Join the Fun & Become A Member

New and Renewing Members (of all shapes, sizes and ages!) are ALWAYS welcome with DBC! If you are a guest just trying out DBC or participating in a program -- just jump to the "Are You a Guest" section! (Please note, Festival participants should go to the FESTIVAL tab to register for the FESTIVAL. Thank you!)

Join/Renew Your DBC Membership

To become a full DBC member, Community paddlers pay $125. Membership is free for cancer survivors. 

Are you a Guest - this is for you!

Just planning to join for a five-time trial? Sure thing! Just send us an email to

PATH Program

Paddle. Achieve. Transform. Heal.
Founded and nurtured by Sterling Hannah and Cindy Carter (Co-founders of DBC)

PATH is DBC’s free, annual, outreach program for cancer patients and survivors in the local communities of Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties.

Participants in PATH will go through a 9-week program that culminates at our Annual Dragon Boat Festival in May.   The Program puts survivors on a forward PATH and results in many of our members staying part of the DBC Family for a lifetime.

The program begins with an orientation session followed by training sessions in March and April.  Those interested in participating must register and sign-up here.  Please e-mail Gail Stamm. with questions.  

Currently proof of vaccination is required for participation.

The Scarbrough Turn Around Paddle
In partnership with Berkeley County School District, DBC celebrates students who have overcome great challenges to become well-respected students by their teachers and other students. DBC attends the annual awards luncheon to meet the students and hear their stories as they receive their awards. Then, DBC invites all of the honored students to participate in a special paddling event at our location in Brittlebank Park. In the same way that they had to learn to overcome their challenges in life, they are reminded at the Turn Around paddle that with DBC, as in life, it is important to find a place where you are never alone.

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 twice a year. The Novice Program is a great way to offer instruction and coaching to our new members while allowing the new members a chance to get to know one another! The program is offered twice annually and meets for six sessions, typically twice a week for three weeks.

About Our Teams

People join Dragon Boat Charleston to improve or maintain their physical and mental health. With a Club of more than 100 paddlers, people vary in the amount of time spent being involved. Also, we have many people who practice several times a week yet never wish to participate in a race.

For those who wish to race, we have several teams that compete about four (4) times a season:

ACS = All Cancer Survivor – the Awakened Dragons are made up of people who have had any type of cancer. They compete against other “All Cancer” teams.

BCS = Breast Cancer Survivor – The Paddles and Pearls team is made up of breast cancer survivors. This is the most popular type of team since Dragon Boating was actually founded many years ago by a Canadian doctor who realized that the motions associated with the sport help breast cancer survivors heal more quickly.

Senior Women’s – The Holy City Silver Dragons team is made up of women who are over the age of 50. The people on the team are community paddlers and cancer survivors.

Men’s – The Charleston Thunder team is made up of all men, of all ages. These members are survivors and community paddlers.

Outreach – The Eye of the Dragon team is made up of newly recruited cancer survivors who go through a 10-week orientation and training program that culminates in their participation at our Annual Dragon Boat Festival.

Depending on the races that we enter, other DBC Mixed teams can be created. Typically, people like being associated with a team if they decide that they want to participate in races, but it is not the only way to be part of DBC.

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 […]

Our 2020 Sponsors


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

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