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South Carolina Kiteboarding Spots Location Guide

SC COAST: EDISTO ISLAND TO BULLS BAY RIDE GUIDE

Preface:

Suggested Practices for the SC COAST ….Remember PERCEPTION is everything.  It doesn't matter who is 'right', it matters what people think and what they report to the town or local law enforcement for incidents.

Beginners

 

Local beat:

For information, lessons, equipment sale and/or questions, please feel free to contact one or all of the following local Kiteboarding Schools or Kiteboarding Stores:

Owner: John Brown

Phone:(843) 478-8410

Owner: Santiago Falla
Phone: (843) 900-4251

Owner: Scott Hyland

Phone: (843) 330-8156

Owner: Stan & Amy Radev

Phone: (843) 329-3004

 

Additional info:

The following "Ride Spot" information is brought to you by the entire professional kiteboarding community of Charleston, a.k.a. “Chucktown”. Additional complimentary information is available through “Chucktown Wind Report” on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChucktownWindReport/

  

~RIDE SPOTS~

ISLE OF PALMS:

Latitude/Longitude: 3rd Ave: 32.777,-79.803 and 51st Ave: 32.8,-79.748

Launch/Land Zones: 3rd Avenue, 51st for launch point and/or downwind end point, depending on wind direction.

Directions of wind: NE/ENE/E/ESE/SE/SSE/S/SSW/SW

Experience Level(s): Beginner, Advanced, Expert

Isle of Palms permits kiteboarding in those areas less visited by beach goers. Basically, stay well away from either side of the pier (1 mile minimum distance) where most people are.Do not launch at the Charleston County Park or anywhere near the (Seacabins) Pier. IOP strictly enforces the 100 foot rule: all sport participants (kiters, surfers, fishers, boaters, etc.) must keep a 100' distance from any person in the ocean. Here, beach goers have the right of way.

From Memorial Day - Labor Day, all kiteboarders must stay at least 100 yards from the water’s edge once through the launch zone.

South End (“Waffle House” aka 3rd IOP) (Beginner, Advanced, Expert)Ride on NE/ENE/E/ESE/SE/SSE/S/SSW/SW The official boundaries from IOP's SouthWest tip at Breach Inlet to 6th avenue. Par k at 3rd street near the beach access for this spot. Head beyond 6th Ave and you'll be risking coming in contact with people enjoying the water. You may ride downwind beyond the pier, but must stay 100 yards from the water line and remember to stay away from swimmers, surfers and anyone else in the water.

The Southern end near Breach Inlet has very strong currents. Get caught the wrong way, and you’ll be swept into the bridge connecting Sullivan’s Island. Know the tides, currents, and wind direction thoroughly before venturing into Breach Inlet.

Middle Sections:(Advanced, Expert)Ride on NE/ENE/E/ESE/SE/SSE/S/SSW/SW

Mainly areas for downwinding – not for stopping and causal riding. 100 foot rule to swimmers and 100 yard rule applies for this stretch. Again, do not go near Pier.

 

North End (Wild Dunes):(Beginner, Advanced, Expert)Ride on NE/ENE/E/ESE/SE/SSE/S/SSW/SW…and on north tip, add NW/NNW/N/NNE as you round the northern tip.

Head to the Isle of Palms northern end and you'll find “Wild Dunes”, a private resort community where locals and vacationers co-exist. If you're lucky enough to have a friend living / staying there, then maybe they'll be kind enough to let you in the gate. If not, you'll have to park outside the complex and hike up the beach more than 1/4 mile.

Once there, you'll have wide open beaches to rig and ride (watch for summer crowds). Being next to and inlet, you can really work currents to your advantage. At low tide, you might even get to ride the flat water barrier’ed by outer sandbars.

NOTE: TheNorth tip of the island can see gusty Northerly winds, calling for a rider level ofEXPERTas the spit between IOP and Dewees is very deep and currents very strong, with rough conditions to be considered.While this private beach has its own patrol, it does fall under Isle of Palms jurisdiction. With its seclusion, comes the kiteboarding unfamiliar beach-goer. People here just don't understand the potential hazards, so it is up to you to self-regulate. If it's seems crowded, or when in doubt, do NOT rig! 100’ rule to swimmers and 100 yard rule to beaches apply here.

