Monday, January 30, 2017

3 Day Surf and Adventure Summer Camps on the Outer Banks

3 Day Surf and Adventure Summer Camps on the Outer Banks
If your youngsters have been meaning to learn how to surf, our 3 Day Surf and Adventure Summer Camps are the remedy. These sessions are 3 days long that are jam-packed, skill intensive sessions that will teach young people how to surf, kayak and stand up paddleboard on the Outer Banks. Summertime is the right time to surf, and we will teach you how to surf at the best beginner-friendly sand bars on the Outer Banks. 3 days of surf instruction, water safety, paddling technique and rip current safety will have you shredding in no time. And although these 3 hour sessions are centered around surfing as its core, we will also broaden are water skills by kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. We will explore the sound-side estuaries of the Outer Banks by kayak and paddleboards after surfing all morning. Not only will we learn how to safely paddleboard and kayak, but we will learn about the coastal ecology and wildlife of the unique barrier island ecosystems that make the Outer Banks so unique. Register your campers here for an action-packed shredfest on the Outer Banks!!
Surfing: We provide soft surfboards and wetsuits for all our young shredders. Our shred schedule sessions go down around low tide to make for easier surf conditions for our first waves. With over 10 years of teaching kids how to surf, this is sure to open a can of stoke for a life of shred.

Kayaking: The Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Preserve will be our location for kayaking. Its protected, 1,500 acres of deciduous maritime forest offer a scenic and safe location for our aspiring young paddlers to learn their strokes. We will discuss turning, bracing, and proper paddling techniques as we paddle the creeks of Kitty Hawk. 

Stand Up Padleboarding: Kitty Hawk Kayak & Surf School is located on a sheltered creek that is always calm. As such, this is the ideal location for kids to learn to stand up paddleboard with no wind or surface chop. We have some awesome 8 foot SUPs especially designed for kids. This makes the experience more productive for kids so that they have the right size boards.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Black Bear Tours on the Outer Banks

Black Bear Tours on the Outer Banks

The Kitty Hawk Kayak & Surf School has added our newest adventure activity on the Outer Banks: Black Bear Tours in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Northeast North Carolina has one of the healthiest black bear populations on the planet, and we know just where to go to see these majestic animals. You and your family will enjoy a comfortable drive through the refuge in our air conditioned van with binoculars for safe viewing. We also give educational talks about the American black bear (Ursus americanus) and the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Observing black bear in their natural environment is such a cool experience that you will not soon forget. We commonly see black bears, deer, turkeys, alligators, red wolves, barred owls, red tailed hawks, turtles and other wildlife. The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is one of the greatest wildlife corridors on the East Coast of the United States. Come check it out and make memories to last a lifetime. Reservations can be made by calling (252) 261-0145. 
Mom and cubs

"What are you looking at?"

Ursus americanus traffic jam

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Celebrating 10 Years on the Forefront of Recreation on the Outer Banks

Kitty Hawk Kayak and Surf School is Celebrating 10 Years on the Forefront of Recreation on the Outer Banks

Wow!!! We can’t believe Kitty Hawk Kayak & Surf School has been in business for 10 years!!! It has been a privilege, a blessing

and really darn fun serving Outer Banks locals and visitors alike for the last 10 years!! And with no signs of slowing down yet we plan on helping folks on the Outer Banks learn how to surf, kayak and stand up paddle for many more years to come. And with a decade in business, it has got us nostalgically looking back over the last 10 years at our business and the many 1sts we have experienced as leaders of recreation on the Outer Banks.

·      The first and only kayak outfitter on the Outer Banks to offer and require American Canoe and Kayak Certification for our guides. Today we offer more kayaking trip than any other outfitter on the Outer Banks.
·      The first surf school on the Outer Banks to obtain certification with the National Surf School and Instructor Association.
·      The Outer Banks’ first surf instructor certified by the National Surf School and Instructor Association.
·      The first surf school on the Outer Banks to offer Stand Up Paddleboarding Lessons and tours. Today we offer and deliver more stand up paddleboard tours on the Outer Banks than any other outfitter on the beach in four locations from Duck to Avon.
·      The first surf school to offer a full 5 day surf camp for locals and visitors incorporating surfing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, surf board factory visits and coastal education.
·      We are the only outfitter on the Outer Banks pledging 1% of our gross receipts to local and international environmental stewardship programs through 1 Percent for the Planet. To date we have contributed almost $20,000 to programs that help conserve and protect our oceans, rainforests and coastlines.
·      The first outfitter on the Outer Banks to offer guided kayak tours and stand up paddle trips at night to observe bioluminescent bacteria glowing in the water.

For 10 years we have always taken the safety of our customers very seriously, and we are committed to the sound training and safe protocols that we employ to make sure your trip or lesson with us is safe, fun and educational. We will continue to keep your families’ safety our top priority while continuing to offer more first class recreational activities in the incredible environment that is the barrier islands of the Outer Banks. Thanks for surfing, kayaking, renting and stand up paddling with us, and see you on the water!!

