Ask any local and they will tell you September and October are the two best months in Cape Hatteras for wind and waves. On any given day, you will find epic kiting, surfing, kitesurfing, or all three. It’s a magic time of the year with warm air and water temps, incredible atmospheric conditions and unbelievable sessions every day.
September kicks off with the tropics in full gear. This means consistent SE swell in the waist to overhead range. Warm ocean temps make wetsuits only necessary on the windy days and normally it’s boardshorts or just a wetsuit top most of the time. Winds start out either SW or NE, then switch predominantly to NE as the month goes on. While you might be using only boardshorts 90% of the time, it’s a good idea to pack a wetsuit top and light fullsuit in the event a cold front sweeps through to keep the wind chill down.
September sees warm air temps and solid kiteboarding conditions throughout the month. Kiters will see SW winds blow with epic flatwater riding, plus ocean kitesurfing on both the north and southsides of the island. When the big NE blows come through, get ready for great northside ocean kiting, plus all the flatwater slicks working in reverse! September is a transition month where the beginning of the month starts off with predominantly SW winds and then the end finishes with northerly winds. Add a few tropical pulses with E or SE winds and you have a solid month of kiting.
Why is September the best month of the year for EPIC kitesurfing? September is our best month here for long period groundswells and warm water. What doesn’t sound good about that?! When you look down the line of the wave you are about to ride, it goes on for a long, long ways! Short period, peaky beachbreaks are fun, but long walls, as long as you can see down the line, are way more fun! These swells also have power and move through the water with more speed. Add some wind and a kite and you are now kitesurfing the best waves of the year. There’s a reason the locals and the diehard visitors carve out September to make sure they are available and here for every good day in September.
For surfers, September is incredible in Cape Hatteras. Warm water, boardshorts, and insane barrels, make Cape Hatteras one of the best surf destinations in North America when it’s on. The bend in our coastline allows winds to be offshore somewhere for every wind direction on the compass. That means if it’s onshore on one side of the island, it will be offshore on the other. If you’re from Long Island or New Jersey, you know you’re pretty much strapped to hoping it will blow the right direction. Here, it doesn’t matter as much, as you can drive 20 minutes and onshore becomes offshore. Some of the biggest, best and longest waves, all happen during the month of September. Surfing them all in boardshorts is pretty nice!
Rocking out during R’October
October is the last month where you can claim a few sessions in trunks, then the wetsuits come out and it’s all-good again. Normally, the most you will need is a good 3mm fullsuit. October sees a switch away from the tropical swells and south winds, with more energy coming from the north. North winds and north swells. Look for big N, NE and NW blows during October. Not the biggest NW, as these will come later in November and December, but definitely big N and NE winds.
These strong N winds and the weather systems that generate them, also push solid north swells. After several months of hunting down all the SE swell spots, now it’s time to find all the new N swell spots that are working. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is always a solid performer both for surfing and kitesurfing. There are also some great spots up and down the coast that work well given the right conditions and tides. Stop by REAL and we can point you in the right direction for the best session.
Kiteboarding in October is really good, with strong winds and small kites being the norm. Most of our visitors also have air temps 20 degrees colder at home during October, so arriving in Cape Hatteras is like showing up in the Caribbean. With the strong northerly winds and swells, the magic combination for epic kitesurfing conditions also exists in October. For flatwater riders, all the slicks that are famous for SW winds can be ridden in reverse and are just as smooth. Nothing beats a Kite Point “Pool Party” with insane flat water riding going on just inches from dry land, your truck and a cold 6-pack!
Surfing in October sees a bit more rubber, a lot more north swells and the hunt for the best sandbars now that the swell directions have changed. October can be tricky at times when the N winds are cranking, but there’s always a honey hole on the southside of the island if you are willing to put in the time looking for it. If you remember anything about October 10 years from now, it will be the glass off at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse after a big NE blow. These are the best barreling days of the year with waves 6 feet high by 10 feet thick. PURE freaking drainers! You’re out there with just a fullsuit, while all your friends to the north are already wearing boots, gloves and hoods. With all the North Atlantic energy juicing up in October, Cape Hatteras sees some consistent surf conditions with plenty of options to tailor the wind and waves to your liking.
REAL and Watermen’s Retreat
Watermen’s Retreat features two Fall accommodations specials that make 5-star living affordable for travelers.
Plan your next Cape Hatteras visit today and come session with us! We look forward to seeing you on the water soon.