Looking to try out paddle boarding in our beautiful state of South Carolina? After traveling around the state for over a decade here are two of my favorite locations. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Charleston is among the leading tourist locations in the nation due to its dynamic and historical midtown. The city is an excellent place for SUPing due to its dynamic coastline neighborhoods and variety of rivers.
For an excellent downwind experience that is great for the new paddler, start from the 10-acre Brittlebank Park along the Ashley River and paddle to Charleston Harbor there an inlet where the Ashley combines with Cooper River makes for a nice scenic trip.
Looking for something a little longer? Head over the Folly Beach which is just a short 15 minute drive from downtown Charleston. The Folly River is a six-mile tidal river has numerous loops as well as a number of islands and creeks to explore. If you're really feeling enthusiastic, paddle to the Morris Island Lighthouse, just north of Folly Beach at the entryway of the Charleston Harbor.
Folly Beach has decent surfing, especially along the Folly Beach Fishing Pier, which is just off Center Street. This location is busy with excellent dining and shops.
Another excellent place is Sullivan’s Island that is across the Cooper River Bridge. Keep an eye for station 25 where there are 300 yard shoals, at high tide you can catch some excellent waves here and at low tide there are numerous tidal pools that are ideal for the beginner paddler.
20 miles south of touristy Myrtle Beach is the Hammock Coast, a beautiful peninsula where 5 rivers merge prior flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. The location is populated with diverse little towns, most notably Pawley’s Island.
This large 12,000 acre area is an unspoiled ecosystem of marshes and wetlands with many miles of pristine water, barrier islands and narrow winding creeks. Here you may see dolphins, turtles, osprey and eagles.
If you’re looking for paddle the surf, head to the inlets in the North or South ends of the island where yo can catch some surf rides of several hundreds of yards. Another option is to start from the public boat ramp that has access to the 140 mile long Waccamaw River for some easy downwind paddling that features a 5 mile loop to Butler Island best known for an abundance of alligators, eagles and osprey.