Herman Hall and Heather MacLean,

Owners Kitty Hawk Kayak & Surf School

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Outer Banks Surf Spots ~ Top 5 on the OBX

Outer Banks Surf Spots ~ Top 5 on the OBX

Kitty Hawk Kayak and Surf School has been teaching people to surf for 10 years on the Outer Banks. Our certified NSSIA Surf School has long been the leader for surf lessons and surf camps on the OBX. And when you have shared the stoke of the shred with many people, we get asked "What are the Outer Banks Surf Spots that I should shred?" Below are our Top 5 Surf Spots on the OBX.

Avalon Pier
Outer Banks Surf
Outer Banks Surf

There is no secret that Avalon Pier has some of the best sand in town. It also has the best surfers in the water on any given day. Underground rippers and locally known pros all shred these pits and peaks on the regs. Located in the heart of Kill Devil Hills, this has been a go to spot for great sand bars for decades. Although the crowd can be tough, and the peanut gallery even tougher, getting a good wave at Avalon Pier feels so good. Just don't blow it or you may not get another chance. Experts only. 


Coquina Beach

This off the radar stretch of magic sand is located at the northern stretch on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore north of Oregon Inlet. This place can produce some really great waves, especially on larger swells. Not quite as heavy and hollow as other spots, this wave can make up for its lack of power with the length of the ride and lack of crowds. Usually this place is surfed with no one else in sight. Just watch out for sharks and make sure to hide your car. All levels welcome.

Pea Island

Outer Banks Surf Lessons
Outer Banks Surf Lessons
There are so many options on Pea Island for surfing it is impossible to chronicle it here in a blog post. However, the gist is this: empty hollow beach breaks that are almost as good as Rodanthe (and sometimes better) but with way less crowds. Located south of Oregon Inlet on Route 12, just pull over on the side of the road and start checking it. You never know when you are going to strike gold on Hatteras Island, and many a drive south has been cut short because the traveling surfer found just what the were looking for on Pea Island. Intermediates and up.

Cape Hatteras Light HouseIMG_4523

This goes without saying, but the Cape Hatteras lighthouse could very well be the best wave on the entire East Coast of the United States. This wave has many moods, from long ripable left hand point break-esque walls, to dredging, hollow spitting tubes. But shredder beware: a heavy local crew who surfs way better than you will be on it, and you could snap your board real quick. Or worse yet you could get dragged over the metal, rusty jetty by a clean up set. But this is a must surf spot for any East Coast surfer. And sometimes its completely empty. Experts only.

Duck Pier

Perhaps the most under-rated (and under-surfed) spot on the entire Outer Banks is Duck Pier. Located on federally owned property by the Army Corp of Engineers in North Duck, this is the longest pier in North Carolina and this thing holds sand like nobodies business. On good days with good sand bars, this wave can be the closest thing to a point break (or Trestles) on the Outer Banks. Long, ripable walls with no one out are common, but accessing the pier is tricky. Expect a long walk in (and maybe a parking ticket), but all of this is worth the price of admission to empty, ripable, A frame walls. And make sure to check both sides of the pier!!! Sometimes you might not even be on the best peak. All levels welcome.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

5 World Class Flatwater Stand Up Paddle Boarding Locations on the Outer Banks

5 World Class Flatwater Stand Up Paddle Boarding Locations on the Outer Banks

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUPing) is a great way to explore the majestic waterways of the Outer Banks. And as Kitty Hawk Kayak and Surf School offers the widest selection of SUP tour locations of any outfitter on the Outer Banks, we know the barrier islands inside and out. But once you have had a lesson and are comfortable on a SUP, its time to take the training wheels off and really explore the OBX. Below are our 5 favorite locations to paddleboard on the Outer Banks. Some of these are our tour locations and some are little secrets of ours. If you ever need any recommendations for places to SUP on the Outer Banks, please give us a call at (252) 261-0145 or email at It takes a lifetime to stand up paddle all that the Outer Banks has to offer; these are just a few of our favorites. As always, be prepared before you go with water, a map, and be well-versed in the wind directions and weather before heading out.

Whalehead Club

The northern Outer Banks is really problematic for accessing the sounds and oceans as much of the land is privately owned with very few public access points. However, the Whalehead Club has a great public launch that is free and open to the public. Head either north or south (depending on the wind) and cruise around the northern Currituck Sound. This is a great place for sunsets, and offers stunning views from the incredible property that is the Whalehead Club. For the super adventurous, head north into the Currituck Wildlife Refuge and cruise around the canals in search of river otters, egrets and osprey.

Kitty Hawk Woods

No SUP trip to the Outer Banks would be complete with our paddling the Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Preserve. This is the best place to paddle with lots of wind in the Central Outer Banks hands down, and it also happens to be the most scenic. Cruise through the 1,500 acre Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Preserve. Access this beautiful local via Kitty Hawk Kayal & Surf School at 6150 North Croatan HWY in Kitty Hawk, or the Kitty Hawk Public Boat Launch off of Bob Perry Road. Both locations access the preserve and offer epic stand up paddle boarding. Wildlife seen from this location are otters, osprey, egrets, herons, king fishers and turtles.