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND:

Decimal Degrees: 32.765,-79.83

Launch/Land Zones: designated as “Stations” 12, 19 and 28-30(28.5)

Directions of wind: NE/ENE/E/ESE/SE/SSE/S/SSW/SW/WSW/W/WNW/NW

Experience Level(s): Beginner, Advanced, Expert

During summer time, this area can become extremely crowded. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, beach patrol often prohibits launching here due to mass amounts of sun bathers and swimmers. Outside sand bar can provide an alternative, but stay out of Breach Inlet, in which strong currents and spits run just inside the sandbar activity. We don’t want search and rescue teams to have to launch resources in that vicinity.

**Stations 12 and 19  (off season,only between Sept and April)**

Station 28.5 (“The Bath”): (Beginner/Advanced/Expert) Directions - NE/ENE/E/ESE/SE/SSE/S/SSW/SW/WSW

Typically, this is the main launch area for many kiters. In summertime, the shallow low tide slicks can heat up beyond 90 degrees, making it feel like a bath tub. Strong tidal currents have a huge effect on your power. On a South wind, you want an outgoing tide. Best spot for NE during an incoming tide.

Station 19 (“The Lighthouse”):(Advanced / Expert)Directions - NE/ENE/E/ESE/SE/SSE/S/SSW/SW/WSW

One of only two lighthouses in the Charleston area, it’s the only one accessible by car. Low tide offers a wide beach and waters can be mild chop to waves, depending on swell. Sullivan’s Island authorities are picky about kiters rigging here.

During summer time, the area can get crowded. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, beach patrol often prohibits launching here due to mass amounts of sun bathers. When in doubt, find another spot to ride.

Station 12 (“Boils”):(EXPERT ONLY) Directions - WSW/W/WNW/NW

Fitted with rock groins all around the southern end and into the Charleston Harbor mouth of Sullivan’s Island, this area sits very close the shipping channel and quickly drops to 50+ feet of water within 50-100 yards out. Strong current moving over areas of rocks coupled with submerged debris makes this area particularly dangerous. With elevated onshore Westerly winds, ground swell can also make this area very choppy with very rough conditions. Typically the best time to go is on an incoming tide. On an outgoing tide, as current pulls directly out to sea, the upwind aspect can be extremely difficult.

Folly Beach:

Latitude/Longitude: 32.65,-79.94

Launch/Land Zones: North end, South end – stay away from Charleston County Parks areas, including the Pier.

Directions of wind: Any –depending on location…with emphasis being onshore flow from NE/ENE/E/ESE/SE/SSE/S/SSW/SW/WSW along the main stretch of the island.

Experience Level(s): Beginner, Advanced, Expert

Folly Beach has yet to designate specific kiteboarding zone, and we hope to keep it that way. This means it's up to us to keep within safe launch areas and ride away from populated areas. Stay away from SWIM ZONES and the PIER. The official boundaries for County Park are 200 yards South of the County Park facility building to the inlet. The wide open, pretty unpopulated southwest offers the safest area to kiteboard on Folly Beach.

Be very careful to stay upwind of Folly Beach on a Southerly day, or you'll likely end up down-wind near one of the many large rock jetties used to protect sand erosion.

The infamous surf spot, “The Washout”, is reserved for surfers only as it is extremely populated year-round. From Memorial Day - Labor Day, all kiteboarders must stay at least 100 yards from the water’s edge once through the launch zone. Please respect the surfers’ space.

South End: (Beginner, Advanced, Expert) This is by far the safest, widest open area on Folly Beach for kiteboarding. And, you can ride it in almost any wind direction.

Located in the Folly Beach County Park, this is one of several Charleston County Parks. Here, you'll find the hardest packed sand on the island, making it great spot for kite ground boarding as well as kiteboarding. Stay away from the populated park areas of the beach and stay away from SWIM ZONES and swimmers alike.

