Join the Fun & Become A Member

Please note, Festival participants should go to the FESTIVAL tab to register for the FESTIVAL. Thank you!

Whether you want to test the waters, learn the basics, or jump on a racing team, we've got a seat for you!

Click here to Join/Renew Your DBC Membership

Membership is free for all cancer survivors. Annual membership dues for community paddlers is $125. 

Are you a Guest - this is for you!

Just want to give it a try? Email

Want to learn about our introductory sessions for cancer survivors?

P.A.T.H. is for you. Scroll down to learn more.


Paddle. Achieve. Transform. Heal.

P.A.T.H. is DBC’s free outreach program for cancer patients and survivors in the local communities of Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties. Participants enjoy a private group setting learning the basics of dragon boating and creating support for one another.  The program begins with an orientation session followed by group training sessions. 

Those interested in participating should contact Sarah Evans.

Novice Program

Getting involved with Dragon Boat Charleston is not only good for your health and fitness, but it is fun! To help get everyone started, we host a Novice Program several times a year. It's a great way for our new members to learn the basics and get to know one another! 

Our Teams

People join Dragon Boat Charleston for a variety of reasons... support, paddling, improving their overall health and achieving personal goals. Some members prefer a relaxing sunset paddle; others are looking for international competition. Most of our members prefer a little of both!

You do not need to join a team to paddle with us! But for those looking for competition, we have a number of teams that paddle in regional, national and international events.

All Cancer Survivor (ACS) – the Awakened Dragons are adults who have had any type of cancer. DBC is proud to be the first-known all cancer survivor team in the U.S. We are thrilled that ACS teams are now popping up all over!

Breast Cancer Survivor (BCS)– The Paddles and Pearls team is made up of breast cancer survivors. This is the most common type of team. The first BCS team started in 1996 in Vancouver. There are now more than 140 BCS teams in 12 countries around the world. 

Senior Women’s – The Holy City Silver Dragons are women over 50. The team includes community paddlers and cancer survivors.

Men’sCharleston Thunder is made up of all men, of all ages. Some are caner survivors and some are community paddlers.

Outreach – The Eye of the Dragon is for our newest cancer survivors joining us through our P.A.T.H. program.

Because we have such a wide variety of members, we also developed mixed teams for competition.

Frequently Asked Questions

1How much is it to join DBC?
Membership is free for all cancer survivors. Cancer survivors also participate in our fitness and nutrition programs free of charge. All race fees are paid for by DBC and some of your race travel. For community paddlers (those without a diagnosis of cancer) membership is $125 per year. You receive a discount on all fitness programs and some travel. All race fees are included in your membership fee. There may be other costs throughout the year, such as race shirts every few years, your hotel for a race, spring camp, etc.
2How do I get involved?
Email If are you are new to the sport, the best way to start is to try out the 6-Week Novice Program . MUST register in advance - E-mail Neves to sign-up!
3What do I wear/bring?
Wear clothes that you don't mind getting wet. Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, closed-toed shoes, and a hat. Bring water. DBC will provide a paddle and life jacket.
4When can I go to a race?
You can go to a race as soon as you feel ready and have talked it over with a coach. DBC goes to about 4-5 races per year.
5When does DBC practice?
Our paddling season is March - October. During the season we paddle 3-4 nights per week and on Saturday mornings. During the the off season we paddle on Saturdays weather permitting.
6How is DBC funded?
The majority of DBC's budget is raised through the Charleston Dragon Boat Festival held in May and the Festival of Trees held each year. Support also comes in the form of individual donations, other special events and grants.
7DBC has how many members?
About 150
8What are all of these acronyms?
ACS = All Cancer Survivor; BCS = Breast Cancer Survivor; OC-2 = Outrigger Canoe
9What is the Charleston Dragon Boat Festival?
DBC holds an annual dragon boat festival fundraiser in the community. The event raises money for the cancer survivor programs of Dragon Boat Charleston. Typically, DBC members volunteer for the festival while over 60 community novice teams race.

What Our Paddlers Are Saying About DBC

  • Lynda, Cancer Survivor
    "I had no idea when I started paddling with DBC that it would become an essential part of my life. What started as having fun on the water in 2003 blossomed into a network of friends and a support group that kept me sane as I underwent surgery and chemo in 2005 and again in 2007. It’s an escape from the horrors of cancer, where I am accepted whether I am strong or weak."
    Lynda, Cancer Survivor
  • Belinda, Cancer Survivor
    "DBC provides a community that accepts everyone where they are physically, as well as emotionally, and allows them to fully participate in a true sport as a team member. Paddling provides a positive challenge for physical and emotional growth, combined with the beauty of the outdoors and just plain fun. It’s good medicine."
    Belinda, Cancer Survivor
  • Gene, Cancer Survivor
    "Having cancer revealed my physical vulnerability, produced great fear, and threatened my mortality. DBC enhances my physical strength and makes me fearless. The peacefulness of the water, the drum beating in time with my heart, and the communion between paddlers who have all faced a fearful foe, makes me feel immortal."
    Gene, Cancer Survivor
  • Lois
    "Water is an integral part of the Lowcountry. Getting outside to exercise is important for physical health and mental well-being. A person who has had surgery, been stuck in the infusion room or under a radiation machine (cut, poisoned and burned) doesn’t feel like doing anything. It sucks the strength from a person. You feel that you will never feel human again. You feel ruined. Dragon boating is an opportunity to get outdoors and become one with your body again. You start to feel like maybe you can overcome the cancer toll. You note your surroundings and realize what a great lifestyle the Lowcountry has. The exercise helps build your stamina and brightens your outlook on the future."
    Cancer Survivor
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Get Involved with Dragon Boat Charleston

Dragon Boat Charleston News & Events

August 17, 2021

To paddle a Dragon Boat in Charleston: It takes cancer survivors and grit

The Post and Courier featured Dragon Boat Charleston in a recent article.
August 17, 2021

Downtown Charleston restaurants in desperate need of boost find motivation in offbeat ways

The Post and Courier featured Dragon Boat Charleston in a recent article.
April 8, 2021

SRDBA Spring 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to SRDBA The Southeastern Regional Dragon Boat Association (SRDBA) promotes the sport of dragon boating by pro­viding a community that fosters education, training, and promotion […]

If you want to learn more about sponsoring DBC, please contact Amy Brennan at

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