Cleveland Dragon Boat Association

Cleveland Dragon Boating 2017

Why you should try dragon boating!

Check out this video where Cleveland Dragon paddlers Gary Baney and Renae Dabney talk 2017 dragon boating.

The Cleveland Dragon Boat Association will be entering its second decade of paddling on the Cuyahoga River as we take to the water this spring. Please join us for fun, great exercise and community building.

Practices will begin in late May or early June at Rivergate Park, off of Merwin Avenue in Cleveland’s Flats, and continue until late September or early October, depending on weather conditions.

If you’re an individual looking to join a team, contact the CDBA and we can put you in touch with a team captain. If you’re a business, non-profit organization or group of friends looking to put a team together, we welcome you, for short-term or long-term participation.

Save the Date!

The 2017 Cleveland Dragon Boat Festival will be held Saturday, August 12, 2017, at Wendy Park in Cleveland. Watch as local and regional teams compete for the coveted Cuyahoga Cup.

Dragon boat teams will compete in 250-meter heats along the shores of Lake Erie. Three teams compete in each heat and the teams with the three fastest times will race each other for the championship. The festival also features a cancer-survivor division.

Our festival also will feature music, craft vendors and fun for the whole family in beautiful Wendy Park. For more information, call 440-399-7373.



Dragon Boat Drop ~ Saturday, May 6, 2017

It isn't a easy task dropping a dragon boat in the water. First of all, the boats weigh close to 900 lbs. Second, they average from 30 to 40 ft. in length. That's why we're so grateful to all who showed to help us launch our first boat of the season. The weather was nasty but the need was urgent as steering classes were scheduled for the next day.

A few tips were learned that day. 1) Position the hoisting bar parallel with the length of the boat. 2) Loop the straps twice through the bar for lifting, and 3) When four holes are visible, the boom is extended to maxium length!

Paddlers are looking forward to another exciting year on the Cuyahoga river and dropping the first boat in the water is the unofficial start of the 2017 Cleveland Dragon Boat season! Special thanks to Luke Margolis (below left) for cranking the hoist as many adjustments were needed to lift the boat.


Some background

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Dragon boating is an ancient sport that originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. It’s been a dominant water sport in many Asian nations for centuries and has been growing in popularity in Europe, Canada and the United States for about the last 20 years. The CDBA is proud to be part of the trend.

A dragon boat – about 48-feet in length - consists of 20 paddlers, with two people on each of 10 benches. A steersperson at the back and a drummer at the helm complete the crew. The team paddles in sync, with vertical strokes that power the boat forward.

Dragon boating is great exercise which helps to strengthen the whole body. The sport has grown in part because of participation by breast cancer survivor teams; BCS teams support the physical, mental and emotional well-being of their members. The CDBA festival includes a BCS division and includes teams from The Gathering Place, which provides non-medical services free of charge to those touched by any type of cancer.


Winners Abound At The CDBA Spring Fling

Follow the link below to view the fun and festivities that took place at the Forest City Brewery on April 29th as the Cleveland Dragon Boat Association hosted the annual Spring Fling fundraiser. Special thanks to all the volunteers who made this event one to remember!

Please email or call us today if you’re interested in joining a team, forming a team, or if you have a team that would like to participate in our August festival.

. . . . and there’s more

On Sunday, Oct. 1, the CDBA will host a mini-festival in which local teams – community, corporate, families or organizations – come together for one day to race in front of our practice area at Rivergate Park. This will be far less formal than our regular race day and will be a fun event with lots of surprises. You don’t even need to be a regular paddler to join. Stay tuned for more details!