NC Things To Do, Outer Banks | Surfing in NC

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Surfing on the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks of North Carolina has long been known as one of the top spots on the east coast for surfing. The unique position of our barrier islands allows swells to make it to shore instead of breaking up in the ocean. Favorable winds and offshore storms also help create ideal surfing conditions. The Outer Banks boasts several pro surfers and surf competitions. Experienced surfers can find a challenge, and the rest of us can take a surf lesson!

On the Outer Banks, the surfing crowd is quite diverse. You'll find cool grandads who've been surfing since they were teens, professionals who quickly change from suits to wetsuits, kids who can rip better than you'll ever dream of, and novices experiencing the thrill of catching their first waves.

You'll see Outer Banks surfers in the water 4 seasons a year. Yes, even in winter! Good waves can happen during any season, but fall traditionally brings the most desirable swells. During peak summer and early fall, wetsuits are hardly ever needed - the water is usually in the mid-70s.

Outer Banks Surf Spots

One of the great things about Outer Banks surfing is that there'sover 100 miles of coastline - you can join the lineup at a popular break, or you can head on down the beach to find a secluded spot. Each year, coastal storms change sandbar patterns, which in turn creates new breaks. There are well-known Outer Banks surfing spots such as "S-Turns" near Rodanthe, or Avalon Pier in Kill Devil Hills. The good news is that you can have a great session anywhere along the Outer Banks! Head north to Carova in your 4-wheel drive to surf and play on the beautiful beaches all day. Go to Corolla or Duck and you'll find vacationers enjoying the waves. The Central Beaches of Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head offer easy parking and several great surfing spots. Hatteras Island is known as the pinnacle of Outer Banks surfing - this is where you'll find the best breaks and biggest waves. But don't worry, beginners can easily find more mellow spots along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Never surfed before?
There are numerous local professionals who can safely introduce you to the sport. Lessons are available for both kids and adults.

Outer Banks Surfing Lessons


Outer Banks Surf School(252) 599-2006
Corolla Surf Shop(252) 453-WAVE (9283)
Island Revolution Surf Co. & Skatepark  (252) 453-9484
Whalebone Surf Shop(252) 441-6747


Check out our list of Outer Banks surf shops to find one near your rental home!


Soundwatch 115-C

4 BR, 3 ½ BA in Duck, NC Sound Front

Down Time 291

3 BR, 3 BA in Kill Devil Hills, NC Soundside

Takoma 623

4 BR, 2 ½ BA in South Nags Head, NC Oceanfront

Ocean's Lore R-27

6 BR, 5 ½ BA in Rodanthe, NC Oceanside

Pirate's Reef SW-11

2 BR, 2 BA in Hatteras, NC Sound Front


6 BR, 6 & 2 Half BA in Carova, NC Semi Ocean Front

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