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Cape Hatteras, North Carolina: Kiteboarding Guide

Mar 20, 2012

Author: SBC Kiteboard magazine

No other location on earth offers as much wide open space, and variety of kiteboarding conditions as Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Every year the Outer Banks consistently dishes up epic surf for downwind ocean runs, and uncrowded butter flat action in dozens of secret soundside slicks. Cape Hatteras is the east coast’s undisputed kiteboarding king. That's why SBC Kiteboard magazine has made Cape Hatteras the home to our annual gear tests for the past ten years. It’s the perfect place to demo and test new kiteboarding gear!

Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
Best Winds:  March to November, Locals ride year round
Closest Airport: Norfolk International Airport is located 1 1/2 hours from Kitty Hawk
Kite Size: Winds are primarily frontal so 8 to 16 meter kites is the norm
Cost Factor: $-$$ Renting a house with friends makes Hatteras very inexpensive
Local Shops and Schools: See full list at end of article
Family Friendly: Yes
Naish Demo:  April 26-29, 2012

The Island
Seventy miles of almost unlimited access to the water, both soundside and oceanside, allow riders to pick and choose their perfect riding location. The island bends over its length to create sideshore conditions in almost any wind direction. Combine the fact that it is far from the mainland, and you have the perfect recipe for steady, consistent winds. Waist deep water almost as far as the eye can see on the sound side, and a multitude of great uncrowded ocean side surf breaks make Cape Hatteras the east coast’s number one kiteboarding destination.

Getting There
The vast majority of kiteboarder on the East Coast choose to drive to Cape Hatteras. It's a full days drive from New York and Florida, and approx 12 hours from the Canadian border. For people flying Norfok airport is 1 1/2 hours from Kitty Hawk. Some of the best kiteboarding in Cape Hatteras is easier to access with a four wheel drive vehicle, something to consider if renting at the airport.

Where to stay
With the spring and fall being shoulder season for tourists, rental houses are a great deal. Check Outer Beach Realty, and Hatteras Realty for some of the best ocean front and sound front accommodations. The Watermen’s Retreat are located directly beside the Real shop right on the Sound. These are spot one for the world famous Triple-S, and the Naish demo tour. The Watermen's Retreat is also conveniently located close to the infamous Real Slick. A short drive up highway 12 is the Waves Village Resort.

Mojo’s Cafe at Real Kiteboarding for Taco Tuesday, or any day of the week for a quick lunch or after session beer or meal. The Orange Blossom in Buxton is a SBC test team favorite for breakfast and coffee. The Apple Ugglies are big . Diamond Shoals restaurant sells some of the freshest fish on the OBX and you can pick it up from their market and grill it at home. Just make sure your house has a BBQ.  La Fogata’s in Avon offers traditional Mexican fair at reasonable prices.

Beach Driving Permit (new for 2012)
The special regulation now requires visitors to have an ORV special use permit to operate a vehicle on the designated ORV routes at the seashore. Off Road Vehicle permits can be obtained beginning February 15th at any of the three NPS permit offices located at Coquina Beach, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Visitor Center (Buxton), and the Ocracoke Visitor Center.  The cost of an annual ORV permit is $120. The cost for a 7-day ORV permit is $50. More Info. Don't like what you just read? Sign the Petition

Other tips and things to do

  • Go surfing
  • SUP the Sound
  • Climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  • Wright Brothers National Memorial
  • Look for Blackbeard’s treasure
  • Take a day trip to see the ponies in Okracoke
  • Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

Local shops/schools:

Hatteras Island Surf Shop 252-987-2292
Kite Hatteras 252-305-5290
Kitty Hawk Kites 252- 987-2528
Ocean Air Sports 252-995-5000
Outer Banks Kiting 252-305-6839
Real Watersports 866- 732-5548

Wind and surf forecast

Best launches
Kite Point (KP) just south of Avon is the most famous of the Cape Hatteras soundside launches, and works for almost all wind directions. Across Highway 12 on the Ocean side directly across is Ego Beach, a favorite spot for visit and local pro’s to score a good wave session. By far the best thing about Hatteras is the hundreds of potential riding locations, and secret slicks. Bust out Google Earth and explore! Be sure to also check out SBC Kiteboard’s ultimate Cape Hatteras Downwinder Ride Guide.

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