This is also a great spot for West winds. Though they are a touch side off, the massive salt marsh behind the Island allows the "turbulent land breeze" to stabilize.

Middle Folly:(Beginner, Advanced, Expert) Directions - ENE/E/ESE/SE/SSE/S/SSW/SW/WSW

While Folly Beach is open to kiting without restrictions, riding mid-isle can be hazardous as there are unmarked jetties and groins that are submerged at high tide. Hitting one of these while kiteboarding can cause serious injury or death. Most of Folly is wide open, but stay well enough away from the beach (100 yard rule) as many, many surfers cluster the waters at their individual breaks. “The Washout” past 12th street heading north is the most populated, so stay away from everyone in the water. 

 

North End/ Morris Island “Osyter Roast”:(EXPERT ONLY) Directions – NNW/N/NNE/NE/ENE

Aptly named for the plethora of oyster beds, many visible at low tide near the sandbars around the inlet (into Folly River) and Morris Island, which is across the inlet. Be careful, or the oysters will roast you! Important Note: Oysters also along an underwater hardened mud ledge just off the beach so don’t walk out too far at low tide.

 

Capers Inlet:

Latitude/Longitude: 32.85,-79.697

Launch/Land Zones: Any available.

Directions of wind: Any – depending on which side of inlet you are on

Experience Level(s): Beginner, Advanced, Expert

**Boat required** Closest public marina is the “Isle of Palms Marina” (843-886-0209). 

Falling at the end of Toomer Creek along the barrier islands to the north of Isle of Palms, in between Capers & Dewees Islands lies Charleston's nearest, far-away place: Caper's Inlet. On the Capers Island side, the long beaches become widely exposed during low tide. It's always a great idea to bring a ground board along, just in case the winds are lighter, or if you ever wanted to try boosting on wheels.

Dewees Island has some incredible kiteboarding spots, which at low tide, offer large deep flatter water areas. Perfect for most riders, but recommend Advanced to Expert levels as hazard level is higher with time and distance factoring in from closest emergency response/care facility.

Capers Island is part of the Cape Romain National Wildlife refuge. Dewees Island is a private community. Please respect their island. If you anchor on Dewees, keep your boat closer to the marsh side. They prefer to keep traffic on their beaches mild, at most.

Both islands are beautiful and pristine. Launch here and you'll feel like you've in a different world. The “Boneyards” exist along sections of beach where trees have been taken by the ocean, and what is left are bleached white mangles of oak trees and other species out in the surf.

The lands are protected by the Department of Natural Resources. Respect the lands and the wildlife, especially nesting turtles and birds. They are often patrolled by rangers.

 

Price Inlet:

Latitude/Longitude: 32.875,-79.651

Launch/Land Zones: Any available.

Directions of wind: any – depending on which side of inlet you are on

Experience Level(s): Advanced, Expert

**Boat required** Closest public boat landing is Moore's Landing/County landing. End of County Road 1170, off County Road 584, on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW).

Falling at the end of Price Creek, in between Bulls & Capers Islands... At low tide, sandbars offer shallow flat water areas where you may kite in any wind direction. This area is recommended for Advanced to Expert levels as hazard level is higher with time and distance factoring in from closest emergency response/care facility.

On the Bull's Island Side, the sand bars are like moguls. If you love groundboarding, it's like kiting with 3' kickers surrounding you. It's always a great idea to bring a ground board along, just in case the winds are lighter, or if you ever wanted to try boosting on wheels.

As part of the Cape Romain National Wildlife refuge, both islands are virtually unblemished by humans. This means they are incredibly beautiful, and completely natural. Launch here, and you'll be kiting among true wildlife in a very primitive area. The “Boneyards” exist along sections of beach where trees have been taken by the ocean, and what is left are bleached white mangles of oak trees and other species out in the surf.

The lands are protected by the Department of Natural Resources. Respect the lands and the wildlife, especially nesting turtles and birds. They are often patrolled by rangers.

 

 

Bulls Island NE point “The Sandy Hook”:

Latitude/Longitude: 32.934,-79.578

Launch/Land Zones: Any available.

