Outer Banks Surf Report-Excellent Conditions Everywhere

Near perfect conditions greated Outer Banks surfers this weekend.
Near perfect conditions greated Outer Banks surfers this weekend.
A Great Day–And Week–To Be On the Water

We must have done something right to please the Surf gods here on the Outer Banks because for the past week we have just about ideal surf conditions… and today was no exception.

And it looks as though those conditions are going to continue for the next few days.

The hotspot for the northern Outer Banks—north of Oregon Inlet—has been Jennette’s Pier for sometime. It’s fun just watching the surfers, and what seems to make a day like today truly special is how many are in the water—by our count somewhere around 35 at mid afternoon—and kids from seven to 70 having a great time.

Jennette’s Pier is not the only place on the Outer Banks with great surf conditions. Actually when were checked the reports and from what we heard, form Corolla to Ocracoke conditions have been about as good as they get. Even break on the waves, water temperature just right and mild daytime temperatures.

Of course there’s a lot happening on the Outer Banks this week, not just the surfing.

The Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival has kicked off and will run through Saturday. For jazz music fans, the Duck Jazz Festival is happening Saturday and Sunday with Sunday being the big day…the day all the acts share the satage.

And get ready for next weekend as the inaugural Mustang Rock and Roast kicks off up in Corolla. Mostly music, organizers are taking two-and-a-half out of the show to show their appreciation for two local culinary delights. On Saturday its an oyster roast and on Sunday there will be a barbecue cookoff.

This week though, and if the forecast holds, has really been about surfing and some of the consistency best conditions we have seen in a while.

Fall weather is spectacular on the Outer Banks . Come check out how great it can be at Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.

Outer-An Excellent Film on Outer Banks Surfing

The Surfing Culture of the Outer Banks Brought to Life

Logan Marshall will be a senior at Manteo High School next year, so it’s hard to imagine that he’s already produced to excellent films on surfing on the Outer Banks.

His first film was Limitless, a 22 minute short that had its first showing at the Dare County Arts Council’s Surfalorous Film Festival last September.

His new film, Limitless, is an hour long and shows remarkable improvement—and the first film was very good.

Outer premiered on Sunday at the Pioneer Theater in Manteo on Sunday with second showing at the Outer Banks Board Company Turesday eventing. In some ways the movie picks up where Li witless left off, examining an evolving culture in the surf community. There are some very real differences though.

The first movie looked at how different generations view surfing on the Outer Banks. In Outer Marshall looks at where the sport has been and where it’s going.

Through interviews and some really remarkable footage—which Logan shot himself—the story of an evolving culture that sees itself as able to perform as well as any other surfer anywhere takes shape.

Jesse Hines is arguably the most successful pro surfer to have grown up on the Outer Banks. Now the owner of Surfin’ Spoon in Nags Head, in the movie he touches on what it was like to be professional surfer, what some of this pressure were and what he had to do to maintain his status. He spoke about the accident that occurred at age 14 and how the procedure to correct it eventually led to needing hip replacement surgery by his early 30s.

To balance his narration, there is some astonishing footage taken during a March storm this year, where he is riding 12’ and 15’ waves.

The younger surfers also have a voice and that is especially interesting.

One younger surfer in particular—Bo Raynor—is worth watching. He is featured in the movie and what he demonstrates on the water is impressive. He’s finishing his Junior Pro career and there is a very good chance that he will be joining the pro tour next year.

This is a film worth seeing. Yes it’s a surf film, but it touches on other themes and topics, making it more about a way of life and an evolving culture.

The next Outer Banks showing of the film will be at the 2018 Surfalorous Film Festival in September.

Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates is always ready to help our guests enjoy their Outer Banks stay.

Spring Weather Brings Wonderful Beach Day

A perfect spring day on the Kitty Hawk beach.
A perfect spring day on the Kitty Hawk beach.
Warm Sand and Spring Weather Comes to the Outer Banks

Walking along the Kitty Hawk beach, on a perfect spring day is the perfect way to remember how special the Outer Banks really is.

The water is still pretty cold, and the few people who were getting in it had on wet suits, but that didn’t change how marvelous it felt to dig bare feet into warm sand, or to feel a very gentle breeze from the south caressing the beach.

