About Paddlechica

I’m Kristin, aka Paddlechica. I’m an avid dragon boat, outrigger, and SUP paddler, and I’ve been known to paddle other types of boats as well.

I’m a three-time member of the US IDBF National Dragon Boat Racing Team and have been fortunate enough to paddle all over the world in cool locations including Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Canada, Hungary, England, and Italy.

I’ve also raced in the Liberty Challenge outrigger canoe race, and in 2014 was lucky enough to race through the Panama Canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific on a cayuco (a native Panamanian boat like an outrigger with no ama). Going through the locks of the canal was absolutely amazing!

In addition to all my awesome paddling fun, I also coach various teams. I spend as much time on the water as I can afford!

I started Paddlechica as a way to answer some of the questions that my fellow paddlers were asking me after practice. I hope you find this helpful. I welcome any comments, or contact me with suggestions and questions for future posts.

You can read a little more about me in this installment of #RadWomenDo by Christine Ekeroth

And here are some random facts about me (for some silly entertainment):

  1. I have a love affair with Mexican food, especially tacos and burritos
  2. I have ridiculously small feet, but somehow they really help me balance well
  3. I love traveling with absolutely no agenda – just waking up early, grabbing my camera, water bottle and some protein bars and wandering around a city exploring random areas; I’ve learned most of what I’ve needed in life from traveling
  4. I will eat gelato multiple times a day, especially when I’m not training
  5. My older brother is awesome (he designed the paddlechica logo, too!)
  6. I graduated from UCLA and then got my Master’s Degree from UCSB
  7. I read every night before I go to bed, mainly fiction
  8. I hope to visit Australia and New Zealand one day soon
  9. I never studied writing, but I love to write
  10. The ocean is my happy place and I consider sand between my toes the greatest gift

Photo: Christine Ekeroth

Photo: Christine Ekeroth

Photo: Christine Ekeroth

Photo: Christine Ekeroth

37 Discussion to this page

  1. Fabulous blog and paddling advice. I see myself in your expert graph and am now inspired to become one of those experts. We are at the end of our season here in Australia and my team is ready to head off to the Australian Championships and I am lucky enough to be included in the Victorian Regional State Team as well. I know I have lots more to learn and thanks for being so generous with your knowledge. I will be following this blog.

    • paddlechica says:

      Thanks, Wendy! I’m glad you find it helpful. Best of luck at the Australian Championships. Will we see you in Welland, Canada at Worlds in August?

  2. Wendy Rose Davison says:

    Didn’t even consider trying out for the Australian team, but who knows, when the aus championships hand out the trophies and the Victorian regional team stand up to receive theirs (positive thinking) we may qualify for the worlds. However Jarrod and Chloe made the Australian team and they will be there. We are very proud to field two out of three locals that tried for the team.

  3. Lali says:

    Hi Kristin. As an OC coach who has failed at controlling all those different egos on the team I found your words to be very clarifying. Thanks much. I will keep reading.

  4. glaze says:

    This is amazing! I wish to meet you one day!

  5. MotivAsians says:

    Hi Kristin, thanks for your recent post about ways to improve paddling. I find it very helpful and will for sure share it with our team in Cleveland OH. I do have a question about race start. I have heard experts said that they started with 5 long and deep strokes then pick up the pace by using 20 fast short strokes but other coaches said to start with 20-30 fast short strokes then follow by long and deep. What would be your advice for race start stroke? Thanks!

    • paddlechica says:

      Is your team name MotivAsians? That is awesome! Love it! Anyhow, great question. Personally, I believe that it depends a lot on your crew and the conditions. I was just working on starts tonight with the breast cancer survivors’ team I coach and we were discussing the various things that affect the start. If you have a strong crew, you may only need 3-5 long, deep and hard strokes to get the boat up on plane and moving. If you have a weaker crew, you may need 6-8 strokes. Once that boat is moving, that is when the fast, short strokes help to keep the boat increasing in speed and maintain the lift. I honestly cannot imagine doing 20-30 fast, short strokes straight off the start line – I don’t think the boat would really go anywhere because you need to establish the momentum first. Hopefully that helps to answer your question.

