Windsurfing on Cape Hatteras in Outer Banks (OBX), NC

Windsurfing Vacations on Cape Hatteras

From wide canals in Avon that lead to the Pamlico Sound, to the challenging Atlantic Ocean waters of Ego Beach, windsurfers flock to Hatteras Island for its perfect conditions. For the past 25 years, the Outer Banks has played a vital role in putting the sport of windsurfing on the map.

Quick Windsurfing School Guide

Windsurfing Central

It’s easy to see why windsurfers are attracted to Hatteras Island. With an annual average wind speed of 20 mph, and over 30 square miles of Pamlico Sound to play in, there is no better locale for beginner and experienced windsurfers alike.

In the spring and fall seasons, the soundside beaches of Canadian Hole (AKA the Haul-Over), a public parking area with bathhouses and plenty of room for equipment set-up, become the gathering point for windsurfers from all over the world. These shallow, gently sloping waters make launching a breeze, and Canadian Hole is an exceptional starting point for beginners and advanced windsurfers who want an easy, laid back ride. 

Just across NC Highway 12 is the ocean beach known as Ego Beach, where experts can test their luck against the rough Atlantic waves. Beginners take note: it’s best to master the calmer sound waters before heading to the ocean, as rough surf and currents can easily damage your gear. 

Windsurfing Lessons

If you’re new to the sport, Hatteras Island is home to a number of nationally recognized windsurfing companies, like Ride Hatteras, Ocean Air Sports, Hatteras Island Sail Shop, and Fox Watersports. These sport centers offer equipment rentals and provide lessons for windsurfers of all skill levels. Just be sure to call or email in advance to schedule a lesson during your Outer Banks vacation.

Windsurfing Events

As the international congregating point for windsurfers, Hatteras Island also has its fair share of tournaments and festivals. In the spring, windsurfers flock to Windfest in Frisco, an annual festival devoted to all things windsurfing and kiteboarding. Local and national sponsors provide product demos, US Sailing certified instructors provide lessons and clinics, and fun windsurfing events are scheduled throughout Windfest, culminating each night with a beachside bonfire. 

In the fall, when wind conditions are ideal on a daily basis, the Hatteras WaveJam, an oceanside three day festival, encourages budding windsurfers to hone their skills and provides a competitive, yet fun venue for intermediate to seasoned wave sailors. The festival has three key elements, including freeform wave sailing, a wave clinic, and a wave challenge competitive event with prizes.

Whether you come for the windsurfing events, or simply to enjoy a solo sail, there’s a reason why Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks have become the touchstone of windsurfers from around the world. Take a sail across the Pamlico Sound, or challenge yourself on Ego Beach, and you’ll see why Hatteras Island’s reputation as the windsurfing capital of the world isn’t just hot air.