East Beast Weekly: Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, NC

Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, NC

Characterized by cold water, diehard locals, little traffic, and erratic, inconsistent swells, surfing on the East Coast requires ample amounts of both grit and patience. Yet occasionally the wind and the Atlantic will work in tandem to produce something magical, on par with anything found across the globe. Keep it Clean by FH presents the sixth edition of East Beasts Weekly - Cape Hatteras in the Outer Banks, NC.



  • A large parking lot next to the beach provides ample parking for everyone

Lining much of the coast, the barrier islands of the Outer Banks stretch 200 miles from top to bottom and are connected to mainland North Carolina by bridges here and there. A favored vacation destination for many (including college students from all over who flock at the end of their exam periods and party like animals for a week), OBX enjoys miles of beautiful sandy beaches and occasionally very nice beach breaks. Cape Hatteras is a famous spot among the surf community; in front of the tallest lighthouse in the U.S., this spot picks up most of the Atlantic swells out there. NE swells are the the best suited for the longer lefts, and a good south swell can make North Carolina look like Malibu (with warmer water in the summer). With the erosion of the islands (this problem seems to be ubiquitous among the sandy beaches of the East Coast), the waves change year to year, and breaks one year will have shifted along with the sandy bottoms. However, if you paddle out to the right of the jetty in Cape Hatteras, where the continental shelf drops off, you will find some good sized, powerful waves. This break is best at low tide, but you can get away with surfing any tide with even an average swell (unfortunately), this spot gets very crowded for the same reason. Unpredictable like only the east can be, these waves can be mushy one day or barreling the next - you never know what you are going to get (but hey, they say variety is the spice of life!) If you find yourself in the Outer Banks, grab a board and check out Cape Hatteras if you get the chance


Sea's the Day!
Written by: Will Holding

caroline danehy