Cape Hatteras North Carolina

Session Map Cape Hatteras

Find the best spots to ride. Stop by the REAL Flagship Store or call us for current conditions and tips.

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REAL Watersports is located in the village of “Waves”, on Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is 70 miles long and at its widest only 1 mile wide. We are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to our east and the Pamlico Sound to our west. Cape Hatteras is upwards of 30 miles east of the mainland. This allows for beautiful sunrises and sunsets, both over the water. Not many destinations in the world can match this! This same geographical location puts Cape Hatteras close to the Gulfstream Current, keeps temperature mild and the weather active. Whether it be ripping winds, big waves or an all night lightning show, the weather in Cape Hatteras is said to be one of its greatest attractions.

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Epic Winds

Year round, Cape Hatteras sees winds from around the clock as far as direction is concerned. This is OK since Cape Hatteras is 35 miles away from the mainland and any wind obstructions, making any wind direction a clean and steady wind to kite in. Generally Spring sees a good mix of SW and NE winds with some NW and North winds. Summer sees the NE die out and the SW take all the glory, with a few S and SE showing up in August and September. Fall winds show the SW fading away, replaced by NW,N and NE. Winter sees a pretty even mix of every direction on the compass with northerly winds being cooler and southerly winds being warmer.

Cape Hatteras Wind Stats

World Class Waves

Why is it that Cape Hatteras has become the #1 surfing destination on the East Coast of the US and also known around the world for its consistent (and powerful) surf? Cape Hatteras sits geographically at the meeting points of the North and South Atlantic Oceans. The storms and currents from these oceans have actually helped form our island. With exposure to swells from both oceans and almost all directions (the only swell we don’t receive it a true west), Cape Hatteras has become the go-to spot to surf on a consistent basis. From a power perspective, many world-traveling surfers will attest that not many waves worldwide exceed the power of a Cape Hatteras beach break. This is due to the short length of our continental shelf and the shallow sandbars that receive the full energy of the swell. The last quality component is finding a favorable wind direction. The same geographical shape of our island that helps attract a multitude of swell directions, also helps us find offshore winds somewhere close by. Simply shifting 20 minutes up or down the coast can turn the winds offshore and the surf significantly cleaner.

Getting to Cape Hatteras

By Plane

Norfolk International Airport (ORF). Norfolk International Airport is the closest major airport. It's about a two-hour drive from REAL. It's a major airport serving coastal Virginia as well as Virginia’s Eastern Shore, northeast North Carolina and the Outer Banks. Air service is provided by American, Continental, Delta, Southwest, United Express and US Airways offering access to hundreds of cities.

Car rentals are available from the airport. There is also an airport shuttle that can drive you to Cape Hatteras.

The Dare County Regional Airport (MQI) is 30 minutes away from REAL and accepts most size private planes and jets. They offer fueling and charter services, and Enterprise Rental cars are available for pick up at MQI.

Other nearby airports include Newport News, Virginia (PHF) and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina (RDU).

By Car

From the North (Norfolk). Take US 64 to VA 168S. 168S becomes 158S at NC state line. Stay on Rt 158 through Kitty Hawk and Nags Head. Look for signs for HWY 12 - Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Take HWY 12 South to Hatteras Island and REAL Watersports. Norfolk to Waves, approx. 2 hours

From the West / South. From Rocky Mount at the junction of I-95 and NC 64. Take NC 64 East to Nags Head, Junction Hwy 12. Turn Right - HWY 12 South towards Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Hatteras Island and REAL Watersports. Rocky Mount to Waves, approx. 3.5 hours

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Where to Stay

Watermen’s Retreat is located directly beside the REAL Flagship Store and is designed with three living floors, all with breathtaking views of the Pamlico Sound and Atlantic Ocean. Whether you choose “Waterfront” or “Waterview”, you will be treated to plenty of Pamlico Sound and Atlantic Ocean views and the best sunrises and sunsets on the planet!

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Where to Eat

Watermen’s Bar and Grill is OPEN 8am – 10pm daily serving delicious, freshly prepared food, plus the best coffee, beers and mixed drinks on the Outer Banks. Don’t miss Watermen’s exclusive RUM BAR with rums and rum drinks from around the world.

Sky Blue Summer Concert Series Schedule

Watermen's Bar & Grill Menu

What to Do

The REAL Lesson Center is right onsite for kiteboarding, surfing and standup paddleboarding lessons and camps with up to 35 full time coaches, 12 PWCs and a private 4 acre Bermuda grass launch right on the Pamlico Sound. The new REAL Lesson Center features 2,500 sq ft of dedicated school space plus direct access onto the 4,000 sq ft waterfront deck, 3 private, separated classrooms, overhead video projectors, plus 5 outdoor showers, bathroom facilities, lockers and more. As always, 250 brand new kites and 150 brand new kiteboards, surfboards and standup paddleboards round out the school gear making this the best instructional watersports facility in the world.

Outside Magazine rates REAL among the “Top 10 Adventure Camps in the World”. “We Make new Riders Every Day” is our mission statement. With over 32,000 new riders and counting, REAL leads the way with professional, polite and progressive instruction, served up 7 days a week.

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REAL Rental Shop

REAL offers the ONLY Full Service Rental Shop in the world where you can rent the latest Kite, Surf and Standup Paddleboarding gear all in one location and only a stones throw from the water’s edge. With airline travel hassles going up and up, it’s easier to leave your gear at home and rent the best gear on the planet with REAL! As kiteboarders and surfers, we understand traveling with all your gear can be difficult and expensive. Our rental program gives you access to the perfect size kite or board for the day’s conditions without the hassles. Try Before You Buy : If you’re in the market for new gear, test it first by renting, then receive 100% credit of one day’s rental towards the purchase of new gear (same rental class) on the day of your return.

The REAL Rental Shop proudly stocks the latest kiteboarding gear from Liquid Force, Slingshot, Naish, Best, and Dakine, as well as being the exclusive North American Surftech Tuflite Travel Center for surfboards and standup paddleboards.


REAL Alternatives...

We understand how important your time is. We also know the importance of keeping everyone in your group actively engaged in their vacation. REAL proudly partners with local providers to offer the following alternative activities to our clients. Please inquire for further information.

  • Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Horseback Riding
  • Flight-Seeing
  • Skateboard Parks
  • Paint your own Pottery
  • Historical Sightseeing
  • Cultural Events
  • Spa / Gym Services