There were beachgoers—nothing like summer, of course. But enough to be a reminder that summer is coming. Families were gathered around towels and chairs dug into the sand; the littlest children would squeal in delight as waves chased them up the beach…then they would run back again, each time just avoiding the 50 degree water.

If the humans seemed unwilling to get in the water without some form of insulation, the dogs had no such inhibition. Walking alongside their people companions on the beach, every once in a while somehow that lab or golden retriever managed to get into the surf.

Of course some of the humans did have wetsuits. The waves were small today and a father and son took advantage of that, the father teaching his son how to surf. As a wave came in, he would push the board and the boy would stand up.

They weren’t the only ones in the surf. A couple of skim boarders were playing in the waves—doing pretty well, too.

We’re going to have a couple of beautiful beach days this week. Thursday looks like it’s going to be cold and wet and maybe not so great, but then things seem to warm up again pretty quickly—at least that’s what the experts say.

We needed this. March was a tough month on the Outer Banks. Maybe not quite as cold and windy as farther north, but there was not a beach day in it.

Daniel Pullen Named 2018 People’s Choice Artist

A Daniel Pullen image showing surfers at sunrise.
A Daniel Pullen image showing surfers at sunrise.
Pullen’s Creativity Takes Top Award for the Year

Daniel Pullen was just named the Outer Banks 2018 People’s Choice artist and it feels good to know that sometimes the good guys really do win.

Daniel, who’s a Hatteras native, is an extraordinarily talented photographer. In a place that with considerable justification, views its wedding photographers as some of the best anywhere, Daniel, working with his wife, Kate, really stands out.

But for the real genius of his photography, check out Daniel Pullen Photography.

The scope of images he captures is astonishing. Yet beyond that it is the style and artistry of his work that makes him so compelling.

Before he was a wedding photographer, Daniel was fascinated by capturing the essence of surfing and it was in his surfing images that the Outer Banks community first became aware of his talent.

His surf photography alone could not support him, which is why he turned to wedding photography. When he did, though, he refused to compromise on creativity or artistry.

However, even as he as built his reputation as a wedding photographer, his ability to isolate a moment in time to tell the story of a surfer on an ideal break, or at that perfect moment as the sunrises and the waves are crisp and even has grown.

As he has gained confidence in what he wants to do with photography, his creativity has expanded and become profound at times. The photographs he published following a full moon over Cape Hatteras Lighthouse are iconic and may be the best that have been done.

He has not limited himself to just capturing images of moments in time, whether on the water or during a full moon. Pullen’s images of the power of hurricane’s that have wreaked havoc on Hatteras Island perfectly recreate the power and destruction of the storms.

Here’s the topper to the story—Daniel is a heck of a nice guy. A little bit shy, soft-spoken, but certainly confident when the has a camera in his hand.

ESA Championships Overcome Tough Conditions

Almost catching air at the 2017 ESA Championships.
Almost catching air at the 2017 ESA Championships.
Tough Conditions for ESA Championships

Somehow the organizers of the Eastern Surf Association (ESA) Championships managed to get two days of competition into one on Sunday. And a good thing they did because surf conditions today are horrible—a classic example of being blown out. Onshore winds from the northeast 25-30 with stronger gusts; waves 7-10’, although that’s tough to tell because the surf is so churned up it’s hard to know where the waves are.

It’s all thanks to Hurricane Jose as it passes the Outer Banks well out to sea. As hurricanes go, Jose is not a particularly powerful one, but it has been spreading out as it loses focus so the effects are fairly widespread.

The ESAs—which is the shorthand way to describe the championships—are held every year at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. In years past there have been some challenging conditions, but this year seems to be taking that to extremes.

Even Sunday, when two days of surfing was mashed into one day of competition, finding any wave to ride was a challenge. The ESA competitors got their rides in, but it was an exhausting day for many of them.

Because conditions were so difficult, in many cases, surfers rode their wave to shore, ran down the beach and paddled back out.

Even though this is an amateur competition, there were some really good surfers on the water, but many of the classic surfing moves were not happening in those conditions. With waves breaking left, right and in the middle—sometimes simultaneously—there wasn’t much opportunity to catch air. And there wasn’t a barrel wave all day.

