Are there waves on Isle of Palms? — Isla Surf School (2024)

We get this question a lot. Are there other surfing options in South Carolina outside of Folly Beach? There are a lot of options, but the quality of wave can drop off significantly once you leave Folly Beach. In this post we will explore Isle of Palms as a viable surfing option and possibly a better fit for your life and surfing goals.

Are there waves on IOP?

Yes! There are consistent waves on Isle of Palms that make it a great option for surfing in the Charleston area and possibly much more convenient of you depending on where you live. Generally, whenever the waves are fun on Folly they will also be fun at IOP. IOP faces a little more south than Folly Beach which means it picks up even less swell when there is any north direction in it, but that is sort of irrelevant as Folly struggles to draw in these swells as well.

What are the crowds like?

While the crowd has picked up some in recent years, you will find a much more spread out crowd when compared to Folly. There are a few spots on IOP that are considered better and draw more crowds, but nothing like the Washout or the Pier on Folly Beach. If you would prefer to surf alone we would recommend seeking out a quiet sand bar on Isle of Palms. While this is still possible at Folly, it’s a little easier at IOP. You definitely feel more breathing room out there.

What is the best time of year to surf on Isle of Palms?

If you are a new surfer or a beginner we highly recommend taking advantage of perfect summer waves to hone your skills and up your comfort level in the ocean. However, if you are intermediate or advanced we recommend targeting late summer and early fall as the best window to get some really fun tropical storm or hurricane swell.

Does Isla Surf School teach lessons on IOP?

Yes! We have a location at 8th Avenue on Isle of Palms where we teach private surf lessons and offer a mini surf camp during the summer months. The quality, safety, and fun lessons we are known for on Folly are also available here! Check out some details HERE.

Are there waves on Isle of Palms? — Isla Surf School (2024)


Are there waves on Isle of Palms? — Isla Surf School? ›

Yes! There are consistent waves on Isle of Palms that make it a great option for surfing in the Charleston area and possibly much more convenient of you depending on where you live. Generally, whenever the waves are fun on Folly they will also be fun at IOP.

What beach in SC has the best waves? ›

The Washout (AKA “Hollywood”)

The best surfing on Folly is in the area known locally as “The Washout.” Veteran surfers claim this stretch of jettied beach break is where you can find some of the best waves on the South Carolina coast.

What beach in Charleston has the biggest waves? ›

Folly Beach is one of the top places on the Charleston Coast to go surfing.

Where is the best place to surf in Charleston SC? ›

There is something magical about surfing Folly Beach SC in Charleston, whether you're on the Washout, 10th Street or the Folly Beach Pier area. The area, which is known as one of the top locations on the East Coast and in South Carolina for surfing, offers long waves that stretch out along the coast.

What is the surfing zone where wave breaks? ›

The surf zone (or breaker zone) is the zone where waves break as a consequence of depth limitation and surf onshore as wave bores.

What beach has the strongest waves? ›


Nazare is home to the worlds biggest waves, clocking in a record breaking 86ft! What's strange though is that this wave wasn't even on the big wave surfing map up until 2010.

What beach has the calmest waves? ›

After crunching the numbers, the researchers found that Baby Beach in Maui, Hawaii, holds the title for having the calmest water of any beach in the world, with more than 27 percent of reviews mentioning the phrase.

Does Isle of Palms have big waves? ›

You may not find huge swells while surfing on Isle of Palms, but the waves here are excellent for all levels of experience.

How big are the waves at Folly Beach? ›

Forecast Details
6am1 ft fair1.2ft 7s SE
12pm1+ ft choppy2.1ft 6s SSE
6pm1-2 ft choppy2.3ft 6s SSE

Is it safe to surf in South Carolina? ›

Surf Hazards

There have been incidents of venomous Portuguese man o' wars washing up on beaches in South Carolina. There can also be small sharks close to shore, but they're not going to gnaw your whole leg off. The biggest thing to consider is probably the currents when a big storm swell is running.

Does Palm Beach have surfing? ›

Palm Beach County offers many great surf spots with fun waves and good surf breaks. The top surf spots in Palm Beach include the Juno Beach Pier, Marcinski, Coral Cove Park, and Hobe Sound Beach, which are popular with longboarders and shortboarders.

Do people surf at Folly Beach? ›

There are plenty of excellent surfing spots across the entire island. However, the ultimate surfer's gem lies within The Washout area, which claims the most exceptional waves on the entire Folly Beach.

Can you surf fish in Isle of Palms SC? ›

If a rod and reel is your key to a perfect beach trip, surf fishing on Isle of Palms will take you to your happy place. Whether you enjoy standing on the beach or fishing off a pier, you can have it your way on Isle of Palms.

Where do people surf 100 foot waves? ›

100 Foot Wave is an American documentary television series directed by Chris Smith, revolving around big-wave surfer Garrett McNamara as he traveled to Nazaré, Portugal with the goal of conquering a 100-foot wave.

Where do most waves break? ›

Waves break when they reach a shallow coastline where the water is half as deep as the wave is tall. As a wave travels across the open ocean, it gains speed. When a wave reaches a shallow coastline, the wave begins to slow down due to the friction caused by the approaching shallow bottom.

Which SC beach has clearest water? ›

Beaches With the Clearest Water in South Carolina

If crystal-clear waters are what you seek, look no further than Kiawah Island. Famous for its natural beauty, this barrier island boasts stunning beaches with remarkably clear water.

What is the number one beach in South Carolina? ›

Myrtle Beach is one of the most famous beaches in South Carolina, famed for its soft sands and family-friendly atmosphere. The water here gets super warm, especially in summer, and the beach stretches on for thousands of feet in both directions, providing plenty of space even when the big crowds come in.

What is the least crowded beach in SC? ›

Mitchelville Beach, also known as Fish Haul Beach Park, offers a natural landscape on Hilton Head Island. As one of the state's less populated beaches, it is a great place for explorers who like to look for shells, hermit crabs, driftwood and deer tracks in the sand.

Are there surfable waves on Myrtle Beach? ›

Depending on the wind, tide and wave action, Myrtle Beach offers excellent surf conditions, a safe, sandy bottom, and lots of locations to hang 10. There's something about standing atop a board and riding on the water that hooks new surfers.

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