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Thread: What's a Folly?

  1. #1
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    What's a Folly?

    So to those of you in the SE, this may be a lame questions. I am aware of Folly beach and everything else named FOLLY in S.C. etc...

    But in many different spot locations, they refer to an actual "FOLLY" .... I.E. in HHI, it describes a break and it says "Paddle out at the folly opening... Be careful not to get sucked into the folly here, it is dangerous"....

    The word FOLLY in old english means "Line of trees" and when colonists first spotted Charleston S.C. they called it "Folly because they saw such a dense tree line on the shore"....

    So with all that being said, my assumption is that a "Folly" is an underwater patch of trees, wood or old tree trunks from a maritime forrest....

    My second guess would be that these are man-made "Groynes", or underwater jetties that help protect from beach errosions from swinging wind swell up and down the coast... Groynes are put into place to protect errosion.... They say that Groynes are made up of rock, wood and sometimes metal... Some exposed above water, some completely submerged...

    So, is a folly some sort of Groyne? Or is a folly just a natural old clump ot tree/wood that is under the ocean near shore????

    Can someone please kick some knowledge to me, structurally speaking, or what exactly a "Folly" is?

    Not folly beach, or the family name folly... but the term folly with regards to surfing and the ocean... Thanks...

    I figure what better place to ask this question, than in a forum of guys/gals who live down there and will certainly be able to shed some light... Thanks.

  2. #2
    The word folly pertains to something foolish or a lack of good sense. Almost like a joke, which is how I would describe the waves there and the rest of SC.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRShredder View Post
    The word folly pertains to something foolish or a lack of good sense. Almost like a joke, which is how I would describe the waves there and the rest of SC.
    Haha. I know the definition of the word folly, which is why I was asking about the "structure" known as a folly.

    I have googled this question every which way from tuesday, and it all returns sh** about Folly Beach, SC, or the definition of Folly, which is the foolish act etc.

    The closest search I came up with was the old english term, which again means TREE LINES.

    The folly, at Burkes beach on HHI is not "a joke" etc... it is obviously a water obstruction. I was wondering what that is...

    This answer is the same answer I got in the mid-atlantic forums, which is why I brought it here, so a local could shed some knowledge....

    A folly is an actual thing. Not a joke. Not the name of a beach... there are "follies" all over the SC coast apparently...

    Can someone who has surfed here please explain what this is? The beach looks like it is next to a rivermouth, so is the "folly" a broken jetty? And old pier that is no longer usable? That would make the literal definition of folly apply.... I also thought of that....

    But someone has to know.... ???? guys?

  4. #4
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    Good Question.

    Hey Zach-

    Your question is a good one, and one to provoke some actual thought! I would love to hear a definitive answer, as it is an interesting question. I live in SNC, but tried to find some info as well. I know there are a ton of jetties and structures In Folly. My guess is it has something to do with old structures of some sort or groins/jetties-especially with you seeing something about don't get sucked into the folly here. I also came across this I believe from something Surfline has written on Folly; Beware of jetty rocks, underwater debris and current on larger swells. May-be it has to do with what is talked about here? Shipwrecks? Interesting. I know there are some people on here from Folly.....What's your take?

  5. #5
    Early settlers, first approaching the island by sea, were welcomed by a pristine, tree lined coast. For many, it was their first sight of land and trees in months -- hence they named their paradise "Folly", from an Old English Word meaning clump of trees or thicket.http://www.follybeachscvacationrentals.com/history/

    I have no idea how accurate this is but it sounds just as good as any explanation i've ever heard

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitewater View Post
    Early settlers, first approaching the island by sea, were welcomed by a pristine, tree lined coast. For many, it was their first sight of land and trees in months -- hence they named their paradise "Folly", from an Old English Word meaning clump of trees or thicket.http://www.follybeachscvacationrentals.com/history/

    I have no idea how accurate this is but it sounds just as good as any explanation i've ever heard
    Indeed, but unfortunately, I already included this answer in my post. That is why I refered to the old english meaning as "A tree-line" which is the first thing they saw on charleston's shore...

    But again, that is a literal definition... So, someone must be able to verify what this means in the ocean.... ????

  7. #7
    at the washout in Folly, there is an old inlet that sort of pinches the island between the ocean and the inter-coastal waterway. People had built house in front of this old inlet(and generally too close to the beach anyway) and when Hugo hit in 89' the storm surge was so intense that the old inlet reconnected to the ocean and washed out (hence the name of the break) the houses and everything else that was there. Ever since, debris from the houses sit out in the line up all down the length of the beach. These house were certainly build in folly, and now pose a potential threat to surfers which might answer your question, however this doesn't really explain the threat of getting swept into the folly...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by zach619 View Post
    Haha. I know the definition of the word folly, which is why I was asking about the "structure" known as a folly.

    I have googled this question every which way from tuesday, and it all returns sh** about Folly Beach, SC, or the definition of Folly, which is the foolish act etc.

    The closest search I came up with was the old english term, which again means TREE LINES.

    The folly, at Burkes beach on HHI is not "a joke" etc... it is obviously a water obstruction. I was wondering what that is...

    This answer is the same answer I got in the mid-atlantic forums, which is why I brought it here, so a local could shed some knowledge....

    A folly is an actual thing. Not a joke. Not the name of a beach... there are "follies" all over the SC coast apparently...

    Can someone who has surfed here please explain what this is? The beach looks like it is next to a rivermouth, so is the "folly" a broken jetty? And old pier that is no longer usable? That would make the literal definition of folly apply.... I also thought of that....

    But someone has to know.... ???? guys?
    I live on HHI and the "folly" at burkes beach is a small rivermouth that has a few rocks bordering one side. At low tide you can walk right over it, and at high tide it looks like a little river going into the dunes .
    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...1t:429,r:8,s:0

    the indent on the shoreline is whats considered the "folly"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by idiot View Post
    I live on HHI and the "folly" at burkes beach is a small rivermouth that has a few rocks bordering one side. At low tide you can walk right over it, and at high tide it looks like a little river going into the dunes .
    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...1t:429,r:8,s:0

    the indent on the shoreline is whats considered the "folly"
    Perfect! Thanks for the info. From the way it was mentioned, I assumed it was a rocky or wood structure. I can sleep a little easier tonight =) This simple question has eluded me for weeks.

  10. #10
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    i surf at Burkes Beach whenever i go out.. what the other guy failed to mention is that the Folly is pretty much lined with oyster shells on those "rocks" which is why its so dangerous to get "sucked into the folly" but yea, that rarely happens, the break is off to the side of the river mouth, accept for when its breakin decent, theres an outside break thats pretty close the mouth, but it gets real washy and screwed right outside the mouth with the changing tides and all