The Blizzard of 2011…..
Cape Hatteras, North Carolina received a wintry “blanket party” this past weekend with 8” of snow and howling winds. This is the most snow the island has seen since the winter of 2003. The snow started early Saturday morning and then continued with blizzard conditions all day Saturday through Saturday night. Sunday saw blue bird skies and light to moderate NW to W winds.
When it snows 8” with thigh deep snow drifts, what do Cape Hatteras locals do? Go kiteboarding, snowkiting and surfing, what else!?
Saturday’s blizzard conditions saw the REAL team scrambling for their snowboards, filing off the rust and locating their snowpants, for what all of them called the best Cape Hatteras snowkite sessions to date.
As the snow and heavy winds rolled in, REAL Coach Chris Lazinski pumped up in the backyard and hit the water, fully juiced on a 2011 Liquid Force Havoc 8m with a 2011 Slingshot Misfit.
While Chris was heading out onto the Pamlico Sound in Waves, Trip Forman was headed towards Hatteras Inlet to surf a sheltered sand point break he had found the previous day. The howling NE winds were side offshore down there with knee to waist high peelers making their way down the point. The snow was coming down so hard that Trip had to resort to wearing snowboard goggles to protect his eyes during the rides!
“Driving out to Hatteras Inlet, the pole road was a complete white out blanketed in snow. The wave was small, but a ton of fun. What we call “1ft and perfect”! I surfed for about two hours. I never got cold, it’s just the snow coming up the face of the wave hit you so hard it just wore you out on your exposed skin. The air temp was in the upper 20’s with water around 40F.” – Trip Forman
Later that evening, Dave Rakes, Meagan Tredinnick and Ed Tack grouped up with Bryan Elkus for a night snowkite session at the Salvo Day Use Area. FULLY powered on LF Envy 7ms, deep snow and MACKING speed runs across the field. You know where we’re talking about. It would be considered an epic snowkite session anywhere. Put it in Cape Hatteras, in the dark, and it was off the charts!
Sunday morning saw light NW winds and clear blue skies. Trip cracked the first session getting into the water at sunrise at the Lighthouse to surf some clean waist to chest high waves at the First Jetty. This session was considerably warmer than his first, even with the air temp at 20F as he grabbed “first tracks” into the parking lot in the dark.
Just as Trip was pulling out of the parking lot to head to the shop, Jason Slezak, Sam Bell, Bryan Elkus, Chad “Tree” Miller and several other local kiters were pumping up kites out at The Cove. By this time the wind had shifted to the west and built a bit powering up 12m kites with endless runs across the water’s edge and carving big turns off the toe of the dunes. 2011 Naish Parks, Liquid Force Envys and Slingshot RPMs were all seen up in the air blazing back and forth cutting fresh tracks. Snowkiting at The Cove? Yes, that just happened!
“I still can’t believe I was here to witness this and that we scored it as good as we did at The Cove! It wasn’t a “good snowkite session for Cape Hatteras”, it was a great snowkite session for anywhere, which is saying a lot. How often do you get to carve the wall of a snow-covered dune with peeling waves within a hands reach??!!” – Jason Slezak
The sport of kiteboarding always goes full circle. The foil kite came back, boots came back, directionals came back, even the two line kite came back! While The Cove session was going down, Matt and Lucie Nuzzo pumped up on the athletic field of the Cape Hatteras High School and rocked out with their two daughters watching from the bleachers! Talk about flashbacks to their original snowkite sessions together at Frisco High School in Colorado over 10 years ago!!! The shelter from the school and trees kept a deep layer of snow evenly spread across the field but allowed the wind to fill in. Hwy 12 came to a standstill as locals pulled into the school parking lot to watch what many of them still can’t believe they witnessed…..
*Special Thanks to Bryan Elkus, Patrick McLaughlin, Ginger Wojciechowski and everyone else who sent in photos from their Cape Hatteras snow sessions!