Watersports, from kayaking and paddleboarding to the more adventurous jetsking and kiteboarding, are some of the most popular activities on Tybee Island. Tybee’s miles of beaches, with both ocean and river frontage, provide ideal spots for experienced paddlers and surfers and novices alike.
If you are a beginner, an introductory lesson can be useful to help you get the basics of the watersport of your choice. If you don’t need any instruction, several companies on Tybee and nearby rent out the equipment necessary for kayaking and paddleboarding, plus the other sports. See below for more details.
Alternatively, if you would like to kayak, canoe or paddleboard around Tybee but don’t know the area well (or just prefer a guided group tour) numerous public excursions to the rivers, creeks and barrier islands of the upper Georgia coast are available. More about guided tours
The information below is correct as of June 14 2017, but please check details of all services directly with the companies providing them before planning your trip.
Kayaking is probably the easiest, cheapest and most popular watersport you can do on Tybee Island. Two types of kayak are available to rent, in either single or tandem.
Sit-on-top kayaks, which are self-bailing and much easier to get in and out of from the water, are the most commonly available. You are more likely to get wet in this kind of kayak, but in warm-weather areas such as Georgia it doesn’t matter too much!
Sit-inside kayaks, also known as decked or cockpitted kayaks, are also available. These are more suitable for longer trips, but recovery is harder if you capsize as the boat cannot easily be drained while on the water, nor is it so easy to get in and out.
Both varieties of kayak are safe, but in general more experience is required for the sit-inside kind. The rental company will be able to advise you further on which type of kayak and excursion is appropriate to your experience and ability.
Savannah Canoe and Kayak offer sea kayaking and surf kayaking lessons. Group lessons: 4 hours, $95 per person for most lessons. Private instruction (sea kayaking): 3 hours, $165; 6 hours, $265. Private instruction (surf kayaking): half day $150, full day $245. Call 912-341-9502. See details of sea kayaking and surf kayaking lessons.
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a less well-established sport than kayaking, but a good alternative if you want to try something different.
As paddleboarding involves standing upright on a surfing-type board, rather than sitting, as in a kayak, it takes a bit more getting the hang of (and you are very likely to get wet). The advantage is in the better views afforded by your higher vantage point.
If you are confident going out by yourself, there are several places to rent a paddleboard. Otherwise, you can take a lesson in either stand-up or surf paddleboarding, or go on a guided tour, most of which will include some basic instruction.
Another alternative to kayaking, canoeing puts you a little higher above the marsh than a kayak (and provides more space to store bags and other equipment) but at the price of a less versatile and portable boat.
CanoeCanoe Outfitters Canoeing lessons available. Call 912-786-8732 for details and prices. Located at 1102 Highway 80, Tybee Island, GA 31328.
Savannah Canoe and Kayak Canoe lessons, 4 hours, $145 (single canoe) or $160 (tandem canoe). Call 912-341-9502. Located at 414 Bonaventure Road, Savannah, GA 31404.
Tybee’s oceanfront beaches offer some good places to surf, though you will not find the large waves of the west coast. Several establishments on Tybee Island offer lessons to introduce you to this sport, or you can just rent a board and go out by yourself.
Hot Sushi’s Happy Surf Camp Private and group surfing lessons. Private lesson, $80; two-person lesson, $60 per person; group lesson (3-4 people), $50 per person. Text 912-604-9527. Usually meets at South Beach, Tybee Island.
Tybee Surf Lessons 2-hour private or group surfing lessons. Private lessons, $75 per person; two-person lesson, $60 per person; group lesson (3+), $50 per person. Meet up locations usually at North Beach, Tybee Island.
Tybee Surf School Private and group surfing lessons, 90 minutes to 2 hours. Private lessons: adults, $75; children, $69. Group lessons, $59 per person. Call 912-704-4821 for reservations and meet-up location (Tybee Island).
BoardLoft Surfboard rental, softboard and hardboard, various lengths, $30 per day. Call 912-472-4197. Located at 406 Highway 80, Tybee Island, GA 31328.
Hot Sushi’s Happy Surf Camp Surf board rental available, with delivery. Text 912-604-9527 for details and prices.
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Tybee Island is one of the few places in Georgia in which the extreme sport of kiteboarding (in which a kite is used to propel your board, usually parallel to the shore) can be enjoyed. This activity should not be attempted without suitable experience or instruction.
If you do want to try out kiteboarding, lessons in how to control a kite and board and maneuver safely are available on Tybee Island. Moderate physical fitness is required.
BoardLoft Kiteboarding lessons $150 per person per hour. $125 per person for parties of 2 or more. Call 912-472-4197. Located at 406 Highway 80, Tybee Island, GA 31328.
AOK Watersports Kiteboarding lessons: 1 hour, $100 per person; 2 hours, $200 per person; 5 hours, $450 per person. Call 424-888-2009 or book online. Located at 1510 Butler Avenue, Tybee Island, GA, 31328.
Tybee Jet Ski and Watersports $99 per hour for one rider, $125 per hour for two. Weight restrictions apply: 250lb for one rider; 350lb combined weight for two. Call 912-786-8062. Located at Tybee Island (Lazaretto Creek) Marina, 1 Old Highway 80, Tybee Island, GA 31328.