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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hilton Head Island - OB, SD
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    Hilton Head Island.

    I have some family on Hilton Head Island, SC. More of our family is now re-locating there as well. I have looked up the surf spots on HHI and done some research about the beaches. It looks pretty shallow with random sand bars. Usually mushy windswell from what I read and some occasional juice from fall storms...

    Does Hilton Head break on a normal basis (by SC standards). I understand that folly catches the most swell down there and Myrtle has a good angle facing the SE which picks up sometimes...

    But does hilton head break the way average S.C. does? I am just curious. Some of our family used to live with us in San Diego. And they moved there and say they still surf quite often. I am just wonder what kind of waves are over there.

    If anyone is familiar with the area, id like to hear anything you may be able to say.

    All of my friends who go to HHI go there to golf.

  2. #2
    I've never surfed HH but I've heard it sucks. I learned to surf while living in Myrtle and then surfed Pawleys Island for almost 10 years after that- HH is supposed to be pretty damn bad comparatively & more on par with Tybee Island GA I think. That said every dog has it's day and everything in SC is going to be "the suck" after living in SD- when it is fun/rideable the crowds probobly aren't bad-

    I wouldn't have chimed in having never been there but nobody else was helping at all

    oh yeah one more thing- congratulations on having a rich family
    Last edited by Bronze Whaler; Mar 28, 2011 at 09:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Folly Beach
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    3
    Hey I've been surfing between Folly myrtle and hilton all my life. Folly is where I live and its deff the best. Hilton pretty much sucks and myrlte isnt much better. Hilton is really mushy too but you could get some good longboard days and probably use a fish for a fun shortboard day but folly is about an hour away from hilton head so its prob worth the drive on days that the swell hits us.

  4. #4

    Hhi

    That Folly Girl is pretty much right on; Folly is about the best on the SC coast and isn't too far from HHI (although neither is N. Florida). I live on HHI and generally look longingly at my shorty while strapping the longboard to the roof my car...then I go surf. Maybe I'm just getting old, but if I can ride it I'm probably having fun. HHI sucks by rate of comparison, and there's Gaskin Banks just offshore, which helps fuel the *****ing about lousy conditions. That said, there are plenty of days with knee to stomach high slow rollers and pasty Ohioans in need of some up close and personal local flavor.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Hilton Head Island - OB, SD
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    Thanks for the info. Anyone have a rundown on the reasoning behind the folly area getting so much better then the rest of the coast? From the aerial google images, the offshore bank looks like its about the same as the rest of SC. I see that the little island to the south of Folly aims more north, so it looks like quite a few swell angles could intersect into that zone, pushing the level of surf up... Is folly just way deep right off shore? It doesnt look to be from the overheads... But i assume the southern island sucks some swell up and traps it along there....

    But with that theory in mind, I would also assume that Hunting Island (North of HHI) would kind of have the same swell trapping effect since the island to the north is more east facing... Hunting Island has more of a E/NE angle with an island right above it. I mean, it looks like a similar setup to folly... Maybe with a boat, there is some surf up on the north side of Hunting Island

    Im just curious about this whole folly thing. I was tracking swell last week, and every other spot in the entire state literally recorded "FLAT", while folly for 3 straight days was registered at 2-4 ft.... I kept looking at the swell angles and stuff, but I couldnt figure out why everywhere else was literally flat. I mean, i assume its all the contours on the sea floor.

    Anyone know why folly is such a stand out compared to the rest of the coast?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Hilton Head Island - OB, SD
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    Oh, and a few people told me about a spot (well known) on the north end of the island (HHI) that actually picks up a swell when its in the area while the rest of the island is ankle high. Nto sure if its the tide, or waterway to the north, but they said that if there is swell, that is pretty much the place to be.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Palm Bay. Florida
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    Zach

