A word of warning: If you and your buddies are planning a canoe trip down the Chattooga River, do not get in the canoe with your pal who looks like Ned Beatty. Seriously don’t. Bad things will surely happen. Of course, that shouldn’t keep you off Charleston’s waterways — whether you’re in a kayak or a canoe or on a surfboard. The only banjo players you’re going to find around these parts hang out at Awendaw Green, and they’re a right friendly bunch.

Nature Adventure Outfitters
438 West Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant
(843) 568-3222, kayakcharlestonsc.com

Located right on the water at Shem Creek, Nature Adventure Outfitters is one of the oldest and most respected outdoor guide services in the area. With over 10 enthusiastic and experienced leaders, their daily saltwater kayak tours are well worth the price (tours are $29-$89). They also offer blackwater tours and overnight expeditions. Prices vary depending on the length of the trip and equipment needed. If you’re looking for a rental and just want to do your own thing, Nature Adventure Outfitters is the place for you. You can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards for a half or full day of adventure. A half day of paddleboarding will cost you $25, and a full day costs $40. Kayak and canoe rentals cost anywhere from $24 to $40. If you need some time alone for you and a loved one, check out their couple’s retreats, which include lodging, meals, and adventures. And you can get away from the beach for a day and attend one of their off-the-beaten-path hiking tours at various surrounding locations ($10-$35 per person). —Haley Thomas

Half-Moon Outfitters
280 King St. Downtown
(843) 853-0990
425 Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant
(843) 881-9472
94 Folly Road. James Island
(843) 556-6279, halfmoonoutfitters.com

Half Moon Outffitters is fully equipped to help you with all your kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding needs. For paddleboarders, they’re holding a summer SUP race every other Tuesday this summer where everyone from beginners to experts can enjoy a little friendly competition on the waters of Shem Creek. It’s $5 to participate. If you don’t have a paddleboard, they offer rentals for $20.—Brooks Brunson

Trophy Lakes
3050 Marlin Road. Johns Island
(843) 559-2520, trophylakes.com

Trophy Lakes is the place to learn how to waterski and wakeboard. At their watersports cable park you can practice skiing, wakeboarding, or kneeboarding without needing a boat, thanks to an overhead cable system that pulls you up and out of the water. It’s perfect for beginners or experts trying to learn new tricks. Summer prices start at $25 for the first hour, but it’s only $40 for four. You can also rent boards, safety equipment, and a coach to teach you for the day. —BB

Charleston Surf Lessons
Tent near Tides hotel. Folly Beach
(843) 452-5293, (843) 603-2111

If you’re new to the surf, don’t let the mass of Folly bros intimidate you. With relatively mellow waves, South Carolina beaches are a great place for your first time. Check out Charleston Surf Lessons on Folly for instructions from CPR-certified surf experts on how to master the waves. Group lessons starts at $35 per person, or you can splurge on a private lesson for $45. —BB

Sol Surfers Surf Camp
(843) 881-6700, solsurfers.net

A wise old beach bum once said, “Give a kid a boogie board and they’ll be happy for a day. Teach a kid to surf, and they’ll be happy for a lifetime.” This summer, skip the babysitter and send your kids to Sol Surfers Surf Camp. They have weekly lessons from now until Aug. 16, weekend clinics from now until Aug. 10, and $100 two-hour private lessons all summer. Lessons are offered for ages eight to 15 (important note: your child must be able to swim). Each instructor is a certified lifeguard, so campers are in good hands. —Davin Turkewitz

Odyssey Board Shop
217 Lucas St. Mt. Pleasant
(843) 884-5282, odysseyboardshop.com

With an easy location right off Coleman Boulevard, Odyssey Board Shop stocks a great selection of apparel, boards, and accessories. They offer SUP board rentals for $35 a day and surfboard rentals for $25 a day, with free delivery and pickup to Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, and the Isle of Palms. They will also take you on a tour of Shem Creek for $15 an hour. —DT

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