While kicking back with a solid beach read (check page 28 for our 2016 selections) is our favorite way to enjoy the beach, sometimes we get to itchin' for more action. The following sports range from the extreme to the easy-going, so even if you haven't been hitting the gym as much as our body-building pals, you can still have a good time.
Force Kite and Wake
Force is not only one of the top local retailers for kite and wakeboarding gear, they also offer lessons for anyone looking to learn how to kiteboard — they can even ride along you in a Jet Ski to coach you along. If a Jet Ski needs to assist you in a new sport, you can bet it's gonna be a tough one to master. Customers can choose from private and semi-private lessons as well as advanced lessons to learn all the flips and tricks possible.
There are a number of stand-up paddleboarding companies in Charleston, so you can't go wrong just Googling "Charleston SUP." If you're trying to focus on getting fit, then Be Ocean Fit could be the company for you, with classes like Core SUP Fitness and SUP Yoga. If you're on the lookout for ocean wildlife, you may want to check out Charleston SUP Safaris, which offers a two-hour dolphin safari for beginner SUPers — the tour promises to "go with the flow." Nature Adventure Outfitters, based out of Mt. Pleasant, offers both fitness classes and self-guided tours, for those adventurers who like to go where the wind may take them.
Charleston Surf Lessons
If learning to surf is one of your summer goals, Charleston Surf Lessons offers programs for beginners as well as more advanced surfers. Private, semi-private, and group lessons are available on Folly Beach. For a more involved and rigorous surf lesson experience, enroll in surf camp for a week of fun with new friends. And don't worry about being too young or too old for this camp, all ages and skill levels are welcome.
For the ultimate watersport experience, try flyboarding, a revolutionary extreme watersport that allows you to rocket up to 20 feet into the air. Guests can book bachelor/bachelorette parties, birthday parties, or just go with a few friends to enjoy a nice day on the water. Flyboarding is a spectator sport, too, which becomes all too clear while you're kicking back on Hydro Fly's floating tiki hut with a cooler full of cool bevs, watching your pals become airborne. If being propelled into the sky isn't for you, the company also offers paddleboarding, wakeboarding, and jet skiing.
Interested in exploring the Lowcountry waters beneath the surface? Scuba diving is a good way to check out the marine life that lurks beneath the waves. Charleston Scuba offers diving courses, charters, and equipment rental and repair, making it a one-stop shop for all your scuba diving needs. If you're interested in exploring the waters beyond Charleston, you can sign up for scuba trips in exotic locations like Dominica, Grenada, and Little Cayman.
Tidal Wave Water Sports
IOP-based Tidal Wave Water Sports offers a variety of water activities, including WaveRunners, parasailing, speedboats, and banana boats. If you're feeling extra adventurous, the Ultimate Adventure offers a parasailing and WaveRunner safari eco-tour. Too extreme? There are plenty of charters and boat rentals allowing for exploration of Charleston's waterways.
Variety is the spice of life and Coastal Expeditions is as spicy as watersports companies come. They offer kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals, boat tours, and a very special Bulls Island Ferry, one of the few opportunities Lowcountry residents and visitors get to visit the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Naturalists wil guide you through the estuary, where you’ll be on the lookout for bald eagles, alligators, bobcats (!), and dolphins. And to think this serene little spot is just a ferry ride away.