      • MotivAsians says:

        Thanks for your reply. Yes, our team name is MotivAsians, we practice with Cleveland Dragon Boat Association. Our cold weather only permits us to practice a few months in a year. Therefore there wasn’t a lot of golden time for practicing. Hopefully one day we can make it out to Miami and practice with you all. And will definitely want to meet you.
        Thanks for the advice! We will try to implement that. Between, is there any book/video that you would recommend for dragon boating?

  6. Eileen says:

    Love to read your blog, and your articles. Mental, Emotional, Spiritual, and Physical presence are extremely important on the dragonboat, and you express this extremely well. Also appreciate your description of the value of each position, and why. Keep those insightful articles coming!

  7. Bill (Gizmo) says:

    Great blog Kristin. I started DB in 1986 when China brought 6 teak dragon boats to Expo ’86, and paddled in that first race (2 boats sank by the way, before the end of that “race”). I have paddled and coached on numerous teams in the Vancouver area and recently moved to a seniors team, having hit 65 last year. Some injuries and a recent move have caused a pause in my DB career, but I hope to get back to it next year.
    Keep up the blog, some great info.

    • paddlechica says:

      Thanks so much Bill. That is high praise coming from such a veteran paddler as yourself. I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you will continue to enjoy it.

  8. Roisin Prizeman says:

    Love your blog! I’m relatively new to Dragon Boating. I joined a ‘survivor’s’ team in Dublin, Ireland called Plurabelle Paddlers. Your blog is great, really encouraging and motivational! Thank you.

    • paddlechica says:

      Thanks Roisin! I appreciate your support and hope to meet you at the next BCS World event (or if I ever make it back to Dublin – what a great city!!)

  9. Roisin Prizeman says:

    Come to Dublin, do!

  10. Fed Chavez says:

    Hi Kristin!

    Wonderful blog Kristin! You’re an oracle and a sage filled with wisdom and great paddling advice. I’m entering my 3rd year of paddling, whereas before I never touched a boat, or participated in any sort of sport. Now, I am consumed by all things DB. I am from FL, but now live in Boston- I actually guest paddled with Puff this past Xmas while visitng family. You folks were wonderful, and I look forward to doing it many more times when I visit home. Hopefully, I’ll get to meet you during one of those times; it’d be my pleasure.

    Never stop this blog! I use your tips as a manner by which to become a better coach and paddler! Adelante!

    -Fed Chavez

    • paddlechica says:

      Thanks Fed! I’m glad you had such a positive experience with Puff and that you are enjoying the blog. You are welcome down in South FL any time – come back and paddle with us!

  11. Captain Rob says:

    Love your blog Kristen, thank you for all the insights. I believe you paddled with our little Masters Crew in Long Beach last year, you and Jeremy really helped us out. Cheers!

    • paddlechica says:

      Thanks Captain Rob! Hopefully I’ll make it back out to CA again soon and come paddle with you all. It was a great time racing with your team!

  12. we’d love to have you come to Hartford, CT to enjoy one of the best Dragon Boat Festivals in the US! We have 2 days of great competition with over 90 teams racing on 200M, 500M and 2,000M courses. In addition to the ERDBA sanctioned, GWN managed competition we have one of the most entertaining Asian festivals anywhere with plenty of live entertainment, activities, and of course – delicious food and Asian beer! Our venue is spectacular and we love dragon boating in Hartford!


  13. Hi Kristin I would like to invite you if you can take some time out and come done here for a few days soon as posible. I have a place you can stay with a friend if you come done here. As a water girl you would love this place Cabarete is a Maca for water sport you name it we have it here the weather is fantastic never gets cold never get to hot . Im a kitesurfer I do that every day . But I also like to paddle .
    The river where I have the boats is beautiful . take a look at this two video :


  14. Roz Fritz says:

    I’ve recently started paddling seriously. You were my inspiration. I can’t thank you enough. I am 61 in a couple of weeks and have had lots of health issues most of my life. I Dragonboat now feel half my age, and recently had a heart stress test that gave me a heart age of 37. You are my hero. You changed my life. Thank you thank thank thank you

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