If you haven’t been to the Outerbanks (OBX), Hatteras, North Carolina – get there – whatever you have to do – its a must do kiting trip. Its not possible to fully describe how much fun it is to kite everyday, in the wide-open Pamlico Sound with miles and miles of waist deep, warm ocean waters. We rented a house with a group of friends and kited, ate, and laughed for a week solid.
Day 1: Wash-out – Hatteras, 24 knots, gusting to 29 knots, wind from the North East so it was side-on at the Wash-out launch beach. Lots of kiters, probably 20. Most people flying a 6m or 7m. I had rigged up my shorter 15m lines and decided to use that setup for the big wind. I also tuned the lines to the middle knot on my bar which shortened my front lines by a couple of inches. Turns out it was a good move given the high gusts we were experiencing that day. I rode fully powered most of the afternoon and cruised along the shallow waters of Pamlico Sound.
Day 2: House – Hatteras (Avon), 23 knots, gusting to 28 knots, wind from the North East, 12 degrees. Another big wind day in Hatteras. Newbies were cautioned from riding today and decided to workout at the gym to vent their pent up energy. Paul, David and I headed out directly in front of the house. What a sweet setup, our house has a huge deck with embedded swimming pool and a railing all around that doubles as a space to hangup wet gear.
Day 3: House – Hatteras (Avon),12 degrees air temp, 13 degrees water temp, 26 knots, gusts to 30 from the north
thank god the for drysuit, it has come in handy in Hatteras which was not expected as I wore a wetsuit last year and it was comfortable and warm. The strange weather has affected this part of the world also.
Day 4: House – Hatteras (Avon), 19 degrees air temp, 14 degrees water temp, 14 knots from the southwest.
First really sunny day we had. it felt like a carribean vacation, as it was actually hot sitting on the beach, volleyball players out in the sand and the girls in their bikini’s. The wind was side-on and forecast to build throughout the day. I pumped up my 7, 9 and 11m and would have pumped my 13m had it not been knocked out of comission by a nasty rock bearing some sharp barnacles. Since the wind still had not picked up fully yet I decided to use my light wind Oxygen board. Heading out on my 11m I had to go downwind to keep riding and after an hour found myself a good mile downshore from the house and kiting with a whole new group of people. I figured worst case I would hitch a ride or cab it from the other side of town which was where I was going to end up if this continued. Finally the wind increased by a couple of knots and I could start riding upwind again and back to my home beach. After tacking upwind for a half hour I was getting close to the home beach and the view was spectacular as the sky was filled with multi-coloured kites everywhere. There were so many kites I couldn’t have counted them all but I would guess at over 50. Getting through this large group of kiters reminded me of the merge lane from hwy. 400 to the 401 highway in Toronto, it was a zoo. I had to dive and raise my kite constantly around other kiters as they zipped past me from both directions.
After a hair-raising 10 minutes of navigating the high traffic zone I made it upwind far enough to be clear of the big crowds and kiting with my own gang once again.
This was the day I had decided to try riding toe-side, which was like learning to kite all over again. Every transition to toe-side resulting in big downwind runs and then me having to work at getting back upwind heel-side on the ride back out. After a few of these runs I managed to hang-on to toe-side enough to carve out a couple of turns from toe-side to heel-side which felt really cool.
The day ended in spectacular style which I would describe as my best day kiting ever. The sun was setting and I could literally ride into the sunset, and then turn back to head towards the beach looking at a big full moon rising directly overtop of our house. Incredible!!!!
Check out David riding into the sunset on his new Wainman Gambler surfboard