2018 March Madness Dragon Boat Paddle Design Tournament

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On Monday March 12th, Hornet Watersport's 2018 March Madness Dragon Boat Paddle Design Tournament was underway!




This competition is a lot of fun for us and for all our paddling friends out there around the world. Some of you might be wondering why we have we named our design contest after March Madness.  One of the reasons we chose this popular nickname for the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division 1 basketball tournament is that the brackets used for arranging the 64 teams that are selected is an easy way to present the 16 paddle designs in Hornet Watersports’ 2018 Sting Dragon Boat Paddle Series. Another reason we chose to emulate this exciting March tournament bracket is because of the enthusiasm and energy it always seems to generate. Folks of all ages refer to the NCAA competition as “The Big Dance” for a lot of reasons. It’s always great to watch collegiate athletes, who work hard for the love of the game and don’t earn any money for participating.  These are the best 18 -20 year old basketball players in the world and they compete hard, knowing how much is on the line for their university, and the huge public exposure. Millions of fans are glued to their TV’s hoping to win some money in their office pools, or watch their favorite player try to prove themselves for a possible future in the NBA. The popularity of basketball has grown a great deal in countries like The Philippines, Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico, France, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Greece, Italy and India. In many of these same countries, the popularity of Dragon Boat and Hornet is also on the rise. We have amazing dealers in the Philippines, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and Germany.  We love to ship our paddles all over the world.






This year, we have 14 exciting and colorful designs for our paddles as well as two black paddles, a glossy and matte design. It will be very exciting to see which designs are voted the most popular considering that all of our graphic paddles designs sell very well. Of course they are all lightweight, high-performance, and approved by the IDBF.  Here at Hornet Watersports, we love healthy competition and we always encourage and appreciate it when the paddling community gets involved in what we are doing. We love feedback and we hope our paddles get a lot of votes in each round of our 2018 March Madness Dragon Boat Paddle Design Tournament.



The top bracket has 4 amazing paddle designs, Black Flowers, God of Water, Blue Dragon and Hibiscus.  Game one features God of Water going up against Black Flowers, and this could be one for the ages. God of Water means business and has some tricks up its sleeve.  Anyone can tell by looking at the yellow eyes and big fangs, Black Flowers has its work cut out for it. However, Black Flowers has a lot to offer by the wondrous bright pink and beautiful blue petals and stunning circular imagery.   In the second game in this bracket, Blue Dragon goes against Hibiscus. If you’re looking for a Cinderella story, you found one with the large, trumpet-shaped hibiscus flowers. But don’t count it out.. Did you know that in the Philippines, this flower is used by children as part of a bubble-making pastime?  They crush the flowers into a sticky juice and use hollow papaya stalks to blow the bubbles. The strength of Blue Dragon is obvious when you see the spectacular bright blue and green scaled, fire-breathing creature. Let's not predict any round 2 matchups quite yet, as upsets have been known to happen.




In the second bracket region, we are featuring 4 more great designs, and I will focus on two of them for this blog post.  Dragon Graffiti has got a lot going for it. You will see an eye-popping blue and yellow creature grabbing a paddle, and it seems like its ready for action in the water. This is certainly one of Hornet Watersports’ most colorful selections, and in round one, it goes up against the classic Black Glossy paddle. These two paddle couldn’t be much different and it should make for an interesting matchup.  You will also see Sakura Koi Fish competing against Splash Color. Sakura can refer to a flowering cherry tree in Japan. Sakura koi fish are typically a gorgeous yellow or red, and this pair of Sakura dragons are an incredible yellow. We’ll see how well Splash Color does in this round 1 battle.



In the third section of the bracket, you will be able to vote on two other Dragon designs - Orange Dragon and Pink Dragon.  Whether or not they face off in the second round is really up to Kaizen, which is one of Hornets most beautiful and artistic designs.  Kaizen is a Japanese word for improvement, and usually refers to a long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality.  Hornet finds this to be a very intriguing and enormously helpful idea and we try to incorporate it into our work culture daily. This design features white Chinese and Japanese characters on a black background, and black waves with whitecaps.  Hornet designers are always at the forefront of unique and fresh design ideas, and it certainly shows with this artful Kaisen paddle.


The last of the first round matchups is in the 4th section of our tournament bracket and it includes Blue Splash taking on Koi Fish. This is a fascinating matchup between two really beautiful paddle designs. Here the white coy fish is swimming in red and black waves. The blue splash is always a popular design and you can see why with its speckles of blue and aqua, it almost makes you want to jump into the water. The Artist Dragon rivals the bright color of the Dragon Graffiti paddle, but it has a multi-colored dragon against a black and white background.  Fresh will be good competition in round one because it has a very handsome green, yellow and blue with black speckles mainly on one side. These colors are very soothing and go very well together. This kind of color combinations can be found on many of Hornet Watersports’ paddle designs, and we look forward to seeing which ones move on to compete in the “Elite 8” round.


Anything can happen in round one of Hornet Watersports 2018 March Madness Dragon Boat Paddle Design Tournament!  It is you, the fans, who make this tournament interactive and fun! Whichever paddle wins in the end, you know it will be light-weight, high performance, and IDBP approved.  For those of you who vote in every round, you will be entered into a draw to win a free paddle with the winning design. This is our way of saying “Thank you” for participating in our March tournament.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we do here at Hornet. Good luck to all of you and have fun. Spring is right around the corner and we are all looking forward to a great 2018 Dragon Boat season ahead. If you have any questions about any of our 16 featured designs for 2018, or any custom team designs, please contact the professional paddle designers at Hornet and we will be happy to get back to you.

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