Six ways to get wet this summer 

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Jonathan Boncek

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.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

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.

Hydrofly Watersports

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.

Charleston Scuba

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.

Coastal Expeditions

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.

Summer Guide 2016

  • Our most muscle-bound Summer Guide ever

    Pumped Up
  • 10 Family-Friendly Ways to Have Fun

    In case you didn't know, body builders create perfectly formed mini-body builders when they make babies. It's just one of those science facts. Buff babies are great fun, too, because you can take them on roller coasters way before other kids. Buff or not, your kids may enjoy the following locations and activities, with one festival starting this very weekend.
  • Seven music festivals you can drive to

    Unfortunately, Bonnaroo, the South's largest and most well-known music festival, has already ended. But who needs it anyway? Bonnaroo isn't the only festival the South has to offer, and, as this list shows, it's not even the best. Check out these upcoming music festivals to get your sonic fix while staying south of the Mason-Dixon this summer.
  • Seven spots to take fido

    Summer is the perfect time to bond with your dog. Let's face it, it's nearly impossible to leave your pal at home when he's giving you sad looks through the window as you walk away. Luckily, there are plenty of pup-friendly spots in the Charleston area where you can grab a bite and a brew and relax with your best friend. You can even socialize with some humans if you want.
  • One way to have your best beach day on Folly

    You can have a great day on any Charleston beach — make sure to check out IOP and Sullivan's, too — but we have a soft spot for Folly. It may be the surfers scanning the Washout for waves, or it could be the always-smiling faces greeting us at Bert's Market.
  • Eight Fourth of July celebrations

    There are few things more American than hulky men and women tanned to a glistening glow. Don't take our word for it, just close your eyes and imagine our body builders bathed in the light of a fireworks show. Then head to these area July 4th shindigs, dinners, and throwdowns.
  • Four beach games for everyone

    There's a happy medium between extreme water sports and ocean-side lounging: easy, breezy beach games. The following games are body builder approved. And most only require one hand, so the other can be sipping a cool beverage*. Match point, eh?
  • Six opportunities to give back

    It's summertime, and that means it's time to get outside, get active, and start working on your tan. But you don't have to sit on the beach all summer to get that bronze complexion. Put yourself to work and give back to your community with these six outdoor volunteer opportunities.
  • Six Charleston hot dog joints

    Nothing says summer like a good old-fashioned hot dog. The most unpretentious of cookout staples, the hot dog is best served with whatever topping you think it deserves. And the greatest dogs of all? You'll find those at a number of local hot dog joints, from Summerville to Mt. Pleasant. Hot diggity.
  • Five tips for no cook chefs

    It's hot in Charleston. There's no way around the weather, but there just might be a way to skip the brutal heat associated with cooking in the summertime.
  • Six beach worthy reads

    The Lowcountry is known for its beaches and bars, and we're sure you know that there's another B on that list too — books. With several prolific authors located right here in Charleston, we've got a wide array of novels to choose from, and you can bet your bottom (sand) dollar that they're the kind you want to read while lounging in a beach chair. Here are some books we think are just peachy, from near and far.
  • Six bars on top of the world

    There aren't many tall buildings in Charleston, but it seems like all of those that do exist are topped with bars. Because who doesn't get excited about a rooftop bar? In the spirit of full disclosure, some of these bars will cost you a pretty penny per drink. So save them for a night when you really want to treat yo'self, or, if you're a high roller, feel free to make yourself a regular.
  • Eight soothing summer sips and tips

    Here at the City Paper, we like to drink alcohol. Beer, wine, cocktails — you name it, we want it. When it gets this hot out, though, we aren't always sure what drink of choice to turn to.
  • Six ways to sweat

    It's hard to exercise in the heat, plain and simple. That's why we've rounded up a list of indoor workout studios that range from fun to fancy (hello espresso maker). Body builders hit the gym every day, and you may want to, too, after seeing what these places have in store.
  • Five places to buy a swimsuit

    Body Builders, by the very nature of their buff physicality, have the beach bods of the gods. And we say that not just because it rhymes, but because it's totally true. If you want to be like them, hit the weights, down your protein shakes, and visit the following Charleston shops.


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