Hope for Tomorrow

They’re hoping to restart the competition tomorrow, although whether that happens is till up in the air. The winds will be dying down and shifting to northwest and west, which is a good wind direction for Outer Banks surf.

However, some of the biggest surf we’ve seen yet is forecast for tomorrow with wave topping out at 10’ and maybe a bit more.

After Tuesday, the rest of the week looks to have excellent conditions.

A Great Day to Fly a Kite on the Beach

Gavin Carey showing his kite flying skills on the beach in Kitty Hawk.
Gavin Carey showing his kite flying skills on the beach in Kitty Hawk.
Near Perfect Conditions for Kite Flying

It was a great day to fly a kite on an Outer Banks beach. The wind was from the northeast at a steady 15mph, which is the perfect direction for a great time in a beautiful setting.

Someone had a small dragon kite in the sky, it’s red tail trailing the head as it danced in the wind.

But the fascinating story was the stunt kite dancing across the sky. There is something magical about watching a father and son fly a kite. The father, Craig Carey, was good, but kudos go to Gavin, his son.

The force of a 15mph wind on a 72” kite is amazing. And yes, Gavin—who is 11—did get dragged around a bit, but he had the kite under control the whole time.

A Cool, Windy Day

The sun was out, with a few clouds here and there, but the daytime temperatures remained cool, at least cool for early September. The wind and those cooler temperatures are part of the system that is steering Hurricane Irma and keeping the storm well to the south and west of the Outer Banks.

The red flags were flying and no sane person was going to go in the water today. Courtesy of Hurricane Irma, the surf was a churning mess with seas running 5-6’.

Although the hurricane is tracking up the west side of the Florida Peninsula, it is so large that it’s sending waves far to the north. Frequently those hurricane generated waves are a surfer’s delight but with the wind from the northeast instead of offshore, the break never had a chance to form.

Things should calm down later in the week—just in time for the ESAs, the Eastern Surf Association Championship at Jennette’s Pier September 17-23.

The ESA one of the largest amateur surfing organizations in the world, and the championship tournament bring out some outstanding surfers. Don’t let that “amateur” label mislead. A number of the older surfers are former pros and the better younger surfers use the ESAs as a training ground for professional competition.

Great OBX Surfing Courtesy of Hurricane Gert

The projected path of Hurricane Gert at 11 p.m. August 14.
The projected path of Hurricane Gert at 11 p.m. August 14.

Generally speaking we’re not very big fans of tropical systems and hurricanes here on the Outer Banks. But then along comes a system like Hurricane Gert that is taking the perfect offshore track.

Offshore Hurricane Track for Great Surf Conditions

That perfect track is well off shore, between the Outer Banks and Bermuda.

And the reason it’s a perfect track is the surf. And tomorrow—Tuesday—local surfers will be out in force.

Tropical systems, when they take the track Hurricane Gert is taking create a close to perfect conditions as there can be. Long straight swells with a reasonable time between waves.

The biggest surf is forecast for Buxton and south where the south facing beach should be getting 6-9’ seas. That’s definitely a day for more experiences surfers.

A little more tame, but still excellent, the surf forecast for the northern beaches is calling for 5-6’ seas.

This is a little bit weather dependent. If the winds are fairly strong and shift to the east, the break won’t be nearly as good, but the last forecast calls for very light ESE winds, which should have very little impact on the waves.

As the storm tracks to the northeast, the best waves will move up the coast. Late night as we write this, Hatteras already has 5’ seas and with the best conditions between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Farther north, look for the best conditions by noon, and the break should be good until sunset.

Gert is behaving pretty much the way hurricanes tend to act as they pass offshore. She’s taking her good old time right now, but beginning tomorrow morning she’ll start to pick up speed as the storm gets caught in the frontal boundary that is keeping her away from the coast.

Because of that, the ideal surf conditions will be a one day event…but that one day looks to be pretty spectacular.

Surfing for Autism Comes to Nags Head Beach

Learning how to stay on a surf board before the big event.
Learning how to stay on a surf board before the big event.

Tomorrow morning is the big day for Surfing for Autism. Hundreds of kids affected by the full range of the autism spectrum take to the surf at Jennette’s Pier.

This is the 8th time in a row that the local organization Surfing for Autism has put on the event, and it seems to get more popular every year.

