In 2013, Steve Taylor of Native Sons Screen Print & Embroidery had a vision. He wanted to showcase local sports talent in a fun way that brought the community together. The Native Sons Salt Games were born. In the short amount of time since their inception, nearly 3,500 people have come together for two days in the summer to watch the friendly competition or to compete themselves. Men and women, now from various states, vie to take home the glory of winning and to be awarded cash and prizes. One worthy local champion will even be named “King of the Beach.” The best part, though, is that the proceeds from the games benefit the Surfrider Foundation, an organization dedicated to protecting the natural beach environment.
Salt Games highlight the skills and endurance of the contestants through sports that incorporate the natural resources of the Myrtle Beach oceanfront. Surfers of all ages for example, can find out if they have what it takes to win the Ron Jon Pro/Am Surf Off, whereas, volleyball partners dive in the sand and spike their way to earning the top prize at the Volleyball Tournament.There are also wrestling matches, paddleboard races, the Beach Bum 5K, a bikini contest and even a beach hula-hoop challenge. Brute strength is tested at the Crossfit Up Dog Summer Challenge as contestants lift, pull and carry their way to victory. And for those of us with a strong stomach, the hot dog eating contest may be the ticket to winning a Salt Games prize.
However, the Myrtle Beach Lifeguard Games must be won to take home coveted the “King of the Beach” title. As one of the most popular of the games to watch, the contestants of the lifeguard games are the actual lifeguards who watch over the Grand Strand. By participating in relay contests on both land and sea, these men and women challenge each other’s endurance and strength, as they prove that they all have what it takes to be entrusted to protect vacationers from the surf. Yet, only one will take home the title and be crowned the king.
At the Salt Games, spectators don’t necessarily sit on the sidelines. Children will have a blast participating in activities devoted just to them. The Ben & Jerry’s® Kids Run features an obstacle course that ends with an ice cream party for the little runners. There are also free events open to one and all. Ever play a gigantic version of Twister® on the beach? There’s one available if you’re game. Everyone is welcome to participate in free yoga on the boardwalk or in mini events like the cornhole tournaments. A half-pipe will also be on hand for interested skaters. It truly is an inclusive weekend of playing in the sun. In 2017, the Native Sons Salt Games will be held on June 3 & 4 on the boardwalk between 8th and 9th Avenues. Register online to compete and perhaps you will be a Salt Game winner...