The water starts to darken along a stretch of marsh grasses, just before its surface is slashed apart by the fins of hungry redfish. The redfish trap schools of mullet into a tight corral—and then go into a feeding frenzy. South Carolina fishermen love this scenario. The owners of The Charleston Angler love it, too, which is why they founded their shop back in 2000. The shop's crew of seasoned anglers supply fly, inshore, and offshore fishermen with tackle specific to South Carolina's waters, from the coastal flats that draw trophy tarpon to the inland lakes filled with blue catfish. Along with advising customers on gear from brands such as Shimano, Penn, and St. Croix, the shop hosts classes and seminars. These sessions can cover topics as broad as Orvis fly-fishing, or as specific as catching bass in the cypress-strewn swamps of Francis Marion National Forest.
Beyond tackle and apparel—some of which comes from their own "Redfish" line of t-shirts, trucker hats, ball caps, visors, and jackets—The Charleston Angler offers fly-fishing and light-tackle charters and runs an in-house embroidery boutique. The staff also posts tips, insights, fish haikus, and fishing reports on its Reel Blog and encourages customers to share their fish stories.
Accredited by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors as a 5-Star Instructor Development Center, Charleston Scuba's experienced staff leads aqueous adventures at deep-sea destinations. A free shuttle bus service delivers the soon-to-be-immersed to the Ashley Marina, from where they are taxied to their chosen diving domain aboard the Trinity. There are seven reefs and ledges to explore including the Indigo Ledges, a natural reef lined with soft corals, sponges, and crustaceans, and the Anchor Ledges, a novice-friendly, 60-feet dive that serves as a venue for meeting friendly tropical fish and their distrustful lobster sidekicks (The Gardens, 105 Foot Ledges, and Turtle Ledges are not included in this Groupon.) Eric's Double Ledges is a palace of five-feet ledges with arches and overhangs, providing a majestic habitat for large grouper, nurse sharks, and the eponymous Eric, who waves regally at passing divers and rides atop a giant jewel-encrusted tortoise. All charters meet at Charleston Scuba at 7:00 am to prepare for their expeditions.
Charleston Bicycle Company equips the helmeted masses with their two-wheeled counterparts thanks to the shop staff's more than 45 years of combined cycling experience. The standard tune-up primes spoked speedsters for the riding months ahead. A specialized technician will assess your bike's mechanical operation, inspecting for damages and receding hairlines along its frame. Lubrication of the pivot points and shift components optimize agility, and a bracket tweaking facilitates smooth spinning. In addition to a thorough tightening of levers, shifts, seat posts, derailleurs, and more, a road-warrior mechanic inspects brake-pad surfaces, ensuring they are still as sturdy as a celebrity gladiator’s redwood treehouse. Once completed, your entire bike receives a mild cleaning of frame, parts, and wheels before conquering the concrete with milder modesty. Charleston Bicycle Company can usually primp your ride and turn it around within two to three days—sometimes on the same day.
In TrySports's perfect world, everyone would aspire to a higher level of fitness and healthiness. Whether they choose running, swimming, cycling, charging into triathlons, or sweating through a gym regimen, customers receive help from the staff in acquiring the supplies they need to reach an improved state of physical wellness. They custom-fit shoes by analyzing each patron's gait and help to select bicycles according to legs' length and mouths' ability to make motorcycle noises. The crew also curates a collection of water bottles, wristwatches, nutritional supplements, apparel, and cushy insoles to further ease athletic pursuits. The colorful array of products bears labels from brands including Under Armour, Mizuno, Asics, Brooks, Saucony, Hoka, Altra, and Colombia, which prepares patrons to sprint through races or catch up to the one guy who knows the rules for competitive hide-and-go-seek.
The crash of the waves. The smell of salt spray. Sudden gusts of wind whipping in from off the water. For most people, a trip to the beach is a once-in-a-while vacation, but for the aquatic athletes at Air & Earth, it's just another day at the office. Armed with an armada of paddle boards, surfboards, kiteboards, and skateboards, their instructors share their own water-walking know-how during lessons held on the gentle surf that laps the shores of Mt. Pleasant and the surrounding barrier islands. After learning the ropes atop their board of choice, customers can decamp to the board shop, where new equipment and accessories from brands including Palm Head Boards, Dakine, Smith, Olukai and Reef await new owners.
Lloyd's Soccer outfits fleet feet for the joga bonito with a large stock of shoes, jerseys, shin guards, balls, and more. Football neophytes can choose from a variety of Nike youth cleats ($19.99+). A selection of Adidas indoor shoes ($24.99+) allow ball booters to bustle in wintertime or carpeted outdoor caves. To rewrite soccer history in your own backyard, pick up a jersey ($39.99+) and a Jabulani World Cup Replique Ball ($21.99), and then rent a World Cup replica ref. Lloyd's also carries a range of practice apparel and accessories to keep athletes sweating in style.