Updated: Jun 28, 2022
Whether you are a Charleston local or from somewhere else, thank you for being here. Charleston has an amazing array of outdoor activities to enjoy, most of it centered around the ocean and surrounding waterways. It seems there are a lot of Charleston specific travel and food websites, blogs, and Instagram pages but I don't see anything that showcases and celebrates the local Charleston area ocean athlete and their favorite sports. This website and its corresponding social media channels will help fill that gap by focusing on all disciplines of surf, wind, paddle, and foil sports, with a "ride everything" ethos.
Why the name "Charleston Ocean Athletes"?
Charleston - is no longer a secret. It is a world famous and world class small city visited by thousands daily. Its been named the top city in the world to visit in the Conde Nast Traveler Magazine readers poll for 10 years in a row. The rate of people moving into the Charleston area the last 10 years has grown significantly. People around the world know Charleston. We love Charleston and our focus in this case is the Charleston area.
Ocean - our playground and our backyard. There are different communities and cultures within all these great sports but the ocean is the one common tie that binds us all together. We respect the ocean and have a healthy fear of it. The ocean has a way of humbling us in the best way possible. Everyone here knows you can't defeat the ocean, you can only go with its flow. The ocean heals us and is our sanctuary.
Athletes - I tossed around some different third names, such as "life", "league", and "sports". In the end, I felt those other names would be associated with different meanings. Plus, I felt like not enough credit is given to the people who play in the ocean in these different sports. They are truly athletes in the real sense of the word. It takes guts, discipline, patience, humility, and a lot of practice to be skilled in any of the surf, wind, paddle, and foil sports. There will be a focus on the sports themselves as well as the athletes. This deserves to be celebrated and provide inspiration to others.
Charleston has a thriving community of people who take advantage of the saltwater playground. There has been a long standing sailing community and surfing community in the Holy City and surrounding area. From these two thriving groups, newer sports have emerged over the years - windsurfing, then kitesurfing, with both having recently incorporated foiling into their mix. And now wing foiling is emerging. The paddle sports have grown significantly in the last 15 years with stand up paddling, prone paddle boarding, outrigger canoes, and surf skis. We want to bring all these watermen & waterwomen communities together, share what they're excited about, and inspire others.
Many of these sports aren't familiar to most residents and visitors, so we will also create awareness and educate people on what they're pointing at when they're walking the beaches or watching the harbor. This website is a celebration of all these sports, their offshoots and how their respective athletes play in our local waters.
We'll try not to limit ourselves. Who knows...perhaps there will be some wakeboarding, sailing and swimming content as well. We will showcase everyone from the pro to the weekend warrior, and men/women/kids of all ages. While focusing on local, we may also include a local who travels to interesting places to do their ocean sport (or ways they cross train such as biking, etc). We also want to partner with local photographers, businesses and events that are relevant to local ocean sports and athletes.
I was a part timer in the Charleston area for 7 years and am now a full time resident. All during this time, the people here have been great...friendly and inclusive. I didn't want to create Charleston Ocean Athletes if there wasn't any local interest or local support. I surveyed 42 local Charleston area ocean athletes and asked them what they thought of this vision and would they be supportive of it. The response was a resounding "Yes"! So here we go.
Finally, I want to emphasize the Charleston Ocean Athletes mission: To share experiences, to inspire others, and to celebrate it. So check out the different pages on this site by reviewing the menu at the top, and please follow us on all the social media channels (see icons at upper or lower right side of this page). If you're posting something on social media relevant to our mission and vision, please be sure to tag us on social media and use hashtag #charlestonoceanathletes.
We would love others to submit content by sharing articles and essays, photos, videos, event reports, etc. This includes the talented surf and ocean photographers that are out there...we would love to share your work. I'm open to ideas and suggestions on how to make this site and its associated social media channels better. And if there's a local business out there relevant to this brand and mission, we would love to hear from you about some potential partnership possibilities. Email us your ideas and contributions at email@example.com.
May there always be sand in your shorts and wind in your hair.
See ya' on the water, Mac