Sunday, July 22, 2007

Edisto Island Vacation

**UPDATE- Check out this Edisto Island Windsurfing Guide that I made**

Ah, I just got back from a vacation with my parents and Southern relatives in beautiful Edisto Island, South Carolina. The only thing that wasn't quite perfect about the trip was that my sister and brother in law couldn't make it down from Ohio. Oh, well. We stayed in a beach house that my folks own, but don't stay in often, because they need to rent it to pay the bills. The house is called the Dragonfly, and you can stay there if you want (see link).

I used to love fishing and playing in the warm waves at Edisto. I still do. But since I've gotten obsessed with windsurfing, it has become the major focus of my Edisto marine recreation. The ocean winds in South Carolina aren't usually as strong and consistent as those of the North Carolina's Outer Banks, but they can still be pretty good. This time around, Edisto really delivered the breeze; a consistent 15+ knots from the South every afternoon. After much experimentation during previous forays to Edisto, I think I've found the good spots for launching a windsurf. A lot depends on the tidal current, the wave protection afforded by a shallow sand spit off the point of the island, and of course, the wind. We were lucky enough this visit to be able to store the windsurfing gear at the home of some friends of my parents, who live just west of the point of the island, on the St. Helena sound side. (Thanks Virginia and Henry!)

Obviously, the windsurfing was fantastic, and I sailed until my feet were raw from the footstraps. I had the most fun traversing the weirdly breaking waves over the sand-spit at high tide. Woo hoo! Of course, my heroism on the sand spit was not captured on film, but my dad took this short video with his digital camera.


LakeSailor said...

Nice video!

Edisto Vacationer said...

Nice place James. It sounds like you guys had a fun time. My family went to Edisto Beach last week and stayed at a nice condo in the Wyndham area. We found it on the Edisto Beach rentals site. It was smaller than your place but really nice and trendy. I really like the island. It's so much less developed than most resorts in SC.

James Douglass said...

Edisto vacationer- Thanks for the comment. Yep, Edisto is definitely a wonderful place, and I'm a glad you found a good spot to stay there. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey James, nice vid !

I'm a new windsurfer (6 days on the board), but am able to sail in 17-18kt winds with a 6.0-7.0 sail. My family is going to Edisto this summer for vacation, would there be good riding for someone with my limited experience? Can you post some directions to good launches?

New Windsurfer

James Douglass said...

Anonymous- You're going to have a great time in Edisto this summer! I just wrote a new post to answer your question about launches. There are a ton of spots because you can go from pretty much any of the beach access areas that have parking. 6.0 and 7.0 seem like good sail sizes for Edisto afternoons.

Anonymous said...

Hi James,

great video. I have come over from Germany to spend some time in SC. I would like to WS on Edisto (especially after reading your mouthwatering descriptions about the WS-place.) Question: Is there a place where you can rent out WS-equipment on the island? I would also need an inexpensive place to stay (8-9 persoons).

James Douglass said...

Anonymous- Unfortunately, windsurfing is not very popular in the United States. Most people just like to stay inside and watch TV. In fact, I don't think there is a windsurf shop anywhere in the entire state of SC. The closest windsurf shop that I know of is Whitecap Windsurfing in Augusta, GA.

As for an inexpensive place to stay, you can camp at Edisto Beach State Park, or you can rent a beach house through one of the rental agencies on the island. The beach houses are very nice, and when you divide the cost by 8 people, they are quite affordable. You can browse different beach houses and make a reservation here:

One caveat to be aware of is that it isn't always windy at Edisto Island. If you want a better chance of wind on the Atlantic Coast of the US, you would have to go to the "Outer Banks" islands of North Carolina. Windsurfing is more popular there, and they have lots of windsurfing shops like this one:

Good luck planning your vacation!