The Double Fifth Dragon Boating
Jeff Campbell, owner
Double Fifth Dragon Boating
Jeff Campbell, owner
I started dragon boating in 1995 when I went to support my sister at Portland Rose Festival races. She was on the Wasabi Mixed team. I had a blast hanging out in the team tent, meeting a ton of great people and watching the races. It was so much fun that I decided to join. I just showed up at the next practice, grabbed a PFD and a paddle and was assigned a bench. No one invited me and no one ever asked who this Jeff guy was and why he keeps showing up. I didn't know that I was really part of the team until the end of the season when I got a jacket with my name on it. That's a pretty good sign.
In 2003 a series of injuries forced me to stop competing at the elite level. Torn rotator cuffs in both shoulders and spinal injuries (I'm a lousy snow and water skier) put the brakes on my paddling career. I wasn't ready to be done with dragon boating so I took up a hobby; parting paddlers from their hard earned money. There were very few places paddlers could go to buy gear, I filled a need. Then I added in race officiating and race management. The company grew and in 2006 I changed the name to Double Fifth Dragon Boating and made it my full time job. I got a website and everything! Today there are two of us at Double Fifth; myself and the office dog Star. Star handles greeting people and sleeping under my desk. I handle everything else. I handle everything else including making the coffee, filling the water bowl and taking out the trash.
The equipment I carry is always the highest quality. If I can't stand behind it I won't sell it. I started out carrying Grey Owl wood paddles. Carbon fiber was just starting to come on the market so I quickly added ZRE and Burnwater. I heard about a company in Hong Kong called Typhoon8. I loved their products and started carrying the brand. In 2011 I learned about an Oregon company that is famous for their outrigger paddles. They started making dragon boat paddles so I picked up another brand I love, Kialoa. Other brands have come and gone but these consistently produce the best paddles and gear money can buy. A few years back I bought an old dragon boat mold and started building my own boats. Not literally, I have help from an experienced company in Oregon that builds my Red Dragon Racing Dragon Boats to my specs.
Over the years I have learned many things about the sport. The biggest thing is that dragon boating is a second family. We are all part of this huge, crazy family of paddlers. I have traveled the world dragon boating. I have met hundreds of paddlers from all over the world and made many good friends. I treat every customer like family which means I care about the person first. So consider me your goofy uncle who sells dragon boat equipment and sends out a really funny newsletter once in a while.