Our History

Our History

Burnwater launched in 2000 by Arin Chang, a Silicon Valley electrical engineer who was also an adventure junkie. Chang was an avid outdoor enthusiast finding the Santa Cruz hills and his mountain bike to be his biggest passion.  That was until he joined the San Francisco Bay Area Dragons (BAD) and a new passion was formed – dragon boating.

Chang was hooked.

In 1999 his team was training for World Cup Crews and World Championships. Like most other paddlers, they were using heavy wooden paddles. Being an engineer and having an aptitude for solving problems, Chang decided it was time to develop a lighter weight, higher caliber paddle.

Chang tapped into his high tech manufacturing and design background accrued while working in the mountain biking industry.  The bike industry takes materials to their limits using lightweight compositions, carbon, titanium and aluminum.  He believed he could tap this industry expertise applying it to dragon boat paddles.

Burnwater was born to design and manufacture carbon fiber dragon boat paddles. It has evolved over the years to become the one source for high performance paddling gear.

What put this U.S. West Coast startup on the map was an endorsement from a team some 7,100 miles away. “In 2004, the Australian National Team ordered a few hundred paddles. While everyone else was still using wooden paddles, the team recognized that Burnwater premium all-carbon version helped to improve their performance.

 “We work with high-level, younger generation athletes who provide feedback on our existing designs plus prototypes on the drawing board for the future,” says Chang. “It’s their energy and desire – as well as that of our Burnwater team – that help us fine-tune our products to accommodate everyone from novices to seasoned paddlers.” 

When it boils down to why Burnwater stands out from the competition, Chang chalks it up to manufacturing with the highest quality materials, and maintaining those features that have made the company a trailblazer – clean entry tip, ergonomic elliptical shaft, lightweight design and great power transfer.

“We’re not only paddlers who are passionate about the sport, but also competitors who race to win,” Chang says. “We love sharing our product line with others with a passion for power, performance and winning results. We all want to be stoked with every stroke.”

Made in the USA

Burnwater is proud to say that we manufacture all our paddles right here in Silicon Valley in Northern California.