Cape Hatteras

Cape Hatteras North Carolina

Epic winds. World-class waves. Unlimited beaches and shoreline. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets, both over the water. Not many destinations in the world can match this.

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 one 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.

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.

Cape Hatteras Surf Forecast

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.

We live here and get to ride 20 or more days every month. There is no exception to this rule since 1998, when kiteboarding first started here. While "average" days are in the 20's and 30's mph, we often get 40+mph requiring kites in the 5m and 7m range to effectively ride. Riding in the Winter months, the wind has even more power and punch. If you are riding all Winter, you’ll definitely need a 6m and 8m (or 5m and 7m) to not get made a fool of by mother nature

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

With some of the best kiteboarding and surfing locations in North America, and endless uncrowded beaches consistently ranked in the Top 10 Beaches in America, REAL Watersports on Cape Hatteras is your official summer headquarters.

With uncrowded beaches and soft sand-bottom beach breaks, Cape Hatteras is the ideal location for family surf trips. The various sandbars create endless options for where to paddle out, making it easy to find a wave that matches your skill level. It’s not uncommon to see the whole family surfing during a Cape Hatteras beach day, with Mom & Dad catching waves on the larger main peak and the kids getting their shred on in the smaller gentler waves just a few yards away. The ocean water on Cape Hatteras is consistently warmer and more clear than beaches just up the road north of Oregon Inlet, making boardshorts and bikinis the call for most surf sessions. Leave your parking meter change at home, beach parking on Cape Hatteras is FREE and plentiful, making it easy to pull off the side of the road anywhere you choose to set up your own private beach paradise.

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.

Cape Hatteras Surf Forecast

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.

We live here and get to ride 20 or more days every month. There is no exception to this rule since 1998, when kiteboarding first started here. While "average" days are in the 20's and 30's mph, we often get 40+mph requiring kites in the 5m and 7m range to effectively ride. Riding in the Winter months, the wind has even more power and punch. If you are riding all Winter, you’ll definitely need a 6m and 8m (or 5m and 7m) to not get made a fool of by mother nature

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

With some of the best kiteboarding and surfing locations in North America, and endless uncrowded beaches consistently ranked in the Top 10 Beaches in America, REAL Watersports on Cape Hatteras is your official summer headquarters.

With uncrowded beaches and soft sand-bottom beach breaks, Cape Hatteras is the ideal location for family surf trips. The various sandbars create endless options for where to paddle out, making it easy to find a wave that matches your skill level. It’s not uncommon to see the whole family surfing during a Cape Hatteras beach day, with Mom & Dad catching waves on the larger main peak and the kids getting their shred on in the smaller gentler waves just a few yards away. The ocean water on Cape Hatteras is consistently warmer and more clear than beaches just up the road north of Oregon Inlet, making boardshorts and bikinis the call for most surf sessions. Leave your parking meter change at home, beach parking on Cape Hatteras is FREE and plentiful, making it easy to pull off the side of the road anywhere you choose to set up your own private beach paradise.

The REAL Experience

Designed and built for you to maximize your experience in Cape Hatteras whether you are coming to kiteboard, surf, standup paddleboard or just enjoy the beach.

REAL Watersports

Founded in 2001, REAL has become the number one kiteboarding and surfing shop, lesson center and destination in the world.

Meet the Founders and REAL Pros.

About REAL

REAL Lesson Center

The most knowledgeable and friendly coaches in the world. Instant access to perfect conditions for kiteboarding and surfing.

We Make New Riders Every Day.

Lesson Center

Live Music

REAL and Carolina Brewery bring you the Sky Blue Summer Concert Series, a series of waterfront live music performances.

All shows are free admission unless otherwise noted.

Music & Events

REAL Rental Shop

REAL offers the only Rental Shop in the United States where you can rent the latest Kite, Surf and Standup gear.

The REAL Rental Shop is located on-site at REAL Watersports.

REAL Rental Shop

Watermen's Retreat

Watermen's Retreat is a waterfront resort located in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina featuring a range of luxury options with incredible views.

Watermen's Retreat is located on-site at REAL Watersports.

Learn More Visit Website

Watermen's Bar & Grill

Watermen's Bar & Grill serves delicious, freshly prepared food, plus the best coffee, beers and mixed drinks on the Outer Banks.

Watermen's Bar & Grill is located on-site at REAL Watersports.

Learn More Visit Website

Cape Hatteras Session Map

Find the best spots to ride. Stop by the REAL Flagship Store or call us for current conditions and tips. Call toll free 866-REAL-548 or 252-987-6000.


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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