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​Outside Hilton Head – A History Lesson

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In the late 1970s, Mike Overton started a small windsurfing company on the beaches of Hilton Head Island while on summer break from the University of Vermont. He would soon move the start-up school to South Beach, on the southern end of the island. It would soon become the largest windsurfing school on the East Coast, and hosted some of the best attended windsurfing events available.

As the Island and his ideas grew, Windsurfing Hilton Head became Outside Hilton Head and then simply Outside. During those early years, Outside concentrated on creating and providing interpretive kayak tours to island residents and visitors. A small retail shop overlooking South Beach Marina was just about the only place on the Island to get outdoor gear. Soon, a second kayak location was established near the headwaters of Broad Creek, with a launch site and kayak storage beneath the Old Oyster Factory Restaurant.

Our flagship store, located in the Plaza at Shelter Cove, was opened in 1986 and it allowed us to offer an expanded selection of the finest outdoor wear and gear available.

By the late 1990s, Outside’s program offerings grew to include boating excursions and children’s camps. It was also during this time that Page Island, Outside’s private 30-acre island, was acquired.

Soon thereafter, Outside outgrew its original locations and established itself at Shelter Cove Marina, where we have operated since 2005.

Today, Outside is the most comprehensive outdoor outfitter in the region. From those humble beginnings over 30 years ago, we have expanded our program offerings to include numerous unique kayak tours, extensive boating programs, kayak to charter fishing trips, children and teen camps, history tours, scavenger hunts, team and leadership programs and much more. In addition to creating memorable experiences for island residents and visitors, we can expertly manage large family to corporate groups.

Page Island has become a special (and spectacular) Outdoor Experiential Learning Outpost, with a multitude of programs utilizing its remote and secluded amenities.

Embracing sustainability and ecological responsibility, Outside is looking forward to continued growth in the years ahead. And, of course, included in this vision for the future, we look forward to sharing, educating and preserving our beautiful salt marsh and maritime forest environment.

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