Surfside Beach Rules & Regulations
BEACH SHADING DEVICES ALLOWED
8th Avenue South southwards to Melody Lane: Only tents measuring approximately 3' x 3' that
are commonly referred to as baby tents and umbrellas measuring no more than 9' in diameter
are allowed. Umbrellas must be situated west of the lifeguard's line of sight. Umbrellas and
other beach paraphernalia may not be placed within 8' of the dune line, i.e. the area just east of
stairs and crosswalks, to create a straight way reserved for emergency vehicles.
8th Avenue South northwards to 17th Avenue North: Beach tents and canopies measuring 10' x 10'
or less, and umbrellas no larger than 9' in diameter are allowed. Tents and canopies must be
situated west of the lifeguard's line of sight. Tents, canopies and other beach paraphernalia
may not be placed within 8' feet of the dune line, i.e. the area just east of stairs and crosswalks,
to create a straight way reserved for emergency vehicles.
Effective January 1, 2018: Only tents measuring approximately 3' x 3' that are commonly referred
to as baby tents and umbrellas measuring no more than 9' in diameter are allowed. Umbrellas
must be situated west of the lifeguard's line of sight. Umbrellas and other beach paraphernalia
may not be placed within 8' of the dune line, i.e. the area just east of stairs and crosswalks, to
create a straight way reserved for emergency vehicles.
Effective Immediately: No tents, umbrellas or other beach paraphernalia shall be left on the
beach between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. Any items on the beach during those times
will be confiscated and disposed of appropriately.
EMERGENCY LANE ON BEACH
**Note** The dune line is defined as that area just east of any walkway, step or crossover. The
dune line is not the ‘base of the dunes’ as they now exist. Placement of beach paraphernalia
should be done in such a manner that the emergency lane should be a straight 8-foot path
beginning at 17th Avenue North and extending to Melody Lane.
Ordinance 17-0842. Section 12-67 (F) Emergency Lane. It shall be unlawful to place any beach
paraphernalia within eight (8) feet of the dune line. Said area shall remain open and free of any
obstructions to provide a clear travel way for emergency vehicles, personnel and/or other
emergency equipment to access the surf or other areas of the beach in the event of an
emergency. Emergency access lanes perpendicular to the dune line shall remain open and
unobstructed at all times. In the event of an emergency, the police chief or his designee shall
direct that additional temporary emergency access lanes be created until no longer needed.
(More details in Ordinance 17-0842.) </Data/Sites/1/media/town-ordinances/17-0842.pdf>
HOLES ON THE BEACH
It's a lot of fun to dig a hole on the beach, but you really can't dig to China! Remember:
A cubic yard of sand (3' x 3' x 3') can weigh as much as 3,000 pounds - this is why people
who are buried in sand cave-ins suffocate.
A hole no deeper than two feet can cause serious injury if someone accidentally steps in
it, and if it contains water poses a drowning hazard for small children.
Sea Turtles, which are an endangered species, get trapped in holes and cannot get out to
return to the sea. Baby turtles would die overnight.
Town equipment used to clean the beach will be damaged in large holes.
So, please, fill in the holes you dig on the beach! It's a safety thing.
The Town of Surfside Beach provides pay-station or metered parking spaces at the following 12
beach area parking lots:
16th-17th Ave. North 6th Ave. North
3rd Ave. North Surfside Pier
Yaupon Drive 3rd Ave. South
4th Ave. South 5th Ave. South
6th Ave. South 13th South & Ocean Blvd
13th Ave. South Melody Lane
Restroom facilities, showers, and foot-showers can be found at the following beach access
1st Ave. North- Shower Tower 2nd Ave. North- Shower Tower
3rd Ave. North- Shower Tower/Restrooms 8th Ave. North- Shower Tower
Surfside Pier- Shower Tower/Restrooms 2nd Ave. South- Shower Tower
3rd Ave. South- Shower Tower 5th Ave. South- Shower Tower/Restrooms
6th Ave. South- Shower Tower 7th Ave. South- Shower Tower
10th Ave. South- Shower Tower 13th Ave. South- Shower Tower
RULES OF THE BEACH
To both ensure the safety of our residents and visitors and preserve the unique quality of life
that gives our Town its charm, the Town asks all beachgoers to abide by the following rules:
No motor vehicles, other than those used by lifeguards, police, or other Town
personnel, are permitted to operate on the beach at any time.
Dogs or other domestic pets are not permitted on the public beach during the
period between May 15 and September 15. Between September 16 and May 14
leashed dogs are allowed on the beach.
Horses and other large animals are not allowed on the beach.
BOATING AND FISHING
Operation of any watercraft in a reckless or negligent manner is strictly prohibited.
Operation of any watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is unlawful.
Launching of watercrafts is limited to the 4th Ave. South beach access only.
Boat parking-storage is provided for at the designated parking facility located between
3rd Ave. and 4th Avenue South on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Boats are not permitted to operate any closer than 50 yards from the shoreline.
Jet skis are not permitted to operate any closer than 150 yards from the shoreline
between May 15 and September 15.
Shark fishing within the Town's limits is prohibited.
Commercial fishing on the public beach is not permitted.
SWIMMING, SURFING and SAFETY
Lifeguards, deputies, and other Town officials supervise and regulate surf fishing, swimming,
and other activities on the Town's beach.
To report lost children please contact the Surfside Beach Police Department at (843) 913-
Fireworks are not permitted on the public beach.
No alcoholic beverages are permitted on the beach.
Lifeguard instructions are to be obeyed AT ALL TIMES.
Swimmers are to venture into the water no deeper than chest-deep and no further than
50 yards from the shoreline.
Surfing is prohibited within 300 feet of the fishing pier.
Summer Season Surfing - During the period between May 15 and September 15, surfing is
permitted only in designated areas between10:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
Off- Season Surfing - Between the periods of September 15 and May 15, surfing is allowed
anywhere along the beach from sunup to sundown, except areas within 300 hundred feet
of the fishing pier.
Surfers are required to wear surfing leashes at all times.
Umbrellas, tents, etc. must be placed 10' to the rear of guard stands.
Lifeguard stations can be found at the following locations:
Holiday Inn at 16th Ave. North 12th Ave. North
6th Ave. North 3rd Ave. North
1st Ave. North Days Inn at Pier
4th Ave. South 7th Ave. South
10th Ave. South 13th Ave. South
DHEC tests the ocean water on the Strand, in knee-deep water, once a week - from May to
October. An explanation of the process is in this link:
They maintain a "Beach Access Guide" at: <https://gis.dhec.sc.gov/beachaccess/>
On this map, you can zoom in to Surfside Beach, and click on the little green and yellow circles
on the beach (6 testing sites in Surfside Beach), and see the testing results so far this year. As
far as bacteria, the sources can be terrestrial, i.e. heavy rain pushes out stagnant water from
the town's ditch system just prior to testing...this "first flush" effect can have elevated bacteria
counts. Also the source can be something in the water for instance a large flock of birds have
occupied the water just prior to DHEC testing.
Either way, one single high reading is not indicative of a water quality problem. If there is a
chronic problem, or a sewer break, you would have consistently high readings, and steps would
have to be taken to repair the issue.