If you want to work on some freestyle moves, the Buxton Slick is the place to be! You can head down there in almost any wind direction, but it’s really best on a WSW to WNW. Rig up a tiny freestyle fin, and be cautious of the shallow spots. I usually recommend rigging up for some extra power, too, since the wind can get a bit junky as it goes over the islands.
We usually launch from D’s spot or the Canadian Hole and make our way over.
The Reef is located a few miles out in the middle of the Pamlico Sound. The water depth goes abruptly from very shallow to very deep, which gives all the deep water rolling windswell a spot to stand up and break on. This is a really fun bump and jump spot, and you can even practice some backside wavesailing techniques on the “waves.”
Getting there: Launch from anywhere soundside, from the Canadian Hole north to Rodanthe. Generally speaking, the further south you are, the farther out The Reef is, and the further north you are, the closer it is. It also is generally a less abrupt water depth change in the northern spots, so expect more rolling swell if you launch from Salvo north, and more abruptly breaking waves if you launch in the Avon area. A popular public launch spot is the sand road 1/8 mile north of Avon (aka. Transformers, Power Station, etc). It is the sand road with a triple power pole at the entrance. 4wd recommended, but not totally necessary. If in a 2wd vehicle, lower air pressure and don’t drive all the way to the water- pull to the side before you get to the looser sand. Check the map:
If you sail to The Reef, make sure you bring a few friends with you, since it’s out in the middle of nowhere! Keep an eye on each other, and never go off on your own. Breaking down or getting hurt out at the reef can lead to some serious situations due to the isolation of the spot. Be Safe!!
Keep an eye out for fish nets, as well. These are denoted by two brightly colored buoys spaced 20-50 yards apart. The net runs in between the buoys, so that’s the place you want to avoid.
The Canadian Hole is one of the more social places to go windsurfing on Hatteras Island. During peak weeks, it can even be tough to find a parking spot! This makes for some really fun sailing, just make sure you know and adhere to the right of way rules (Starboard tack (right hand forward) has ROW over port tack (left hand forward) sailors). Make sure to give everyone a smile and a hoot as you wizz past!
The one major thing that I forgot to say is that the Hole is no longer officially called the “Canadian Hole.” These days, the road signs read “Haulover Day Use Area” which is actually based on the historic name. The location is one of the narrowest spots on the whole island, so boats would sail there and then drag their vessels up and over the dunes to get from the sound to the ocean. So there’s your random fact for the day!
Getting There: Park in the “Haulover Day Use Area” parking lot, located halfway between Avon and Buxton. You can’t miss it, because it’s the only thing along that stretch of roadway. There are changing rooms, bathrooms, and showers, too! Here it is on a map: (Note- the darker colored water straight out from the lot is deep water- everywhere else is shallow- especially the sandbar just to the north)