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Kitesurfing - North Carolina - Outer Banks

KITESURFING HOLIDAYS - OUTER BANKS


THE LURE

If you were able to custom design a kiteboarding location from scratch, you couldn't come up with a much better set-up. Hatteras Island, 40 miles off the US mainland (accessible by road bridges), has heaps of locations for flat water and surf kiteboarding. The unique bend in Hatteras island, combined with consistent, clean winds and open access to the water make this place difficult to beat. Imagine shallow
water to the horizon in every direction on the sound side (west side of the island) –
that's the Pamlico Sound with flat water riding areas that are waist-deep seven miles out and up to 60 miles north and south. Drop your kite and stand up, or just take a rest – the thousands of newly qualified riders prove that this is without doubt one of the best places to learn. Want waves? Simply hop over the island strip to the east coast. The whole area is home to some of the finest downwinders you could hope for.


THE SET-UP

The Outer Banks has above-average wind conditions in the US and blows pretty-much all year long. Mix in the choice of terrain on-hand and this is one of the most ideal and progressive kiting environments in the world. Beginners can take advantage of the flat waters while intermediate and advanced riders can hit the gnarly east coast surf. There are some radical downwind adventures to be had on the west side,where you'll be weaving in and out of small islands formed by the marshlands where slicks nestle on the leeward side for butter-smooth kiting. You'll never have to fight off a crowd here due to the massive amount of open space to play with. The Pamilico, Albemarle and Currituck sounds form over 390 square miles of pristine beach with flat calm waters that lie on a carpet of golden sands. The island runs north to south, parallel with the US mainland coast, so any wind direction works, whether you are looking for countless lips to smack, islands to jump or glass to cruise. The prevailing winds are SW and are cross-onshore on the sound side and cross-off on the ocean side to the east. Bordered by the Atlantic the miles of private beach provides waves as well as the ultimate skate park for kickers and for those looking for a bit more of a challenge. If downwinders are your thing, then you're in the downwind capital of the world with 30 mile runs possible. Find butter smooth sections everywhere as you weave and carve your way along the coast over the warm, shallow waters.

 

WIND, WATER AND WEATHER

The winds here are remarkable. Because the Outer Banks/Hatteras Island runs mostly straight north - south and the wind mostly blows from the southwest (during
summer months) and northeast (during winter months), it allows kiteboarders to
ride on nearly any day, oceanside or sound side, as it's possible to ride all directions here somewhere. The best time of year for all round riding is the spring and fall/autumn, although the winter and summer are also excellent. Wind stats show that you can kite here on average 20 days a month, 12 months a year, with June and July being the most consistent and warmest with an average of 29 ridable days per month!

Learning can be done all year, however summer is usually more popular when a wetsuit isn’t necessary. June to September are the classic months. March to May and October to December you might need anything from boardshorts to a 4/3, in winter you'll need a 5/3 full suit with boots and gloves, but there will be days when a thinner suit will be fine. Bring your entire quiver of kites. In the same week you could use all of them, but you'll get most use out of your eight or nine. Fall/autumn and spring are
typically the best times for waves. Cape Hatteras is only 25 miles from the Gulfstream current with water temperatures roughly 18°C / 65°F in the spring, 29°C / 85°F in the summer, 18°C / 65°F in the fall and 10°C / 50°F in the winter. This warm water tempers the winter months and keeps the area very mild compared to locations just to the north or the south. Air temperatures are tropical in the summer, reaching the mid-high 90s (35ºC) in July and August with wider swings in the fall, winter and spring. Best to bring layers and a wind shell to have the temperature swings covered.

 

GET AROUND

If you’re staying in Waves Village you're in the centre of the 'tri-village' area of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo. Nags Head is 30 minutes north and Avon is about 20 minutes south by car. It’s best to rent a car so you have mobility up and down the island to find the perfect combination of wind angle, surf, etc. The island is about 70 miles long, all one highway, and you could be sessionning the entire area during one trip. You can rent 4WD - get an off-road driving permit and find private sessions every day. There is some distance in between towns and travelling from town to town on Hatteras Island can take some time, but usually about 15 minutes between each.

Currency: United States Dollar ($) - £1 = $1.6 / €1 = $1.4

 

ACCOMMODATION

Cape Hatteras has 70 miles of accommodations, from campgrounds, to simple beach motels to luxury waterfront condos, to 12 bedroom beach mansions. Hatteras Realty and Outer Beaches have large vacation properties for rent directly on the waterfront with pools and hot tubs! Check their range at: www.hatterasrealty.com / www.outerbeaches.com Each area's community is very laid back and friendly
and things only get more relaxed the further south you head towards Cape Hatteras.
Geographically, where you stay should be based on where you want to ride and who
you want to hang out with. Check with Real and Kitty Hawk to get the full low down and get a riding map from them when you get there as you don't want to miss out!
Waves Village Kiteboarding Resort has 1,600 sq foot condos with on-site restaurants, shopping and free activities during the summer. Condos include: private balconies with an unobstructed view of the water and sunset, private hot tub, community pool,
cable and HD, free Wi-Fi, hot water outdoor showers, changing rooms and much more. Weekly kids' days and outdoor movie nights play on a huge inflatable screen.
Real's Watermen’s Retreat features 14 luxury waterfront condominiums located right at 'The Slick' with private launch, air compressors, live outdoor music, gear storage, pro shop, rental shop and bar/restaurant all right onsite. Watermen’s Retreat shares this site with Real Watersports and the two are the hosts of the annual Triple-S Invitational – one of the sport's biggest international and most high profile events of the year.


NO WIND

With as little as 5mph of wind you can go hanggliding, which is popular back up in Nags Head (it's where the Wright brothers chose for their first flight). There's also jet-skiing, SUP, kayak-hire and sailing. Cape Hatteras light house and Pea Island Wildlife Refuge provide some fun afternoons out... if you can pull yourself away from the beach. For the kids there are kids camps and more – it's an incredible place to get away from video games. There's also fishing, excellent surfing, go-karting, movie theatres, heaps of shopping opportunities and spas. Waves Village also has a huge inflatable outdoor movie screen for evening showings. If you're a kid, big or small, this place rocks for activities and the outdoors!









 AIRPORT

Norfolk, VA (ORF / KORF) is roughly 90 minutes drive from the Outer Banks and the Nags Head area. Add another 30 minutes to make it further south to Hatteras. Other options slightly further away are Newport News, Virginia (PHF) or Raleigh, NC (RDU).


Added: 2009-06-24

Region: USA

« Florida - Islamorada Tampa Bay »

Other kiteboarding resorts in region

Colorado

Seattle

Hood River

Michigan

Tampa Bay

Islas De La Madeleine

Miami

Texas - South Padre Island


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