With any dragonboat team you paddle with, there will be the standard paddling commands that any member of a crew will know to follow. Here are commands below:
Part of what is important here is that all paddlers in the boat are sitting up in the same position with their paddles held in the same position. This gives a comment start point for all team members in the boat. When the next command is given all paddlers are making the same coordinated movements. This gives the team a faster response time, organised with no confusing movements and almost as important you look good as a team, when you look good you feel good, this is empowering.
Common sit up positions are paddles in the relaxed position, parallel over the water pointed at 90 degrees to the side of the boat. Most teams sit with their paddles pointing forward to the front of the boat at about a 45 degree angle. The water side hand resting on the paddle shaft which is on the gunnel rail. This puts the paddle closer to the paddles up position reducing response time and simplifying the movement from sit up to paddles up.
Extend your body further up on your reach towards the water.
Paddles above the water ready to take a stroke. Commonly used for starting the movement of the boat.
TAKE IT AWAY or GO
Command to start paddling. Paddle in sync with the person in front of you and also look up the boat at the stroker (1st paddlers at the front of the boat) to keep timing.
LET IT RUN
Paddling stops and boat coasts to a stop on its own.
HOLD THE BOAT
Bringing the boat to a full stop with the use of the paddles. Most commonly the whole crew would dig their paddles into the water until the boat stops. Keep holding till the steersperson says let it run/ride.
READY or ATTENTION
Race command in a start situation for paddles to be placed in position for the first stroke (submerged or out of water).
Paddle backwards to back up the boat from the dock. Always look forward and time the paddle in front of you.
Timing is very important, when you hear this it means someone is off and everyone must refocus on the Timing Box / or call of the Cox.
A combination of strokes during a race, often a set of 10 or 20 strokes that are quicker and more forceful.
Steers person of the boat who stands at the back of the boat holding a long oar, often incorrectly referred to a Cox man. For short, most people call them the “Cox”.
This is when everyone starts the race with their paddles out of the
water at around 45 degrees
Paddle is in the water with outside arm straight just before the start.
There you have it, a common standard list of commands used in Dragonboating. So next time when you’re in the boat, pay more attention to these commands as they are crucial to your success in Dragonboating.