One of the most enjoyable recreational activities Myrtle Beach has to offer is also one that few visitors take advantage of — surfing. With the Atlantic Ocean in your own backyard, guests at The Dayton House Myrtle Beach resort have lots of opportunities to catch a wave.
Those who discover the thrill of riding on a surfboard propelled by the forces of nature find it hard to explain, and it’s even harder to stop once the saltwater gets in your veins. Not only is riding the waves a good time and a great workout, many surfers say it’s the best free therapy for washing away your worries. All you need is a surfboard and a can-do attitude — we can hook you up with a short how-to, some great places to take lessons and the best surfing hot spots on the Grand Strand. Consider these tips for catching waves in Myrtle Beach:
- Getting started: Before you rush out and spend a few hundred dollars on a surfboard, there are several local surf shops that offer board rentals by the day or the week. These are the same outfitters that provide surf camps and private lessons for novices. Jack's Surf Lessons and Board Rentals and Kokopelli Surf Lessons are two popular local shops that can cover all your surfing needs. Beginners should select a soft board for maximum buoyancy, and generally speaking bigger is better for learning how to stand up and balance. Surf shop workers should be able to help you select the best board for you.
- Surf lessons: In addition to the aforementioned Jack's and Kokopelli, the nearby Palmetto Surf School and Myrtle Beach Surf School also offer camps and lessons on a regular basis (dates and times vary based on waves and weather). Certified instructors go out in the waves with you and walk you through every step, including the all-important skill of spotting a good wave. They can teach you the proper technique for standing and balancing, and even give you a push to get started.
- Surfing 101: If you have access to a board and consider yourself a self-starter, you can learn on your own if you have some patience and determination. Instructors recommend you practice on dry land first by lying prone on the board and bouncing up to your feet in one fast and fluid motion. Then you can practice paddling around in the water out past the breakers before positioning yourself in the pocket of a wave. That involves paddling into position at the peak of wave as it begins to swell, a skill that you may have to learn by trial and error. Balance yourself on the board with your back foot serving as the power steering and the front foot providing a nice counterbalance, with the two working in concert to keep you standing.
- Surf zones: In order to prevent surfers from colliding with unsuspecting swimmers, local municipalities have established surf zones that are in effect from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer months. Guests at The Strand are a short distance from surf zones to the north and south of the resort. From 39th Avenue North to 47th Avenue North, also known as the Golden Mile section of Myrtle Beach, is a popular local hangout where you might even pick up some pointers from experienced surfers. Also, at Eighth Avenue North in the downtown district, surfing is permitted in the heart of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. Other surf zones in Myrtle Beach include Springmaid Pier, 62nd to 68th Avenue North, and 82nd Avenue North to Singleton Swash.
After a day of hitting the waves, paddle back to your vacation home away from home at The Dayton House for a little rest and recovery. Enjoy a drink from Yella Umbrella Bar, take a dip in the pool and hot tub, or just chill out on your oceanfront balcony and listen to the waves beckoning you to go surfing again the next day.