North America
South Carolina (USA)
Next Big City
Next Town
Mt. Pleasant
Rider Ability:
Beginner, Intermediate, Expert


Shallow, Flat, Chop, Small wave
Animals, Currents, Wave breaker
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Best Tide:
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Depending on tide and season, the lighthouse can bring mild chop on an outgoing tide or some fun waves on set of high tide. Currents can become strong at times and may work in your favor if opposing the wind direction. To the North is a sandbar, which can bring some awesome wave action on the outside, and a bath like slick on the inside. Moon jellyfish are common during spring and summer. Be sure to have protection (jelly lotion or water pants) to avoid irritating stings.


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Beach Users:
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A rock jetty exists that often becomes submerged at high tide. Stay away from the south side of the jetty (the right side as you face the ocean) as objects (metal and cement) have started to surface with sand erosion. This endangers both kiteboarders and swimmers. There is plenty of room to set up and launch a kite, but watch out for in soft sands near the dunes. They can be laden with large sand burs and death starrs, small thorny potato like cacti.


Shorty, Normal
Shorty, Normal

In Charleston, surfing is a year round sport. Spring waters start warming in March and wetsuits soon disappear. Summer waters hit the mid-high 80's°F and stay warm till October. Fall/winter water temps drop toward Thanksgiving average in the 50's°F. Typically, you can get away with only very minimal warmth protection for 7-8 months of the year. Winter temps average low 50's°F and many kiters just wear a full 3mm wetsuit. However, certain fronts may change currents and waters have been in the mid-lower 40's°F on occasion (January to February). Spring suits are in fashion usually by the end of April (sometimes earlier), skin no later than mid May, and back into shorties by October. The really thick rubber (4/3), booties, gloves and hoods don't usually come out until December through February, but it varies.


Best Months:
April, May
Wind Type:
Thermal, Frontal
Best Direction:
Main Direction:

Predicting wind is tricky; a lot of our kiteable wind comes in unpredicted spurts and thermals that may only last a couple of hours and then immediately shut off. When the water reaches a certain temperature during the early spring, late fall, and throughout winter, Southwest winds have a hard time reaching the beaches. It is not uncommon for the offshore forecasts to predict 20-25 knots of Southwest wind in conjunction with a warm front (ie thermal) and weather system. If the weather system is particularly strong and not accompanied by a lot of moisture, you may actually have that much wind at the beach. More often, the Southwest wind brings up the Southern moisture from Florida, as well as the warmer (and welcomed) temperatures. At the right time of the year this just feeds the thermals and makes for some great ocean riding. Other times (like the early spring, late fall, and winter), the cold water causes a large layer of moisture to develop along the beaches. This layer of moisture seems to block the onshore South to Southwest wind and turns a 20-25 knot beach forecast into a 10 knot day at best. For long range frontal forecasts, follow the frontal boundaries and isobars. But there are a lot of days that happen based more on local weather, rather than large area fronts (i.e., thermals or the lack thereof).

How to get there

Car, Boat
Short walk

From Charleston International airport Sullivan's Island is an easy 20-30 minute drive. Once leaving the airport take 526 heading towards Mt. Pleasant. 526 deadends on to Ben Sawyer Blvd. Ben Sawyer will take you across the salt marsh to the wing bridge over the intercoastal waterway. On the other side is Sullivan's Island. The bridge is active and opens on each hour on the hour on the weekends. If caught by the bridge, you'll have about 15 minutes to scope out the marsh. Once on Sullivan's Island, keep going straight until you reach a stop sign. Take a right here onto Middle St. Take a left onto Station 19. Up and down Station 19 is parking. Be sure to only park in designated areas. The beach access path is located at the end of station 19.

Extra information


The Sullivan's Island Water Craft Ordinance permits the launching and landing of all water craft, including kiteboarders ONLY in designated areas. The official boundaries for The Lighthouse are between the rocks near Station 19 and Station 21 (AKA 19 and 21 avenue). From Memorial Day - Labor day, all kiteboarders must stay at least 100 yards from the waters edge once through the launch zone.


This area is primitive. The best burgers and beer can be found at Poe's Tavern. Try Atlanticville for great seafood, or head into Charleston for some historic dinning & tons of nightlife. A short drive away, food, restrooms, and gas are located on Middle Street (passed on the way to this kiteboarding area).