founded by peter melhado in 2015


Prior to founding Isla Surf School, Peter worked and managed at Nantucket Surfari and Locals Surf School in the northeast for many years, graduated from The College of Charleston in 2014, worked as a private surf instructor in Costa Rica, and traveled the world in pursuit of perfect waves and unique cultures. Peter witnessed some of the best and some of the worst surf schools during his work experience and travels and cultivated an idea of what a high end surf school should look like. Peter founded Isla Surf School in 2015 with the goal of providing Charleston and Folly Beach with a genuine surf experience and a variety of packages suitable for all levels and ages. With his years of experience in the industry and his passion for the sport, Peter has established Isla as Charleston's leading surf school. Check out our REVIEWS.

Isla is also a strong believer in bettering our community. From the little stuff like beach clean up to our work with our two non-profit partners, bettering our community through the power of surfing is very important to us. Please check out our non-profit partners The Warrior Surf Foundation & The Ripple Effect

We provide professional instructors who are CPR/AED/First Aid certified, the best equipment, and the widest range of lesson options. We pride ourselves on giving the best and most fun lessons on the beach. Book a lesson with us and experience the Isla difference. We will have you riding waves in no time!

 Peter Melhado

Peter Melhado



I was born and raised here in Charleston and have no plans to leave anytime soon. Surfing is my biggest passion and being able to share that with others is an awesome experience. Watching someone catch their first wave and seeing the pure stoke in their eyes is almost indescribable.




I am originally from Kansas, but moved to Charleston a few years ago and am a student at the College of Charleston. I learned how to surf as soon as I moved from Kansas and fell in love with surfing and the ocean. I grew up on a farm in the middle of the country and now I can't be away from the ocean for more than a day!



I love surfing and the ocean because of the freedom it gives me. Everyday is different in the water and I can express myself in the waves no matter the size or quality. I am from New York but have lived in Charleston for five years now. You can't beat the weather, food, and atmopshere of Charleston and Folly Beach. Fun Fact: I'm Peter's little brother!



I am a combat veteran who served in the Army National Guard, and a student at College of Charleston where I study accounting and computer science. I'm orginally from a small farm town. Surfing is in my blood because my mom was a surfer in the 60's and early 70's. I love surfing because it is fun, peaceful, and I enjoy the ocean. 



I am a senoir at the Collegge of Charleston. I am from the South Shore of Massachusetts where my dad taught me to surf at age 5. I have been teaching surf lessons for 7 years now and am looking forward to running Isla's camps. I have surfed up and down the coast and Costa Rica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. 



I recently moved to Charleston after graduating from Auburn University. With a love for the beach and food I figured Charleston would be the perfect place for me. I currently teach 3rd grade and look forward to spending the summer working with Isla Surf School!



I caught my first wave early summer of 1961 and fell in love with surfing, the lifestyle and mother ocean. I started visiting the Charleston area on business 2013 and in late 2016 I moved to James Island. 

As a veteran it is a way for me to give back so check them out on the web: www.warriorsurf.org



I am originally from Long Island, NY but moved to Charleston to study at the College of Charleston. I love surfing and traveling with my friends and family.  I really enjoy the pace of life down here and the welcoming attitude the people of Folly Beach and Charleston have. 


This video highlights some of our favorite moments from our first two full years in business. We have had the most amazing time meeting people from all walks of life, making new friends and partners, and growing the business. We have had so many fun moments at summer camp and during our private lessons and some incredibly powerful moments doing our non-profit work. Thank you for the continued support and we look forward to being a positive force in the Charleston and Folly Beach community for many years to come! 

Head to our VIMEO page for all of our videos!