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Outer Banks Kitesurfing

kitesurfing

 

Water activities abound in the Outer Banks, and one of the newest is kitesurfing, also known as kiteboarding. The Outer Banks is well-known as a great place to kitesurf, because the wind is constant and the sounds are shallow. Pamlico Sound off Hatteras Island is a particular favorite for Outer Banks kitesurfing, because it has few obstructions and is quite wide. Some of the more daring kitesurfers enjoy this sport in the ocean, too.

Kitesurfing kites come in two types: inflatable and foil. The inflatable kite is more stable, more predictable, and usable in a broader range of wind speeds. The foil kite is subject to unexpected gusts, but fills with more wind to provide a high performance ride.

Kitesurfing is a dangerous sport, more so than windsurfing. The wind power behind the kite is incredibly strong. As a result, a visitor can not simply rent a kite and board and hit the water. A certain level of certification must be attained prior to renting equipment, and some outfitters believe the sport is too dangerous to rent equipment at all. So, the best way to enjoy Outer Banks kitesurfing is to get training in the sport.

The amount of training for kitesurfing depends entirely on previous surfing experience and how well the surfer handles the kite. A “trainer” kite is available for use as kite skills develop. Gear can be purchased and will cost approximately $1, 500.

Several companies offer kitesurfing lessons and equipment.

In Nags Head, Kitty Hawk Watersports has been in business for 20 years and offers instructions almost year-round. Lessons usually take around three hours. They also offer windsurfing and kitesurfing equipment for sale, but do not rent equipment for kitesurfing.

Kitty Hawk Kites Kitesurfing School offers several levels of kitesurfing lessons on the Roanoke Sound. A two-hour introductory lesson teaches kite control. More advanced lessons are three hours long. Lessons at levels 1, 2, and 3 provide certification which is recognized by the Professional Air Sports Association. Kitty Hawk Kites will rent kitesurfing equipment, but only after certification is attained.

Windsurfing Hatteras opened shop in 1998 and has private access to Pamlico Sound. Lessons are available for beginners and advanced students, and are taught by some of the most skilled kitesurfers. Lessons begin at 30 minute sessions and come with a guarantee of success for beginners. Kitesurfing equipment comes with lessons, but is not available for rent.

Hatteras Island Sail Shop was opened by the owners of the Hatteras Island Surf Shop in 1996. The shop, located on the sound, offers Outer Banks kitesurfing lessons and sells kitesurfing equipment. Rentals are not available. The shop is open from March through December.

REAL Kiteboarding has two bases, one on Hatteras Island, the other in Puerto Rico. Both shops offer full-service kiteboarding, including gear and lessons. Three-day kitesurfing camps are offered on Hatteras Island during spring, summer and fall. REAL Kiteboarding also offers shorter lessons that cover basic kitesurfing skills.

Hatteras Island Boardsports offers Outer Banks kitesurfing lessons at all levels. The shop also offers beach clothing, and other water sport needs. The shop is open all year. For hours, call (252) 995-6160.

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