Purchasing a Dragon Boat Paddle

Note: There is a possibility to order a paddle at bulk pricing. Information is at the bottom…deadline April 7st.

Below are a few sources for Dragonboat paddles of varying quality and price.

Some things to consider when you decide to buy a paddle:

1. Be sure that the paddle has an IDBF seal of approval on the paddle blade, some paddles are not IDBF approved. If they are approved it is usually used as a selling point or they show a picture of it. You will not be allowed to use a non IDBF paddle in an IDBF sanctioned event.

2. Paddle material

  • Wood shafts have a nice solid feel and tend to absorb some shock. The majority of Dragon Heart paddlers used to own Kioloa hybrid paddles, they are still very good paddles.
  • All carbon fiber paddles have become more popular, they range in price from $130 to $380 Asian and American made.

3. In the last few years adjustable paddles have really improved and are a viable alternative. Advantages are that they can be adjusted when you change position in the boat, the crew or as you gain more experience. Different brands use different adjustment mechanisms. Some can be adjusted by moving a lever or clamp, others need an Allen wrench.

My recommendation to beginning paddlers is to try some teammates’ paddles (different brands and styles) or buy a cheaper adjustable carbon fiber paddle. Better to start with a less expensive paddle before dropping $300 plus on a paddle you might decide you don’t like.

Links to purchase paddles:

  • Kialoa web site: check out the Yin Yang hybrid paddle. You will also see some teammates with the Kialoa adjustable paddle.
  • Padlzone.com, This is the latest version of the Gladiator paddle, A less expensive adjustable carbon paddle we have bought in bulk in the past. We buy from a distributor in Montreal. The new version is an updated, all carbon paddle with a custom aluminum quick change adjusting lever.
  • ZRE and Burnwater are two high end paddles many people like, they can be found sold through many distributors. A quick google search will give you many options.
  • Lastly Amazon is selling two brands of dragon boat paddles: Hornet and ZJ sport. Just check the delivery date, some come direct from China others are in the Amazon Warehouse. I know nothing about the ZJ Sport Dragon boat paddle but their OC paddle is a fine paddle. At the 2018  camp Trevor was selling their Hybrid OC paddle. I have noticed a couple of Hornet paddles around and you can ask their owners what they think.
  • There’s a Hornet distributor in Burlington. It is a possibility that members can purchase cosmetic seconds for a discount, approximately $80 for fixed length and $100 for adjustable. Lynn Bryan is the contact person (meduckee@outlook.com). Please reach out to her to find what is available, stock changes. This is an ongoing offer as paddles become available.

One last note, there are many dragon boat paddles in use. If you see a different model ask about it. Most paddlers like talking about their paddles.

If there is enough interest, Padlzone has offered us a discount (about 20%) in a bulk purchase of their Padlzone paddle shown in the above link. After discount, it would be approximately US $155.00. I usually place an order then pick up the paddles during our first Montreal Dragon Boat event, so no shipping. I need to know who is interested by April 7th. Please let me know by email Dittuswise@hotmail.com. I will let interested individuals know by April 8nd if we have enough people showing interest.

Kevin Wise