Become a paddler!

If you are interested in trying out the sport by joining us for training, please contact us to let us know.

Training Times:

  • Tuesday nights: 6:30pm-8:00pm
  • Thursday nights: 6:30pm-8:00pm
  • Sunday mornings: 8:30am-10:00am

Please aim to arrive 15 minutes early for administration, warm up, safety drill and a quick land-based technique drill.

What to bring:

  • Positive attitude
  • Water bottle
  • Sun protection
  • Change of warm clothes (it is a water sport! You may get wet!)

Season Membership Costs

Your first 3 sessions are FREE! So come and give it a go!

Sydney Dragon Blades is a non-for-profit organisation. Membership costs are determined by the costs of providing and replacing equipment, (such as club training paddles, boat hire, lights etc) insurance, as well as DBNSW membership fees.

Season 2013-2014 Membership Fees:

  • Full Member: $320
  • Student Member: $260

Please see the FAQ section below if your questions have not been previosuly answered.

Training Venues

Our paddling sessions occur at 1 Bank Street, Pyrmont, underneath the Pyrmont Bridge and near the Sydney Fish Markets. Limited parking is available on-site. For those arriving by public transport, it is easy to catch the light rail from Central station and alight at either the John Street Square or Fish Markets Stations.

Public transport information is available via the Transport Info Line on 131-500 or

Membership FAQ

1. How long is the racing season?
A: The official competitive season begins with in September, with a regatta (day full of races) every month. Although depending on the club’s competitive goals we may or may not participate in a regatta. The competitive season ends with the National Titles, held at a different city each year, in April.

2. Do you guys take breaks?
A: Yep we do – usually in the months of May and June. But there’s always keen paddlers and we’ve rented the boats year-round – so training can occur all year if you’re keen to keep yourself fit during the off-season, and can convince other paddlers to come for a paddle. Normally though, we recommend any paddlers who have competed with us for a full season to resist the urge and take a break. It’s for your own recovery’s sake.

3. What’s training like with your crews, beyond novice training?
A: Our novice-specific training, when given, are set at an intensity suitable for beginners – our own training tends to extend you much further. That said, we’re not crazy – everyone trains to extend their fitness levels, but the goal is definitely to go beyond yourself every time.

4. What days do you train?
A: During the season, we have training sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays (6:30pm) and Sundays (8:15am). As a member you’re allowed to attend as many sessions in the week as you like. So, assuming you attend 9 months (From our season kick-off in August till the National Titles in April), with 120+ training sessions, that’s less than $3 per session. And even less if you paddle through the off season.

5. Wow, that’s a lot of training. What’s the expectations on my commitment?
A: SDB are not a club who force you to commit to X number of training sessions – we’re all adults. As long as your goals (fitness, competition, friendship) are aligned with your efforts then you’re happy and your team mates are happy. That said:

  • To realistically expect to race, you should expect yourself to come training twice a week – otherwise you’ll struggle to maintain minimum fitness, understand our race plan and be in tune with the 19 other paddlers on your boat.
  • Those who are thinking about racing in our top crews – amongst the best in the state – normally consider 3 or more sessions per week.

It all depends on what you want from the sport, but dragon boating is a simple sport in that regard; effort = results. We’re not like in football, where you could be born like Lionel Messi from Argentina and can dribble past 6 opponents with natural ability. Our training sessions are also scheduled outside regular work hours, at a time suitable for people with university schedules and professional careers alike.

6. I travel a lot for work – and I wouldn’t want to let the club down, if I am unavailable. How can we make it work?
A: I see what you mean – many of our members are working professionals who travel as well – we just do what we can. The above question/answer goes a little into answering this one too.The club understands and it’s whether your goals are aligned with your effort that matters.

7. When is the best time to train for novices?
A: It’s generally easiest for beginners to train on Sundays – it’s so that we can see your technique and correct it for your benefit. As we head into the warmer months with longer days, it’s just as easy for you to be assisted on a week night.

8. What if I can’t make it to a race?
A: The majority of our members are adults, with university deadlines and work commitments – sometimes we’re simply not available on a Saturday or Sunday (that’s when the regattas are). We’re very accommodating in that regard – you’re no less a team mate if you simply can’t make it for one regatta! Just cheer us on in spirit.

9. You haven’t mentioned the membership price!
A: The membership price is $320, and $260 for full-time students. For new joiners an optional $90 uniform pack applies. The club uniform is required if you wish to race.

10. What do I get for this price?
A: Well… lots!

  • DBNSW membership
  • Unlimited training sessions-up to 3 per week
  • Insurance (personal injury and third party property)
  • Boat hire
  • Site hire
  • Paddle hire
  • Top quality coaching
  • Top quality sweeping
  • The option of racing if desired at no extra cost (except for Nationals which is extra)
  • Social events invitations

What cannot be measured is the countless hours of fun with your team mates, on and off the boat (we do regular social events as a club).

11. This FAQ seems to be all about training and competing – is there anything else?
A:There’s lots actually. Given the membership price (about 1/4 the cost of a gym membership), you’d wonder if we’re a charity group. The fact is that we put in a lot of effort to keep the sport affordable. There’s always something to help with – organising a social event, dropping flyers in our local community, fund-raising or simply actively recruiting new paddlers at your school, university, office or community. There’s no shortage of tasks and members are encourage to contribute where possible.

12. Sign me up! Who should I speak to?
A: Please either ring Rob on 0411 188 484, Euan on 0468 368 702 or email