Where to SUP in Folly Beach, South Carolina
A few weeks ago, I was in the Charleston area for a family wedding and stayed in Folly Beach. My cousin owns a house right on the beach, so naturally, I wanted to carve out some time for stand up paddle boarding! The ocean was just a few steps away and the Folly River was a short walk across town. This was my first trip to South Carolina and I was excited to see so many waterways in the Charleston area! I just wish I would have had more time to explore, but my paddle adventures were still amazing.
I contemplated traveling with my own inflatable stand up paddle board (iSUP), but I did some research before the trip and there were plenty of rental options in Folly Beach, so I left my board at home. It was a relatively short trip and although I didn't see any rental companies directly on the beach, I found Charleston SUP Safaris - they will deliver paddle boards to your location! Perfect.
Several members of my family were staying on the beach, so I called Charleston SUP Safaris to get more information about having two paddle boards delivered to our beach house. To my surprise, they delivered them within the hour - at no extra charge! They offer many SUP rental options and I chose the 24 hour rental. They charged $60 for a 24 hour rental - which I considered a steal! In Chicago, it will cost you $60 to rent a board for 2 hours.
I assumed traditional hard boards would be delivered, but when the paddle boards arrived, they had more of a foam core and initially - I was disappointed. However, the guy from Charleston SUP Safaris explained that these boards were safer for beginners in the ocean because they are not as heavy. If you haven't read my post about paddle boarding in the ocean, go read it and you will
understand why I immediately realized these boards may be perfect for our group. These boards were lighter than a hard board, but not as light as my inflatable paddle board. He shared some tips regarding an SUP surfing video on their website and some tips for how to paddle past the breaking waves and we were all set! A few of us took the paddle boards into the ocean and I have to admit, the foam core board was much easier to get past the breaking waves than the hard board I had in the Pacific Ocean. I was also a little more prepared this time and enjoyed paddling up and down the coast line.
Since we had the stand up paddle boards for 24 hours, I enjoyed a nice paddle each morning. When I was ready for the boards to be picked up, I still had some time left, so I called Charleston SUP Safaris and asked if I could have the paddle boards picked up and transferred to the Folly River for a paddle. They weren't able to immediately get the boards, but told me to come on over and paddle the Folly River. I was so excited to get two different paddle experiences on this trip! The shop is located very close to the Folly River, but I was impressed by how they set you up to transport your board. They secure the board to a trailer and it was much easier to walk it to and from the launch point. I watched a short video about how to paddle the Folly River and they show you on a map where to paddle and send you on your way. I launched my board, paddled about a mile down the river and back. It was a completely different experience than the ocean paddle, but very beautiful.
The Charleston area is gorgeous and I hope to make it back soon to explore more waterways. Charleston SUP Safaris offers many SUP tours, including dolphin tours! I have my eye on the Morris Island Lighthouse Safari. They were really great and I would highly recommend checking out their website if you find yourself in the area. I loved my experience paddle boarding in Folly Beach and will definitely be back soon!