OBX Super Cool Water Sports
Sep 23, 2022 at 8:00 AM in Things to Do by
Four Foils for Added Thrills
The Wright Brothers found the lift they needed on the Outer Banks from the wind. It’s these famous OBX winds that create the right conditions for all kinds of water sports fun. The ocean with its shifting sandbars and powerful currents transform that wind energy into fabulous waves. The blowing winds make it possible to take flight. These wind and wave conditions vary considerably on the Outer Banks, which is why true water sports enthusiasts–especially those that are particularly athletic and daring–like to have a quiver of water-centric activities from which to choose.
Depending on the day, someone might head out to drop in on big surf on a classic surfboard. But once the waves diminish, or the water becomes choppy, that person could turn to another “toy” for a different kind of ride.
Foiling is the new thing among water sports enthusiasts. First you have to understand what a foil is. If you’ve seen a hydrofoil boat that should give you an idea of how the mechanics of a foil can be transferred to a sport. As the speed increases, a hydrodynamically-designed fin rises above the water as the foil works beneath the surface to propel the vehicle–boat or board–forward.
If you’ve seen an e-foil in action, you likely took a double take at first. Yes, that e-foiler (is that even a word?) most certainly looks like a superhero as he or she lifts out of the water on what appears to be a flying surfboard. In this case, it’s actually a smallish board powered by a big lithium battery (hence the “e”). How the heck does that work one might think? The person riding it controls it with a handheld device and an extraordinary sense of balance. The e-foil works best on a calm day void of much wind and waves. Nor’Banks Sailing & Watersports and Kitty Hawk Kites offer lessons, which is the best way to start. And hey, even if you’re not able to stand up, it’s fun to zip around on it Superman-style on your belly.
2. Kite Foiling
Ever look out at the ocean and see some hotshot riding high on waves, jumping and careening on a board as he or she navigates with a kite? If so, then you’ve likely seen kite foiling. It’s been around for over ten years and those that do it well deserve major kudos. Check out Real Watersports to line up instruction and rentals or even to make a purchase.
3. Wing Foiling
Wing foiling is new to the scene and has caught on as fast as you can catch a sunburn at the beach. It’s not surprising because wing foiling is easier to learn than kite foiling, especially if you have had some experience windsurfing. Real Watersports in Cape Hatteras provides all kinds of foiling lessons and rentals.
4. SUP Foiling
And you thought that supping was all about paddling? Not necessarily. Add a wing and a foil board to your SUP and you’ll find lift off. You can also get high as you strategically paddle through a wave. It’s all pretty mind-blowing, so it’s best to take a lesson with Outer Banks Kiting.
Would you believe there’s also surf foiling? You can also foil behind a boat or a jet ski. There are so many ways to look like a real live action figure. Best of all, on the Outer Banks you can choose from the Atlantic Ocean or Pimlico Sound where the waters tend to be much calmer. Know that it might take some time to develop the skills needed for foiling. You could always book an extended stay at Waterman’s Retreat to immerse yourself in the foil world. Or, maybe you’re a natural and only need a lesson and lots of practice.
Either way, enjoy the ride!