    I have lived and surfed on Hilton Head Island for 22 years. The reason I havent replied is that I have been in Melbourne Fl. surfing. I started surfing on North Forest Beach which has a good sand break near Jacana St. But you have to know someone who lives there to park. The rich own it all! The most popular break is Burkes because it is free to park and has the folly twisting by it to create another sand break. We usually have 2-3 foot swells with larger sets in storms. We also have sand banks surrounding the island that break up the good swell before it hits us. Our biggest problem is the tides. We are so shallow and have 8 foot tidal changes which create their own swells. Problem is that if the tides not coming in - it is flat - even on good days. So we have only a 2-3 hr. window to surf. Too bad if high tides are in the dark! We also have Hunting Island to the norht and Tybee to the south. I dont know why everybody is talking Folly Island and Myrtle Beach - they are as alien to people down south here as California or Hawaii. Hell, Myrtle B. is probaly 400 miles away. Dont know - never been there. We live closer to Savannnah. We go on day trips to Jacksonville which is usually firing. If you come here - bring a long board! If you play golf - STAY AWAY! We have enough riche snobs not allowing us access to our beaches! And to the guy who said there are only 20 surfers on HHI - needs to come here.
    There are app. 350 surfers on this island I would say.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Hilton Head Island - OB, SD
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCislander View Post
    I have lived and surfed on Hilton Head Island for 22 years. The reason I havent replied is that I have been in Melbourne Fl. surfing. I started surfing on North Forest Beach which has a good sand break near Jacana St. But you have to know someone who lives there to park. The rich own it all! The most popular break is Burkes because it is free to park and has the folly twisting by it to create another sand break. We usually have 2-3 foot swells with larger sets in storms. We also have sand banks surrounding the island that break up the good swell before it hits us. Our biggest problem is the tides. We are so shallow and have 8 foot tidal changes which create their own swells. Problem is that if the tides not coming in - it is flat - even on good days. So we have only a 2-3 hr. window to surf. Too bad if high tides are in the dark! We also have Hunting Island to the norht and Tybee to the south. I dont know why everybody is talking Folly Island and Myrtle Beach - they are as alien to people down south here as California or Hawaii. Hell, Myrtle B. is probaly 400 miles away. Dont know - never been there. We live closer to Savannnah. We go on day trips to Jacksonville which is usually firing. If you come here - bring a long board! If you play golf - STAY AWAY! We have enough riche snobs not allowing us access to our beaches! And to the guy who said there are only 20 surfers on HHI - needs to come here.
    There are app. 350 surfers on this island I would say.
    Cool, thanks for the info. Yeah, some people were telling me about the crazy tidal changes there. Some others spoke of the sand banks that are off shore, breaking up swell. Which is bad for surf, but I suppose if they weren't there then who knows what Hilton Head would even be at this point. Those same banks probably protect the beaches during heavy hurricanes as well.

    But yeah, I was interested in the surf specifically there on HHI. I know Folly gets good from what I hear, but again, Unless im really strapped for waves a 2 hour drive north isnt something you can do all the time... Ive just noticed that there is really not a lot of data, photos, video etc of surfing on HHI. I found thousands of sites with Folly photos and videos... Only thing ive seen (online) on HHI are some SUP and longboard shots and video.... wannasurf.com has about 20 photos of various days of surf on HHI, and all 20 of those photos look pretty fun....

    I was just thinking that maybe those offshore banks are just mainly off the central and southern protion of the island, since Burkes and the north end actually break while the rest of the island doesn't. I thought maybe the banks end a little south of there so swell sneaks around and into burkes....

    I have been trying to find a bathymetric map of the S.C. coast. I have not been able to find any nautical maps or anything of the hilton head island coast... Google imaging doesnt get close enough to see the bottom contours... I will keep look for one... Usually if I good underwater obstructions or shipwrecks, it will show data about water depth, sand banks and wreckage... I couldnt find one of HHI though...

    Thanks for the info though...

    P.S. Surfing is what I do. Its completely my passion. But I do golf as well. I turned 30 last year, and I live in San Diego. I feel like everyone I know is a golfer, so I play around with it now. Im not super serious about it, but I will for sure be bringing clubs to HHI =) But don't worry, I'm not a rich snob, I will be lucky if I can even afford 1 tee time while im there!!! And trust me, I would much rather be surfing... But as you know, getting surf there specifically can be a crap shoot. If im there for a flat spell, I will go hack up some fareways... I have a mean slice, so maybe I will take out a few windows of those empty mansions along the fairways!

    Thanks again!

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    SCIslander! After I posted that, I noticed you had photos on your swellinfo account. I checked them out. Those first 3 look great! Those look like some seriously fun waves on HHI during the igor swell. Best conditions I've seen in the photos i've come across. Nice!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Palm Bay. Florida
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by zach619 View Post
    SCIslander! After I posted that, I noticed you had photos on your swellinfo account. I checked them out. Those first 3 look great! Those look like some seriously fun waves on HHI during the igor swell. Best conditions I've seen in the photos i've come across. Nice!
    Most of the great pics are on FB with my friends. We have good days. We also have some hard core cold water dawn patrol fanatics. It's either that or be depressed. I havent got to surf here in month or so. On HHI - all aspects must come together. Tide time & height, swell height and direction, wind, weather, etc.

    alright you 'golfing yankees' - GOLF IS GOOD! I dont do it but if it wasnt for Golf - HHI would be as empty and poor as the rest of SC. If it wasnt for the Golfers - I wouldnt make all my money to buy surfboards!

    Kelly Slater has no reason to come here unless it is to play golf - but I can assure you - his rich ass would be behind Plantation gates where you and I are not allowed to even enter with a board. Down here it is more in the line of the Hobgoods. They surf in the morning, gator hunt in the afternoon, and attend Babtist church in the evening.

    Good luck on your observations of HHI - but dont get to analitical. The science of surfing is left a little shy in our shallow coastal lowcountry.

    PS ... Keep Surfing!