Myrtle Beach, S.C.
A Guide to Surfing in Myrtle Beach

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A Guide to Surfing in Myrtle Beach

Knowing where to go surfing in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, and other areas will make a day of riding waves safe and fun for everyone in your party. Surfers aren’t permitted in all waters, and some locations are open only seasonally, so before you head out, check the restrictions for surfing and swimming. The Grand Strand isn’t known as one of the best surfing spots in the world, but it is home to some of the top beaches in South Carolina, so for most, Myrtle Beach surfing is all about enjoying the beautiful coastline and having fun in the sun. 

With all of the oceanfront hotels and open beaches, surfing Myrtle Beach waters is a convenient activity for everyone. Consult our guidelines to find out where to surf, and then paddle out and catch a wave. Anyone new to the sport will find the gentle swells perfect for learning, and several businesses offer lessons right in town. Three- and four-foot waves are common, so you can show off your surfing techniques and have a great time on the water. Before you pack up to hit the waves for the day, check out our Tide Charts and these beach laws so you know what to bring and where to set up for a day of surfing, swimming, and suntanning.

Whether you’re new to the sport or you just haven’t hit the waves in Myrtle Beach before, here’s what you need to know and where you can get gear or lessons to maximize your surfing adventure:

Where To Surf in Myrtle Beach

Can you surf in Myrtle Beach? Yes! Hitting the Atlantic for body surfing, bodyboarding, or on your longboard are popular activities among guests and locals. Here’s a recap of the surfing rules at area beaches to keep in mind before you paddle out: 

Surfing Rules for Myrtle Beach

Surfing is not allowed within 75 yards of any pier, and all participants must wear a surfing leash (maximum 7 feet in length) at all times. From May 1 through Labor Day, surfing is allowed only in designated areas between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The following areas are designated for surfing in Myrtle Beach:

  • From 710 feet of the center line of the 29th Avenue South street-end to the south city limits
  • Between 37th Avenue North and 47th Avenue North
  • From 82nd Avenue North to the north city limits
  • Between 62nd Avenue North and 68th Avenue North

From the day after Labor Day through April 30th, surfing is also permitted in Myrtle Beach on the south side of 8th Avenue North, extending to the north end of the public boardwalk.

Surfing Restrictions in the City of North Myrtle Beach

Surfing is always restricted within 300 feet of any pier in North Myrtle Beach. Surfers are required to wear a surfing leash at all times. From May 15th to September 15th, it is unlawful to surf on the public beach or adjacent waters between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., except in the following areas: 

  • Between Hog Inlet and 5th Avenue North with the exception of areas near the Cherry Grove Pier 
  • Between 6th Avenue South and 27th Avenue South
  • Between the Town of Atlantic Beach and 46th Avenue South

Surfing Rules in Surfside Beach 

Surfing in Surfside Beach is never permitted within 300 feet of the fishing pier in any season, and all surfers must wear a leash at all times. Off-season surfing (between September 16th and May 14th) is allowed anywhere along the beach from sunup to sundown. During the peak season (May 15th to September 15th) surfing is permitted in Surfside Beach between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and only in these areas:

  • Beginning 270 feet south of 12th Ave. N. and extending northward to 14th Ave. N.
  • Beginning 300 feet north of 14th Ave. S. and extending southward to the town limits
  • September 16th to May 14th surfing is permitted anywhere along the beach from sunup to sundown.

Rules for Surfing in Horry County/Garden City

Surfing is allowed anywhere along the beaches from sunrise until sunset except for within 75 yards of piers. All surfers must wear a leash at all times while in the water, and leashes cannot be longer than 7 feet. These rules apply to public beaches in these locations:

  • Just south of North Myrtle Beach town limits to the Dunes Club
  • South of the Springmaid Pier to the town limits of Surfside Beach (includes the Myrtle Beach State Park)

South of Surfside Beach town limits through Garden City Beach to the Georgetown county line.

