Outer Banks Kayaking

We are headed back to the Outer Banks, NC area August 15th thru the 23rd. Last year we hit the Sound side & the Aligator River area, but this year I have a new Approach 9.0 to go with the Necky Tandem and would like to try some surf kayaking or sea kayaking. Anyone have any advice or warnings about this area. I am aware of the strong currents around the inlets & around Hatteras area. If anyone will be in the area and wants some company or to give some pointers, all the better. Thanks for any help in advance.


outer banks
Check out this book:


Also, check with local outfitters.

rip currents
I don’t know how much you know about these?? I was just out a few weeks ago kayak/camping on Masonboro Is. NC. Camped on the Intercoastal Waterway side and walked over to the ocean side to swim. One of my scouts reported 4 different times of getting caught in rip currents. I was caught twice. Others with us were tossed about by the waves. We know how to get out of them and had a really fun day playing in the surf. If you’re gonna kayak in these types of waters, make sure you know what to do if you become seperated from your kayak.

Rip Current
I do understand about the rip currents there, I was caought in one last year while buggyboarding. Luckilly I held onto the board and was able to get back to the surf zone on my own. Thanks for the reminder though.

OBX Paddling
I live on OBX, paddle the Sounds and inlets frequently. I can say with authority that it is a BLAST to paddle both the sounds and the ocean side, but the ocean changes temperament quickly and often whimsically, with associated rips and currents. I met a guy years ago that went out of Oregon Inlet, hit the wall with big swells, and got dumped from his Explorer - he got back in to shore, but the Explorer was never found.

The Approach may be fun on the beach but a pain if you have to eject and it fills with water. Lots of folks use WS Kaos boats or Ocean Kayak Yak boards or Frenzys. Sit-on-tops are easier to manage in surf since they don’t fill up with water. BTW, surfing a long boat is also a blast if you know what you’re doing. Be careful and have fun.

Necky Manitou II
Thanks for the reply. My tandem boat is a Necky Manitou II with a rudder. It is listed as a hybrid crossover between a rec boat and a Touring/Sea Kayak. Take a look at it and see what you think about using it on the ocean side.


obx kayaking
It should be noted I’m far from an expert kayaker, but OBX is where I started kayaking (my parents retired to Manteo so I’m there often on weekends). I’ve been out on the ocean side numerous times on a 12.5 Perception SOT. Most people I see hitting the surf, have SOTs but that’s probably b/c that’s what they rent out on the ocean side. One thing is for sure, there are numerous outfitters that are knowledgable down there.

Once you get past the first 25 ft. where the waves are breaking you’re pretty much past the worst rip tide areas also. You mentioned Alligator River (I’m assuming you dropped in at Buffalo City?), I must say I prefer trips like those to the surf kayaking. I’d check out Pea Island Wildlife Refuge, as well as the Nags Head Wildlife refuge (esp. if you like seeing wildlife). But you really can’t go wrong down there no matter what you do.