If the East facing beaches get out of control in a big NE, head on down to Isabel’s. You’ll usually find a nice, clean wrap around swell, and fairly off shore wind, setting up some epic down the line port tack wavesailing!
The dunes are kind of high here, so expect a wind shadow close to shore. Also, beware the “Hatteras Express,” a free ride down to the Inlet in the 5+ knot littoral current that’s usually ripping down the beach. I usually use a bigger board than I think I need to help with getting out.
Trust me, the wave rides here can be so completely unreal, that it’s worth dealing with all of the hassle of getting through the shorepound and inside section! So if you get denied, gather yourself up and try again and again and again… it’s worth it!
At spots with super fluky offshore wind, like Isabel’s, I find that bearing way off the wind, but purposefully taking a very narrow grip on the boom helps to get you moving and out through the impact zone as fast as possible.
The narrow grip is to help you sheet in and out as you get hit by 20 degree wind shifts, and those pulses and lulls that often have a 15 knot wind speed difference, seemingly every few seconds… Yikes!!
Low tide will see less shorebreak and current on the inside, but heavier waves and more current on the outer bar. High tide will see the opposite. Mid tide is usually your best choice.
Getting There: Park in the soundside lot between Frisco and Hatteras Village. Use the walkway over the dunes. NOTE- You can also sail the soundside from this launch- especially in a NW, N, NE, or East wind. Beware of shallow spots, though…