Session 1: June 4 – 27, Tuesday/Thursday, 5:45 – 7 pm, $105 (8 sessions) 
Session 2: July 2 – 23, Tuesdays, 5:45 – 7 pm, $55 (4 sessions) 

Need More? 
After our big race in Hartford, we hear from paddlers on our Community Teams that they want more! So we listened and we will paddle on either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning on August 20. During this time we also hold our long paddle where we paddle to Windsor and back.

Session 3:
August 20 –  September 12, Tuesday/Thursday, 6 – 7 pm ($105, 8 sessions)
August 21 –  September 18, Monday/Wednesday, 6 – 7 pm ($105, 8 sessions)

All dragon boat programs are held at the Riverfront Boathouse in Riverside Park, located at 20 Leibert Road, Hartford, CT. 


Join a Team

Women on Water (WOW) Riverfront Recapture’s All Women’s Dragon Boat Team
In its inaugural year! Be a part of the excitement from the beginning. Come join our team of experienced, competitive, women dragon boat paddlers as we prepare to race in the Club Division of our Dragon Boat and Asian Festival here in Hartford on August 17. You must be an experienced paddler and be paddling this season with another group or Riverfront paddle session. You may be a member of another Community Division Team for our Hartford race and paddle with us in the Women’s Club Division. We will have 6 practices together prior to race day. Practices will be held July 11, 18 and 25,  6 to 7 pm,  August 1, 5:00 – 6:15 pm, August 13 and 15, 6:30 – 7:45 pm.
Cost: $105 per paddler (includes all fees for the Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival race)

Paddle with DragonFire!
DragonFire is a fun and inclusive dragon boat team with a long history of passion for paddling, community, and fitness. We welcome experienced paddlers aged 18 or older as well as those trying dragon boating for the first time. We annually race in Hartford’s Dragon Boat and Asian Festival (August 17 this year). In past years, we’ve competed as a Community Team, but are excited to announce that we’ve graduated to the newly formed Sport Team division! In addition, we sometimes paddle in other regional races. To be a member of our team, racing isn’t required, but we’re confident you’ll want to! In addition to fun social opportunities, some members of DragonFire participate at paddling camps and other trainings in both the USA and Canada. Have your own Community Division Team for the Hartford festival? No problem! You can paddle with DragonFire for most of our season and still race with your own team.  All equipment, including life jackets, is provided. Just bring a water bottle and a smile!  Practices begin June 3,  every Monday and Wednesday from 5:45 to 7 pm through July 24 (16 total).
Cost: $210 per paddler with an extra fee of $50 per paddler for the Hartford race if you want to race with DragonFire

All dragon boat programs are held at the Riverfront Boathouse in Riverside Park, located at 20 Leibert Road, Hartford, CT.

Dragon Boat Experience – Team Building
Get out on the Connecticut River for a transformative team-building experience! Led by expert instructors, your team will synchronize paddling, fostering communication, trust, and collaboration. Join us for an unforgettable day that syncs colleagues and strengthens bonds. Are you interested in the sport of dragon boating, and looking for something you don’t see listed above? Use the form below to let us know, and we’ll be in touch. Questions? Contact Marilyn Rodriguez by email. 

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