Hatteras Windsurfing Guide- Ocean Launch- Ramp 34

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Ramp 34 can be a great spot to check when the bars aren’t very well lined up at Ego Beach.  Also, in a big South swell, the waves may have just a touch less size and more organization than sites further south.

Sometimes it’s firing right over the ramp, but a short drive 1/2 a mile up the beach can reveal some nicer bars.  4×4 isn’t necessary to sail right over the ramp, but it is really helpful if you want to explore a bit further up the beach.

Southwest winds will be cleaner if you head up a bit North, as you get clear of the town of Avon.  Northwest winds work here, too, but they’re very very offshore and usually very gusty and fluky on the inside.  North winds work reasonably well, too, but beware of lots of current.

Getting There: Use the park service parking lot and/or beach access ramp just north of Avon, labeled #34.  Follow all posted rules/laws!!

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Check out the videos below to get a feel for some of the conditions you can find at Ramp 34:

Ramp 34 Wavesailing from Andy McKinney on Vimeo.

Solo Sesh from Andy McKinney on Vimeo.

Hatteras Windsurf Guide- Ocean Launch- Isabel’s

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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.

Izzy’s during TS Noel (Photo: Ed Donnely)

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…

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Hatteras Windsurf Guide- Ocean Launch- Ego Beach

Want to try sailing the Ocean?  Ego beach can be a great spot to get your feet wet.  Wait for a SW afternoon with small swell, and when you get overpowered at the Hole, just carry your stuff up and over the dunes, and it’ll be perfect at Ego Beach!

North to NE winds work OK at Ego Beach, but you’ll encounter a ridiculous amount of current, so you’d probably be happier at The Lighthouse.  South to SW winds are really the preffered wind directions for Ego, offering side to side-off starboard tack conditions.

The shorebreak can be pretty big, so you might want to watch someone else get out to see how they time it.  Also, the wind is usually a little fluky on the inside, so it helps to grab a bigger board than you think you need.

The sandbars are constantly changing out there, so sometimes Ego Beach has a beautiful outer bar peeling away…  and other times it has nothing but massive shorebreak.  Take a look before you carry your stuff up and over the dunes to see if it’s the right spot for the day.  Sometimes it’ll be 1000x better just a few hundred yards up or down the beach, so use those high dunes as a lookout perch and pick your spot!

If you do go out at Ego, take a close look at the beach and the dune line before you go so that you can recognize where you launched from.  Sometimes it’s pretty hard to distinguish where home is once you get out on the water…  Luckily, you’re never further than 50 yards from the highway, so if you do get lost you can always go hitch a ride back to the Hole!

Getting There: Park at the Canadian Hole and carry your gear over the dunes. Use the paths, and adhere to any postings/closures.  Sometimes you can drive on the beach from Ramp 38, but it’s usually quicker and easier to just walk over the dunes from the Hole.

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**All photos on this page are courtesy Andrew Scalia**