Surf Shops in Myrtle Beach

Whether you can ride a wave like a seasoned surfer or you’re just starting out, you can look the part by shopping at these stores in Myrtle Beach. When you stay at a North Myrtle Beach hotel or at a Boardwalk hotel on the oceanfront, find many great spots nearby to purchase surfing gear and beachwear. Here are our go-to shops:

Ron Jon Surf Shop

Ron Jon Surf Shop

1308 Celebrity Circle, #R-9, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Ron Jon Surf Shop may be a chain store, but the two locations here (Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing) boast tons of cool surf gear as well as boards. Be sure to stop by either of these locations while you’re in town.

Tsunami Surf Shop

Tsunami Surf Shop

1600 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 295798

$5 Off Sand Beach Chair
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Tsunami Surf Shop has over 13 locations found up and down the Myrtle Beach coast, in North Myrtle Beach, Garden City, and even up into the North Carolina coast. Tsunami is there for all your surfing and beach needs, offering everything from beach towels and sunscreen to bathing suits and umbrellas. Before you hit the beach, visit Tsunami Surf Shop and make sure you’re stocked with all the necessities!

Beach Life Resort Wear

Beach Life Resort Wear

2290 S Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

$5.99 Body Board w/ Leash
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Get all your essentials for beach days and surfing in Myrtle Beach at this store. There are multiple shop locations along the Grand Strand so you won’t have to go far to find your gear, sunscreen, or towels. Whether you left something back home or you want a new look for a day of surfing, this Myrtle Beach shop offers something for everyone.

Eagles Beachwear

Eagles Beachwear

3101 N. Kings HIghway, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Thirty years in the business, this surf shop carries all the best brands for beachwear and supplies. Find beach toys, surfing gear, and sunscreen and prepare to spend long, relaxing days on the sand. This shop has multiple locations throughout the area.

Surfing Lessons in Myrtle Beach

You’re never too old or too young to learn how to surf in Myrtle Beach! Sign up for lessons to do something new on vacation. The calmer water of this area is ideal for surfers at any skill level, and these professional teachers will make learning fun:

Kokopelli Surf Camp

Kokopelli Surf Camp

702 Sea Mountain Hwy. N. Unit 5 , North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

based on 12 reviews

If you’re looking to learn how to surf in Myrtle Beach, phone the folks at Kokopelli Surf Camp! Kokopelli is owned and operated by local brothers Brandon and Wyatt Todd. These friendly brothers and their staff are happy to teach you and your family how to surf while you’re in town. Not only do they offer one-on-one lessons, but they also offer surf camps and surfboard rentals.

Jack’s Surf Lessons and Board Rentals

Jack’s Surf Lessons and Board Rentals

3200 S Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

based on 3 reviews

This surf school and board rental shop in Myrtle Beach will help you learn the basics to get out and ride. The award-winning lessons are led by professional surf instructors and the tailored lessons make it easy for enthusiasts of any ability to learn the sport. They also offer board rentals so you can get out and practice during your time in Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach Surfing FAQs

Is surfing allowed at Myrtle Beach?

Yes, surfing in Myrtle Beach is allowed in designated areas from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (May 1 through Labor Day) as long as surfers are not within 75 yards of any pier.

Is the surfing in Myrtle Beach good?

Myrtle Beach isn’t the best spot for experienced surfers looking for challenging waves, but anyone learning or honing their skills will find the knee-high waves and gentler swells of a few feet ideal.

What is the surf like at Myrtle Beach?

The beach break offers both left- and right-hand waves but the surf in this area does not get very tall, so expect an average height of 3 to 4 feet on a typical day.

What month is best for surfing in Myrtle Beach?

The best times to surf in Myrtle Beach are late summer, early fall, and early spring. There are also fewer restrictions on beach access points and surfing times in the off-season. While surfers looking for larger swells may venture out in the winter months, most do not.

How rough are waves in Myrtle Beach?

The ocean conditions depend on the weather, tide, and other factors, but those surfing on Myrtle Beach waters will find the waves to be generally calm. Those venturing farther into the ocean for watersports or other activities will notice rougher waters and larger waves.