Charleston SUP Safaris’ company mission is to offer clients exciting stand-up paddle board experiences that build self-confidence, promote water safety, and instill a passion for our environment through education in a fun and safe atmosphere. We also pride ourselves on giving back to the community through SUP races that partner with local charities and raise funds.
Our goal is to offer unique SUP adventures to our clients while promoting environmental stewardship and teaching about the local flora and fauna. Safety is our first priority. Our guides supervise and instruct our clients on how to safely maneuver in the creeks and in the surf.
We look forward to growing in our community of Folly Beach, with locals and visitors alike, while reducing our carbon footprint through eco-camps and eco-tourism.
“Big Jon” Ory
Big Jon was born on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii, where stand-up paddle boarding originated and spread in popularity. Moving to Charleston as a young boy, he grew up playing on Folly Beach and in the Ashley River. Jon attended Presbyterian College on a football scholarship and then spent two years abroad honing his teaching skills as a paddling instructor. This international experience teaching outdoor education and environmental stewardship transformed and directed his course in life.
Before founding Charleston SUP Safaris, Ory spent 11 years directing college and high school international community service programs in New Zealand, Fiji, Puerto Rico, and Central America. His community service projects focused on locals’ interaction with their natural environment, including coral reef monitoring, water catchment and erosion, and sea turtle protection.
Ory has taught paddle boarding, kayaking, and surfing in New Zealand, and guided fishing trips. He sailed a trimaran around Fiji and worked with students of all ages and many nationalities. Click here to read more on Jon’s past SUP experiences.
In 2010, he resettled at home, the Edge of America, eager to share his knowledge and passion for the local waterways as the owner and operator of Charleston SUP Safaris. He’s a certified Life Guard, CPR/First Aid, Wilderness First Responder, PADI Advanced Open Water Diving, and he speaks Spanish.
SUP Safaris hosts 2 Charity SUP Races a year to support the local kids in our community and proceeds go to Y2O a local nonprofit. Our Shamrock SUP Race is themed around St. Patrick’s Day and the Best dressed costume wins a prize.
Over the past 8 years, we have raised over $19,500 for charity. Check out our video of the SUPer Scary SUP Race a Halloween themed race.