How to predict estuary & inlet currents

Anyone know how a good way to predict currents for places like around Wrightsville Beach, NC or Bald Head Island, NC? I haven't paddled a lot out there, but from what I remember, it doesn't seem to follow the tide.

See if this is listed here.

There are also charts with tidal flow information you can get - will just be a rough guide.

Best bet is to talk to locals who boat the waters.

Local info

– Last Updated: Jun-13-16 3:17 AM EST –

Try Utube for GoPro's reviewing C 3 rips

If a hootin hollering rip flows past Clamshack, there's a GoFlow.

Look down from Google Earth

Reconotter in person. Learn when the best rips happen thru NOAA/NWS/Weatherunderground Almanac n go see.

It also depends on winds
so for more than a day out you are SOL… NOAA forecasts rip currents which are an added fearsome force. to estuarine tides and currents

Eldridge Tide and Pilot book is the bible.

You are correct in that there are delays in current changing with tide. Depending on where you are it can be a half hour to a couple of hours. All that water moving does not stop at the instant of high or low tide.

last quarter
Low low tide with a freshet down the river and a stiff ocean breeze is best.

more info

Thanks for the info. What I’d like to do is put in at the first bridge on way to Wrightsville Beach, kayak up to Figure 8 Island and down to Masonboro Island assuming I have enough energy left. Here’s a map of the area:,+NC/@34.2138276,-77.8409283,12075m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89a9f5a20debaed5:0x5e66493884093032!8m2!3d34.2257255!4d-77.9447102

Any recommendations if low tide is at 10am and high tide is at 4pm?

I’ll also plan to talk to some locals and do more research.

dakatoll, not sure what you mean by “Try Utube for GoPro’s reviewing C 3 rips”


– Last Updated: Jun-13-16 2:58 PM EST –

has upscale kayaks with Gopro video. They are local kayakers.

If Inlet A boasts a long sandbar rolling with swell up to a Class 2+ rapid, Inlet A yakkers will Gopro the ride.

Search: Inlet A kayaking.

Great fun. Turn into the beach eddy...visible on Google on beach. Go back to start, repeat.

Disappear between 5-8' swells ? Super. Very elevating. First set you come upon is amazing.

I hiked over to Canaveral Inlet for a low low tide with 20 knots of opposing wind. There's an observation platform. Not kayaking seas.

Large sailboats were struggling loosing wind down in the entries troughs.

A 50+ 'cigarette' hull blew in skipping on top of each wave...bounce bounce bounce and in.

The famous underwater obstruction north of Lime Kiln where the man who started the Pig War lost a new sloop does the low low into SURPRISE 2+

Ask the Charleston club online.

Local knowledge
Any recommendations if low tide is at 10am and high tide is at 4pm?

If low tide is at 10am, the tidal current will be ebbing towards and out of Masonboro Inlet until 11:30-ish from the Wrightsville Beach Wildlife Ramp there under that first drawbridge as you enter Wrightsville Beach.

With high tide at 4pm, the flooding current will flow north through the intracoastal from Masonboro Inlet, right on past Mason Inlet, until around 5:30. Mason Inlet divides Wrightsville Beach and Figure 8 Island to the north. Masonboro Inlet divides Wrightsville Beach and Masonboro Island to the south.

So you could launch in the morning at Wrightsville Beach Ocean low of 10 am. Paddle your way to Masonboro Inlet with the ebb. Then after 11:30 paddle with the flooding current back and up to Mason Inlet.

When you going? Do you do any ocean paddling?