Bodie Island

The SUPing on Croatan Sound between the Outer Banks and Roanoke Island is filled with great paddle boarding. This is where we did our Brewathlon Adventure Race and offers several access points that have their pros and cons depending on the wind direction. You can access this local by the Nags Head Public Kayak Launch on 158 on the south side of the Manteo Causeway, the Harvey Sound Public Sound Access off 158, or the Bodie Island Lighthouse park within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore off of Route 12 south. Depending on which way the wind is blowing will dictate your launch area. In a strong northeast wind, paddle the south side locations of Nags Head Public Kayak Launch on 158 or Bodie Island. In a strong south wind, launch from the Harvey Sound Public Sound Access. This will assure you glassy conditions and smooth paddling. There are several canals accessible in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore accessible from this side, and is also an epic kayak fishing spot with plenty of grass flats and a hidden lake. Its also a great place for a sunset paddle.

New Inlet Boat Launch in Pea Island

The Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is a must paddle spot on the Outer Banks Many of our guides list this tour area as their favorite place to paddle with one strong caveat: when the wind isn't too strong. But as fickle as the place can be, once you score a glassy evening sunset paddle at Pea Island you will never be the same. You can see the curve of the Earth and an unobstructed view over the Pamlico Sound that is not easily forgotten. But make sure the wind is not too hard out of the north or south. Too much north wind and the area will not be deep enough to paddle, and too much south wind and you will be blown back to Oregon Inlet in minutes. Just watch your weather, and be ready to drop everything for a once and a lifetime SUP trip. Access this gem from Route 12 south on Hatteras Island and watch for the signs. If you're not paying attention you will miss it.

Frisco Woods Campground

Once of my favorite places to paddle in the southern Outer Banks is Frisco Woods Campground. With the huge elbow bend at Buxton, this place picks lots of north and south wind which offers very glassy conditions for SUPing. Also there are lots of canals to explore west of the campground that offer sheltered winding creeks that offer great viewing of egrets, osprey, rays and turtles. Also if you haven't ever camped at Frisco Woods you are blowing it. This camp ground is a locals favorite with sound front camping and Live Oak groves.   

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

OBX Brewathlon Adventure Race

Kitty Hawk Kayak & Surf School, in conjunction with Hype Promotions and the OBX Brewfest, is proud to announce the Inaugural OBX Brewathlon Adventure Race!!!
The race will include a series of 7 legs of classic Outer Banks adventure sports and leisure activities that the OBX is known for:
  • Surfing
  • Running
  • Horseshoes
  • Cornhole
  • Standup Paddleboarding
  • Kayaking
  • BBQ & Brews
Each physical activity will be followed directly after with a traditional beach game to keep it low stakes, fun and unique. The race can be split up as a team event/relay or a one man or woman show “Ironman” entrance. Prize packages will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers for the Team division, males and females. Participants will receive a Brewathlon Adventure Race shirt and entrance into the race after party at Pamlico Jack's with brews, live music from local rock legends Zack Mexico, BBQ and good vibes!! Awards ceremony for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers for mens, womens and team divisions will be given out at the OBX Brewfest Kickoff Party at Trio later that day at 7 pm.

Brewathlon Race Course Map

  1. The race will begin at the Forrest Street Public Beach Access in Nags Head, just south of the OBX Brewfest Event Site. Participants will then run 1 mile to the Grey Eagle Public Beach Access just North of Jannette’s Pier.
  2. Participants will then have to score 5 points tossing horse at the Gray Eagle beach before starting the surfing portion of the race (leaners or ringers).
  3. Then race participants will hit the water and must catch 3 waves standing up and riding for 3 seconds.
  4. Once completed, participants will be transported via Kitty Hawk Kayak & Surf School vans to the Nags Head Estuary Boat launch to paddle a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) to the Kitty Hawk Kites store. Finish times for the 1st 3 legs will be recorded and participants will start using lag/delayed starts for the SUP leg following the surfing.
  5. Participants will arrive at the Kitty Hawk Kites Whalebone Junction store via SUP and then have to score 5 points in the cornhole toss.
  6. Once completed, participants will launch their kayaks and paddle 2.7 miles in the Roanoke Sound north to the Harvey Sound Public Sound Access.
  7. After the race participants will be transported via Kitty Hawk Kayak & Surf School vans back to Pamlico Jack’s restaurant for awards ceremony and after party.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Outer Banks Stand Up Paddleboarding

Outer Banks Standup Paddleboarding with the Kitty Hawk Kayak & Surf School will get you stoked on the SUP craze with Stand Up Paddleboarding lessons and rentals!

We offer Outer Banks Standup Paddleboarding Lessons and Tours at our ideal location with ever-glassy conditions, or in the surf for people ready to catch waves. We also offer instruction in Duck, Manteo and Avon. It's also a great way to explore the sounds of the Outer Banks. We have been teaching people to SUP in the Outer Banks since 2007, longer than any other company on the beach. No bandwagoners or Johny Come Latelys here, just core, quality SUP instruction year in and year out in the best locations all over the Outer Banks. We are certified by the American Canoe and Kayak Association and the National Surf School & Instructor Association for SUP. We take your safety and our teaching seriously, and we think it shows in our level of instruction.