5 Things to Know About Paddle Boarding in Charleston, SC
Paddle boarding is a great activity to boost both your physical and mental health. It’s also a great way to see the beautiful coastline of Charleston, SC from the water. However, there are certain things you should be aware of when paddle boarding in Charleston. Here are five things you should know about paddle boarding in Charleston, SC.
1. Be Aware of the Tides
it’s important to know when high and low tide are before venturing out on a paddle board, especially if you are going solo or not in a tour type setting. Paddle boarding during low tide can be a challenge as the water starts to recede and the waterways become shallower. Certain channels and waterways may become too shallow to paddle board through.
You’ll also want to be aware of the tides so you can ensure you are paddling with the current and not against it. You will want to paddle in the direction of the tide and turn around when the tide starts to shift so you aren’t stuck paddling home against the current.
A good way to stay up to date on the tides is to check out a tide chart. There are various tide chart websites and apps available, but the best way to know the exact time for high and low tide is to check the NOAA Tide Predictions Website.
2. Check the Weather
The weather in Charleston can change in a flash. One minute it will be sunny without a cloud in the sky, the next minute there will be a fast approaching storm. It’s important to stay up to date on the weather for the day before venturing out. We recommend using the Weather Channel app and planning your day around the forecast. if the weather is dicey, stay closer to home so you can get in fast in the event of a storm.
3. Know Your Waterways
Charleston has many different waterways that are very paddle board friendly. Isla launches on the Folly River, which is a great waterway to experience tranquility and see all the wildlife that inhabit the Lowcountry waters. Some of this wildlife includes turtles, dolphins, and even stingrays.
It’s important to know your waterways in Charleston as each waterway flows into the other and you can easily become lost or disoriented. Know your landmarks and map out your route beforehand if possible. If you do get lost or off track, don’t hesitate to stop a fellow paddler or boater and ask for directions as most will be familiar with the waterways.
4. Know Your Limitations
While we all like to feel we are excellent swimmers and have the stamina and endurance to paddle long distances, that is not always the case. It’s important to know your limits and abide by them. If you know you are not a great swimmer, please wear a life jacket. Rough currents, high winds, or cold waters can become especially dangerous for those who are not strong swimmers.
It’s also important to not bite off more than you can chew. As with any outdoor activity, don’t venture too far in one direction and not be able to return. While a runner may be able to just call an Uber to retrieve them, it may be difficult for an Uber to retrieve you and your board from a certain point.
5. Don’t Forget it’s About Relaxing and Having Fun
Paddle boarding shouldn’t be stressful. It is a time to relax and unwind. Do not sweat the small stuff when paddle boarding. The first time you hop on a board, you probably aren’t going to be an expert. It may be slightly challenging at first, but you shouldn’t get frustrated. Enjoy the time by yourself or with friends and family. Take in the sights and sounds of the Lowcountry.