It took more than 2.5 years of living in Charleston for me to finally make it to Folly Beach.
I know, I know what you’re thinking. “Umm, what?! Folly Beach is the most popular beach in the Charleston area!” It’s probably the first place both residents and visitors head to on a warm sunny day. A wide sandy beach, a collection of eclectic shops and restaurants, and an excellent surf, it certainly has a lot to draw you in.
Perhaps it was because I was living all the way on the other side of the peninsula, across two bridges in Mount Pleasant. I never found myself making the “far” trek out to Folly. Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms were my beaches of choice.
Then I moved downtown, and soon my new roommate and (now) good friend Laura introduced me to shark tooth hunting.
She’s been doing this for a lot longer and has a giant jar full of her little treasures. She even makes jewelry with them, like this badass shark tooth necklace she made for me.
She’s pretty darn crafty, right? Here’s a really bad selfie of me wearing the necklace.
I am definitely a total novice (n00b if you will), and everything I know I’ve learned from Laura the Great. But here are my tips for finding elusive shark teeth on Folly:
Where on Folly: I generally stay on the west side of Folly Beach: take Folly Road all the way down, then take a right onto Ashley Ave. I’ll start at 6th or 7th Ave, then work my way down toward Folly Beach County Park.
Where to look: I’ve found most of mine along tide lines–nestled among the gatherings of shells and debris, or by the water’s edge. Keep a sharp eye out for black triangular shapes or the rough texture of the tooth’s base. It’s easier for me to find them on wet sand, because the sun will glint off the polished black texture and tip me off.
When to look: The key is to go during low tide, when the water has pulled back from the shore, exposing more of the debris left behind in the sand. You can easily Google tide schedules, or just bookmark a tide chart website, like this one.
It’s difficult at first. It takes a lot of patience, practice, and technique to train your eyes to pick out the shape and texture of shark teeth against all the sand and shell debris. My first few times, I was picking up anything that was black and remotely triangular, and facing lots of disappointment. I’m still not very good at it, but I’m slowly building a tiny collection.
Again, I am not a pro, so if you’re looking for expert shark tooth hunting tips, I’m sorry, this is not the right place. But I hope you still enjoyed the little tidbits I shared, and that perhaps you were inspired to hunt shark teeth yourself! Please do share!
P.S. My friend Laura is not only a seasoned shark tooth hunter, but also an extremely talented photographer and sunset chaser. Check out her amazing photography on Instagram!