Anthropologists guess that around 400 A.D. a form of belly boarding on wood planks was introduced in ancient Hawaii. It was later combined with the Tahitian pastime of riding waves in canoes.
Over the centuries, the art, sport and culture of surfing have evolved. It has even taken on new forms, including wakeboarding, wakesurfing, kneeboarding, boogie boarding, and most recently, stand-up paddleboarding, zupping and wakeskating.
Due to the wide continental shelf and occasional sandbars, the Island produces normal beach breaks and is a safe spot for beginners. Hilton Head shores mostly have smooth, sandy bottoms.
The best time of day to catch a wave is during mid- to high-tide. The best time of year to surf the Hilton Head area is from August to December, but beware of hurricanes and storms that are close to shore because the surf gets too high and the conditions too windy. You’ll find very strong currents during the spring tides. Watch out for stingrays during the spring months and jellyfish during the summer. Lifeguards will put out warning flags if these conditions exist.
Surfing (as well as boogie boarding and “other articles to ride the surf”) is permitted on all public beaches except in areas designated for swimmers.
Companies providing wakeboarding, wakesurfing, kneeboarding, zupping and wakeskating excursions operate during the warmer months, usually April through October. Lessons and equipment rentals for surfing and stand-up paddle boarding are available year around, weather permitting. You can purchase boogie boards at any grocery store or large retain chain.
For more information, contact:
Outside Hilton Head (843) 686-6996
Sea Monkeys Watersports (843-842-4754)
Sky Pirate Watersports (843-842-2566)