Directions of wind: Any – with land shadowing/offshore fetch occurring from SSW/SW/WSW directions. 

Experience Level(s): Advanced, Expert – oyster beds along the inside shoals of Bulls Bay, so beware.

**Boat required** Closest public boat landing isGarris Public Boat Landing

Landing Location: Latitude/Longitude 32.94032, -79.65759

 

Other Nearby Boat Landing: Buck Hall Recreation Area, SC. 1-877-444-6777 

Landing Location: Latitude/Longitude : 33.03852 , -79.561367

This area is recommended for Expert levels only due to in water hazards, wildlife, currents and distance to emergency response/care facilities.

Falling at Northeast point of Bull Island at the entrance to Bulls Bay is a very wide bay with shoals of sand, silts and oyster beds further inland. At low tide, sandbars offer shallow flat water areas where you may kite in any wind direction.

As part of the Cape Romain National Wildlife refuge, both islands are virtually unblemished by humans. This means they are incredibly beautiful, and completely natural. Launch here, and you'll be kiting among true wildlife in a very primitive area. The “Boneyards” exist along sections of beach where trees have been taken by the ocean, and what is left are bleached white mangles of oak trees and other species out in the surf.

The lands are protected by the Department of Natural Resources. Respect the lands and the wildlife, especially nesting turtles and birds. They are often patrolled by rangers.

 

 

Kiawah Island:

South End – Beach Walker Park /Captain Sam’s Inlet

Latitude/Longitude: 32.58, -80.13

Launch/Land Zones: Any available.

Directions of wind: Along main stretch, ENE/E/ESE/SE/SSE/S/SSW/SW/WSW …at the southern tip, almost any direction.

Experience Level(s): Beginner, Advanced, Expert

Kiawah, and neighboring island Seabrook, are private gated communities. They are a huge mix of posh housing, including Charleston's most prestigious hotel, The Sanctuary.

It takes a solid 45 minutes to arrive at the gates, so most people going to these islands either live there or are guests. What this means for kiteboarders is that the only public beach around typically remains mostly vacant of people.

The beaches are long, wide, and simply just huge. Even with mild crowds during peak seasons, simply hike south a hundred yards or so and you'll likely be the only soul around.

While this falls under Kiawah Island jurisdiction, beach patrol tends to stay out of this private property. Overall, there have yet to be any rules established here.

 

North End – “Salt Flats”

Latitude/Longitude: 32.61, -79.99

Launch/Land Zones: Any available.

Directions of wind: Along main stretch, E/ESE/SE/SSE/S/SSW/SW/WSW …at the northern tip, you’ll be able to get NNW/N/NNE/NE directions as you wrap around. It’s quite a hike into that northern-most area.

Experience Level(s): Beginner, Advanced, Expert

Kiawah, and neighboring island Seabrook, are private gated communities. They are a huge mix of posh housing, including Charleston's most prestigious hotel, The Sanctuary.

It takes a solid 45 minutes to arrive at the gates, so most people going to these islands either live there or are guests. What this means for kiteboarders is that the only public beach around typically remains mostly vacant of people.

The beaches are long, wide, and simply just huge. Even with mild crowds during peak seasons, simply hike south a hundred yards or so and you'll likely be the only soul around.

While this falls under Kiawah Island jurisdiction, beach patrol tends to stay out of this private property. Overall, there have yet to be any rules established here.

Edisto Island :

South End - “Bay Point” to the Main stretch of the island

Latitude/Longitude: 32.48,-80.33

Launch/Land Zones: Any available.

Directions of wind: Any –depending on location on tip – can get good NNW/NW/WNW/W winds around point…with emphasis of onshore flow from NE/ENE/E/ESE/SE/SSE/S/SSW/SW/WSW along the main stretch of the island.

Experience Level(s): Beginner, Advanced, Expert

Bay point lies on the southwest tip of Edisto Beach, which is Edisto Island's beachfront town. This little beach shack town is virtually untapped by commercial enterprise. About the most exciting thing around is the local Piggly Wiggly market and McConkey’s Jungle Shack.

