Get Wet and Wild with the Top 5 Water Sports in Myrtle Beach

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The Grand Strand is like one big playground — with a 60-mile stretch of white-sand beaches serving as the sandbox and the blue-green waters of the Atlantic Ocean playing the part of the swimming pool. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, offers just as many water-sports options as fun and games on dry land. While active landlubbers enjoy the area’s many golf courses, biking and hiking trails, and sports and recreational facilities, more aquatic-minded visitors love to make a big splash with water sports.

Guests at Bay View on the Boardwalk have easy access to both water- and land-based sports. Our indoor/outdoor swimming pools and other amenities offer lots of on-site fun, the oceanfront beach volleyball courts are only a short stroll down the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, and the Atlantic Ocean is right out your window with a wide range of water-related activities for all ages and adventure levels. Listed alphabetically (and from leisurely to extreme), here are Myrtle Beach's most popular water sports:

* Fishing: They say a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work, so imagine how much fun it can be on vacation. Casual anglers can keep it as simple as surf fishing from the coast, or they can rent gear at the local fishing piers. Second Avenue Pier is only a short stroll down the Boardwalk from Bay View on the Boardwalk, while the fishing pier at nearby Myrtle Beach State Park provides a great getaway. Equipment, tackle and licenses are available in the local bait shops. For those looking to go after the big ones, area charters offer half-day and full-day deep-sea fishing tours.

* Paddleboarding: This stand-up water sport is easier than it looks. Using a long board and a paddle to maneuver around past the breakers, paddleboarding is like a slow version of surfing without the crash landing. It does help to have a surfing background for balance, but first-timers can learn fairly quickly with the right instruction. Get a lesson and take a tour from an area outfitter, or rent a board and paddle from a local surf shop for the day and learn the old-fashioned way.

* Parasailing: Some might consider strapping on a parachute and taking flight over open ocean waters pretty adventurous, but there's no experience necessary to soar like a seagull. Local outfitters provide all the equipment and knowledge you need to go parasailing; all you need is the nerve. Offering solo, tandem and three-person harness systems, parasailing outfitters walk patrons through the process and provide a memorable experience for visitors looking to step (or fly) outside their comfort zones.

* Surfing: Although carried out closer to shore and the water’s surface than parasailing, surfing is more involved than it might appear. Standing up on the board is half the battle; the other half is maintaining your balance while putting the surfboard in the right spot on the wave. Surfing lessons, as well as surfboard sales and rentals, are available through local surf shops, and there are designated surf zones during the summer months where you can practice hanging 10.

* Windsurfing/Kiteboarding: We saved the toughest water sports for last, and it's a tie between these two hybrid activities. Windsurfing involves riding a surfboard that has a mounted mast and sail for the unique combination of sailing and surfing. Kiteboarding sees surfers strap on parachute rigs for a mix of surfing and parasailing. Both activities are best with a surfing background and hours of practice getting used to the gear, but once you master the skills, you are in for the ride of a lifetime. Private lessons and equipment rental are available at local surf shops and outfitters.

Whether you are looking for a relaxing hobby or an extreme pastime, you will find your favorite water sport in Myrtle Beach. Book your summer vacation at Bay View on the Boardwalk, and get ready for a thrilling time on the water.