Outer Banks | Cape Hatteras

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Wicked waterways - Cape Hatteras

WHEN TO GO

Peak Season: June – September

Summer Air Temp: up to 35°C / 95°F

Spring Water Temp:  18°C / 65°F

Summer Water Temp: 29°C / 85°F

Fall Water Temp: 18°C / 65°F

Winter Water Temp: 10°C / 50°F

 

AVERAGE COSTS

Beer: $2 – 5

Restaurant Meal: $7 – 30

Accommodation: $30 – 100 p.p.p.n.

 

USEFUL CONTACTS

kitesurfing kitty hawk kites
KITTY HAWK KITEBOARDING

www.wavesvillage.com
sales@wavesvillage.com
Lessons: +1 252 987 2297
Accommodation: +1 252 305 2629

Kireworld sun realty accommodation
SUN REALTY

www.sunrealtync.com
avon@sunrealtync.com

Kitesurfing Real Watersports
REAL KITEBOARDING
www.realwatersports.com
realpro@realwatersports.com
+1 866 REAL 548
+1 252 987 6000

Kite Club Hatteras

KITE CLUB HATTERAS
www.kiteclubhatteras.com
info@kiteclubhatteras.com
+1 202 549 7693

Kitesurfing Cape Hatteras

“Perfect for every style of kiteboarding, from waves on the ocean side to flat water on the sound side. This is the land of the downwinder with so many inlets to explore, so grab your mates and send it! Bring your whole quiver too because there’s everything from light wind to tropical storms and massive waves in the ocean. All in a day in Hatteras sometimes, too!”

Chris Bobryck, RRD pro rider

 

THE LURE

Hatteras Island, 40 miles off the US mainland and reachable via a chain of small islands and man-made bridges, has countless locations for flat water and wave riding alongside seemingly endless downwinder terrain. It’s almost as if this place was custom designed for kiting...

On the west side of the island you’ll find shallow flat water riding areas that are waist-deep for seven miles out and up to 60 miles north and south in the Pamlico Sound. If you need to relaunch your kite or just take a rest then you can do so in the waist deep waters; there’s a reason why literally thousands of people have come here to learn. It’s probably one of the best spots for beginners on the planet and there’s also some solid wave riding just a short walk away on the east coast of the island. Almost unreal!

 

Just one section of wicked waterways that form some of the craziest downwinders we’ve ever done / Patrick Rebstock ripping the coast side / PHOTOS: Ryan Osmond / Real

 

Hadlow at the annual Wind Voyager Triple-S / Rocky Chatwell in front of Waves Village Resort / PHOTOS: Real / Kitty Hawk

 

Visit Cape Hatteras: Watermen's Retreat

THE SET-UP

It blows pretty much all year long at various strengths but it’s consistently above average compared to mainland US and it’s also suitable for anyone, from total beginner to seasoned pro, with almost unlimited access to well over 140 miles of coastline. There are more spots here than you could ever hope to discover during a normal holiday. The fl at water on the west side of the island is totally free of currents and the wave kiting to the east is outstanding with varying conditions, a sandy bottom and beaches that are open to swell from any direction.

The REAL Watermen’s Retreat, Watermen’s Bar & Grill and Waves Village Watersports Resort are surrounded by miles and miles of shallow water, that not only heats up quickly, buthas a firm-sand bottom with few shells. While beginners are learning to stand-up on their board they can benefit from being able to stand in the water or usually sit down on the bottom with their head above water while they slip into their foot straps. It doesn’t get any easier. Over 70 consecutive miles of oceanside coastline and dozens of miles of clean sound-side launching / landing areas create an almost incalculable number of routes for downwinders, which are the fastest way to progress. Students of most schools are often coached from close quarters by an instructor following them on a jet-ski for ultra-quick progression.

Marsh areas and small islands in the sound provide a natural obstacle course for more experienced kiters and they also create ‘slick’ water conditions on their leeside that are completely flat and wave free. You’ll never have to fight off a crowd here due to the massive amount of open space to play with.

 

 

Due to the bend in the island, no matter what direction the wind is blowing from you can find side-shore conditions, both in the Atlantic Ocean and the Pamlico Sound. Cape Hatteras also sits well away from the mainland, so all wind directions provide steady, stable wind flow with consistent wind speeds.

Some of the most sought-after spots to look out for include Canadian Hole north of Buxton on Hatteras Island, Pea Island (from just north of Waves Village to New Inlet), Planet of the Apes, Nags Head at Windmill Point and Jockey’s Ridge State Park. On the oceanside check out S-curves just north of Rodanthe as well as oceanside around the Buxton and the Cape Hatteras lighthouse area. S-curves and Rodanthe in particular provide some of the best waves on the east coast.

The whole area makes for classic downwinders, but make sure you pick up a downwinder guide from one of the kiteboarding shops - there are some areas that you don’t want to find yourself coming in to land at as there’s dense bush between the water and road. Get a map, plan your route, bring your buddies or join a group and you’ll wonder why you would ever want to kite backwards and forwards at one spot ever again!

 

Real Watersports - Session Map

WIND, WATER & WEATHER

Thanks to the orientation of the Outer Banks and Hatteras Island running almost straight north to south... and the wind mostly blowing from the southwest (during summer months) and northeast (during winter months)... kiteboarders are able to ride on nearly any day, oceanside or sound side. It’s very possible to ride all directions at a spot somewhere. The best time of year for all round riding is the spring and fall / autumn, although the winter and summer can also provide excellent wave conditions. Wind stats show that you can kite 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 Gulf stream 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 low to mid-90s (35ºC) in July and August with wider swings in the fall, winter and spring. It’s a good idea to bring layers and a wind shell to have the temperature swings covered.