With southerly Lowcountry Sea Breezes, the northeast current opposes the wind and makes for epic wide open riding. Plus, if you time tides with wind directions, you'll be cruising every time it blows.

Head across the channel to the backside of the Bear Island outer barrier sand bars, where slicks and smoothness await. Careful ….no civilization over there.

Of course, paradise does have a flaw...much of the Atlantic side beaches are steep, narrow, and plagued with large rock jetties/groins every 40-60 meters, barely leaving enough room to rig and launch.

 

 

Hilton Head Island :

 

North End - “Mitchellville Beach”

Latitude/Longitude32.243031, -80.684829

 

Launch/Land Zones: Any available. Just be aware of spots of oyster beds

Directions of wind: N/NNE/ENE

Experience Level(s): Beginner, Advanced, Expert

Off of Beach City Rd on the North end of the Island. Hight tide can take up a lot of space making it a challenge for beginners to self launch. As the tourist come in please always be aware of them and know they have the right of way. Please note that the parking is only open from Monday thru Sunday 6:00 am - 9:00 pm. Winter Hours: Monday thru Sunday 6:00 am - 6:00 pm. Hours change according to Daylight Savings Time

The lands are protected by the Department of Natural Resources. Respect the lands and the wildlife, especially nesting turtles and birds. They are often patrolled by rangers.

 

Mid Island - “Folly Field beach”

Latitude/Longitude32.202830, -80.686847

 

Launch/Land Zones: Any available outside of the swim buoys and avoid any bystanders

Directions of wind: NE/ENE/E/ESE/SE/SSE

Experience Level(s): 

August- March: Beginner, Advanced, Expert

April- July: Advanced, Expert (Due to high volume of tourists)

Located off of William Hilton Parkway on Folly Field Road. Parking available but can not leave cars over night. This is a good area in the “off tourist season” for beginners to learn. As the tourist come in please always be aware of them and know they have the right of way.

The lands are protected by the Department of Natural Resources. Respect the lands and the wildlife, especially nesting turtles and birds. They are often patrolled by rangers.

 

 

South End - “North Forest beach and South Forest Beach”

Latitude/LongitudeNorth Forest beach:32.143644, -80.745334

     South Forest Beach:32.135611, -80.762755

 

Launch/Land Zones: Any available outside of the swim buoys and avoid any bystanders

Directions of wind: SE/SSE/S/SSW/SW/WSW

Experience Level(s): August- March: Beginner, Advanced, Expert

                       April- July: Advanced, Expert (Due to high volume of tourists)

Located off of North Forest beach drive or South Forest beach drive. Parking available but can not leave cars over night. During the months of April- July the South End of the island brings in a high volume of tourists in a small area. Do not launch between the swim buoys or where there is a large group of beach goers. We currently do not have any strict restrictions and we would like to keep it this way. We respect the people that travel here and make sure to stay out of their way so that we can maintain our healthy relationship with the government here.

 

The lands are protected by the Department of Natural Resources. Respect the lands and the wildlife, especially nesting turtles and birds. They are often patrolled by rangers.

 

South End - “Tower Beach in Sea Pines”

Latitude/Longitude32.109125, -80.822569

 

 

Launch/Land Zones: Any available outside of the swim buoys and avoid any bystanders

Directions of wind: ENE/E/ESE/SE/SSE and some SSW.

Experience Level(s): August- March: Advanced, Expert

                       April- July: Expert (Due to high volume of tourists)

Located in the Sea Pines Plantation Community. To get into Sea Pines there is a charge of $6 for the public. Tower beach is located at the opening of the Calibogue Sound. Parking is mostly for property owners and is checked by the Sea Pines Security. The current can be extremely strong and can cause a lot of issues if not careful. Launching can be very difficult at high tide as space is limited and during tourist season there is not much to share. Please be aware of those around you as they have the right of way.

The lands are protected by the Department of Natural Resources. Respect the lands and the wildlife, especially nesting turtles and birds. They are often patrolled by rangers.

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