For over a century the Outer Banks has been accepted as one of the ten windiest places in the nation. Even the Wright Brothers selected the Outer Banks because of the windy reputation. If you are planning a vacation on Hatteras Island you only have two choices in dealing with it. You can curse that it is blowing sand on everything or you can accept it and enjoy the opportunity by participating in a wind driven adrenaline sport.
Over the past few decades surfing enthusiasts have grown to appreciate locating an Outer Banks shallow beach with a rideable surf. Cars and trucks lined up along both sides of NC Hwy. 12 usually indicate that the surf is ready and the surfing crowd is gathering to take advantage of it. The best time to take advantage of Avon surfing conditions is usually after a late fall or summer storm as the offshore water begins to settle but the final rough waves reach the beaches.
In the summer often the beach won't be rough enough for good surf board conditions but it can be perfect for a family boogie board adventure. If you have never tried this you don't know what you are missing. You will need to walk out a little ways into the surf and then "catch that perfect wave" as it crashes up onto the beach. For safety please always be sure to have an adult standing nearby when the younger boogie board enthusiasts are enjoying the surf.
If surfing conditions are not dependable, adrenaline junkies are finding a more reliable form of wave riding with kiteboarding and sailboarding. Enthusiasts come from as far away as Canada to enjoy the wind driven thrill of skimming across the water's surface. This has become so popular here that many surf shops are springing up on Hatteras Island offering the proper gear as well as professionally supervised lessons.
Probably the most popular spot by far for all of these board sports is just south of Avon called the Canadian Hole. This location got its name because for several years in the early popularity of sailboarding this area would have a large number of vehicles with Canadian license plates even during the earliest and coldest start of the spring season. This soundside area has now been further developed by the National Park Service with a large paved public parking area, inside restroom facilities and outdoor showers. The sound side sand beach area here is open to 4X4 driving for vehicles with NPS permits which gives enthusiasts plenty of room to spread out and rig their equipment.