 

Chest deep water, and warm / Daily shut down... from the hot tub on the balcony of a Waves Village condo! / PHOTOS: Kiteworld / Kitty Hawk

ACCOMMODATION

Cape Hatteras has 70 miles of accommodation options to choose from, including campgrounds and simple beach motels to luxury waterfront condos and 12 bed beach mansions. The local communities are 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 Kites at Waves Village Watersports Resort to get the full low down and pick up a riding map when you get there as you don’t want to miss out!

REAL’s Watermen’s Retreat and Watermen’s Bar & Grill has 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 onsite. Watermen’s Retreat shares this site with REAL Watersports, one of the biggest shops and kite schools in the US and host of the annual Wind Voyager Triple-S Invitational – one of kiteboarding’s biggest international and most high profile events of the year.

 

Accommodation setup at Watermen's Retreat / PHOTOS: Watermen's Retreat

 

There’s also Waves Village Watersports Resort which has 1,600 square foot luxury condos (3-bedroom, 3-bathroom units) with an on-site restaurant-bar, coffee shop, shopping, pro shop, rental centre, gear lockers, a new adventure climbing tower (featuring three levels and 15 climbing elements), and free activities during the summer. Condos include private balconies with an unobstructed view of the water and breathtaking sunsets, private hot tub, community pool, cable and HD, free wi-fi , hot water outdoor showers, changing rooms and much more. The launch site at Waves Village is open to the public at no cost (a signed waiver is required). Compressed air for kite inflation and hot showers for kiters to use after their session is also free of charge. Weekly demo days in the summer provide you with the opportunity to test drive the latest gear before you buy. Weekly summer ‘Kids Days’ are also a highlight for families.

 

Accommodation setup at Waves Village / PHOTOS: Waves Village

 

WHERE TO STAY

SUN REALTY

With a large selection of Outer Banks rentals you have the choice of a wide range of amenities, including private swimming pools, hot tubs, theater rooms, game rooms, pet friendly lodging and more!

www.sunrealtync.com / avon@sunrealtync.com / +1 (888) 853 7768

 

Holiday rentals with Sun Realty / PHOTOS: Sun Realty



KITE CLUB HATTERAS

For people on a budget or traveling individually Kite Club Hatteras offer private and shared rooms at their “kite house” in Avon, NC. The canal front property allows quick access to Pamlico Sound, with boat support provided for guests and students. If you are in a group of four or more you can rent the full rental house – The Turtle Club, at affordable rates. Weekly, nightly and partial stay rates are available – get in touch for further details!

www.kiteclubhatteras.com / info@kiteclubhatteras.com / +1 202 549 7693

 

Accommodation setup at Kite Club Hatteras / PHOTOS: Kite Club Hatteras

SCHOOLS

KITTY HAWK KITEBOARDING teach all levels April to November, usually at a ratio 3:1 and students are followed on boat or jet-ski. They have an enourmous demo centre with virtually everything they sell in the shop or tech centre for you to try. Off-site rentals also available. Accommodation and shop open year round.

www.wavesvillage.com / sales@wavesvillage.com / Lessons: +1 252 987 2297 / Accommodation: +1 252 305 2629

 

Up and ride lessons with Kitty Hawk / PHOTOS: Kitty Hawk Kites

 

KITE CLUB HATTERAS offer kitesurfing lessons and camps on the best beaches of the East Coast. Learn how to kite and earn your IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization) certification.

www.kiteclubhatteras.com / info@kiteclubhatteras.com / +1 202 549 7693

 

One on one lessons and jet-ski service provided by Kite Club Hatteras / PHOTOS: Kite Club Hatteras

 

REAL KITEBOARDING have 25 full time coaches teaching twice a day, seven days per week, beginner through to pro level. Max ratio is 2:1 and all lessons run with jet-ski support. The latest gear from Axon, Best, BWS, Liquid Force, Naish and Slingshot is available for rent. Also offered is accommodation at Waterman's Retreat, camps, air compressors, hot showers, changing rooms, lockers, live music and more.

Languages spoken by staff: English, Spanish, French, German and Italian.

www.realwatersports.com / realpro@realwatersports.com / +1 866 REAL 548 / +1 252 987 6000

 

NO WIND

In as little as 5mph of wind you can go hang gliding with Kitty Hawk Kites at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head (just minutes from where the Wright brothers chose for their first flight). There’s also jetskiing, SUP, kayak tours and sailing. Cape Hatteras lighthouse and Pea Island Wildlife Refuge provide some fun afternoons out... if you can pull yourself away from the beach. For the kids there are 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. If you’re a kid, big or small, this place rocks for activities and the outdoors!

Kiting here is about hanging with friends and relaxing when you’re not kiting your ass off, and the rentals here are well geared up for that.

 

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 a 4WD - get an off-road driving permit and find private sessions every day.

 

CURRENCY

US Dollar ($) - £1 = $1.5 / €1 = $1.2

 

FOOD & DRINK

There are grocery stores and restaurants littered along the whole area. Almost any accommodation you choose will be very well set up for your self-catering cooking/entertaining, and many of the houses/condos you won’t want to leave!

You’ll find a big Food Lion supermarket in Avon, or plenty more back up the road in Nags Head. There are a lot of options to eat out in Waves, Avon and Buxton. You won’t find a massively international flair in the cuisine, but you can be sure of big servings of fresh seafood, steaks, pizza, the odd Mexican, some sushi and American classics, all washed down with plenty of domestic and international beers on tap. Eating in or out isn’t super cheap - this is an island - but you won’t go hungry! Be aware, however, that things really quieten down after 9pm and there are no nightclubs. You make your own party. For a more lively evening experience head back up to Nags Head.

 

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).

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