- If you have to go backwards, do not leave the oar in the water, use paddle steer technique
- Ensure you have a good body position to exert pressure on the oar and be aware of how much of the oar is in the water (use T-grip height to reference point on your torso)
- When lining up at the start, give yourself lots of runway to the start line.
- Read the current/wind and line up toward left or right side of lane as appropriate.
- Ensure boat is pointed as straight as possible prior to the start. Mid start corrections kill the boat speed plus it is the highest risk of steering error
- Any and all steering corrections affect the boat speed, stay straight. Sometimes currents can “slant” the boat during a race. Steer and straighten out otherwise that will drastically slow the boat speed down.
- Use blade angle on the oar to help trim boat direction
- Currents change throughout the course, especially in the middle of the course here in Calgary, anticipate this and correct accordingly.
- Steers person priority is steering and boat safety, obviously. If possible however, the steers should help drummer communicate with the boat.
- Remind your paddlers to keep their weight on the outside butt cheek and not move around during paddling. This upsets the balance of the boat and will make it harder for you to steer, not to mention slowing the boat down.
- As steers person you can help balance the boat if required by shifting your weight slightly between legs and in more extreme cases, putting a knee down on the gunwale
- Bend your knees when steering, it will help you balance and it lowers your body creating less air resistance.
- If you go off course, be conservative and let it ride. Safety first!
Information provided by Calgary Dragon Boat Society
Published: July 20, 2013