Friday Evening

They’ve gotten better at it too. There was a dinner tonight, Friday, and an award ceremony where local business Surfin’ Spoon was honored for the support given to the organization over the years.

Former pro surfer Jesse Hines and his wife Whitney own the business and their support has been exceptional—$15,000 contributed to insure that any child with autism who wants to see what it’s like to ride a wave can do so.

What was also done this year, that has not been done in the past is to take the siblings of the autistic kids out on Jennette’s Pier to go fishing. Admittedly the evening fishing was pretty slow, but that didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the kids.

Mark Slagle, who was one of the founding member of Surfing for Autism, remarked that the idea was that it’s important to include all of the family members in the experience, not just the kids with autism.

Saturday Surfing for Autism Event

The actual event has dozens of local surfers on the water with the kids, walking them out to the break on boards and showing them how to catch a wave. A lot of the time the surfer rides the board in with the child, but occasionally someone will really catch a wave.

It is an extraordinary thing to witness—powerful and emotional.

In the day to day struggles in helping their children deal with a world that often does not understand what is happening, some of the small things that many families take for granted are missed.

But on this day, the beach is filled with joy, laughter and pride.

Surfing Takes Center Stage in September


There’s a lot of surf action coming up in September and it’s looking as though mid month for anyone who’s in to all things surfing, the Outer Banks is the place to be.

Maybe it’s not really “action” but the Surfalorous Film Festival sponsored by the Dare County Arts Council is coming back for its second year September 15-17.

The movies span the gamut of independent film making—there are some two minute shorts, a few that are a little longer and a couple of feature length films.

A couple of local businesses are screening the movies as well as the DCAC Gallery in Manteo. We’re posting a schedule below.

Surfalorous wraps up on Saturday and Sunday September 18-24 the ESA Eastern Surf Championships will be held at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.

It’s an amateur competition, but the level of surfing, especially from the masters, longboards particularly, and juniors on shortboards is astonishing.

The Easterns is the East Coast Championship competition for the Eastern Surf Association, an amateur surf association that bills itself as the largest amateur surfing association in the world. The organization has been around for 40 years, and it probably does have more members and does more for them than any other organization.

Surfalorus Film Festival Schedule
Thursday, September 15- Outer Banks Brewing Station

Doors: 7pm Screening: 7:30pm


The Man & The Sea


Austin Keen Wakesurf

Creators: Leah Dawson

Salt Boys

Yeti Presents: The Malloy Brothers

The Wild

Surf N Turf

Feature Film: Psychic Migrations- 9pm

Friday, September 16- Dare County Arts Council

Screening: 7:00pm



Dark Waves

Taking Shape

Southeastern NC Surfing

Feature Film: It Ain’t Pretty- 8:30pm

Saturday, September 17- Front Porch Cafe in Nags Head

Screening: 4:00pm


The Adventures of Nasasa

Forbidden Trim

Saturday, September 17- Outer Banks Brewing Station

Doors: 7:30pm Screening: 8:00pm



Bruhwiler Country



Junk in Public – H2O Patrol

Light Therapy

Beauty and Chaos


Seal Sessions

The Joy of Surfing

Cold Outside: Surfing Winter


Pipe Dreams

The More Things Change

Feature Film: The Zone- 10pm

Winter is Wow on the Outer Banks

Couple waking on beach in winter

Now that winter has officially settled on the Outer Banks things will slow down, but that slower pace does not mean there’s nothing to do. Actually there is almost as much to do on the Outer Banks in the winter a there is in the summer, although we will admit that not too many people go swimming this time of the year.

For the folks who are coming for a visit, here are three things to do:

Go Fish

Just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean the fish aren’t there. Especially in the Gulf Stream, tuna and billfish are biting. Of course that takes a charter boat to get to the the action, but for anyone who has the time to take a day or half day to see what’s out there, it’s a good time of the year.

Nearshore. inshore and from the piers this is a great time for stripers, although when the water temp falls below 50 things do slow down. Look for red drum and occasional blues and trout as well.


Winter is the time of year that some of the best wave action is generated, although conditions can be a bit iffy, especially if a nor’easter blows through. Nonetheless, the surf action is worth checking out. Bring your wetsuit and booties though. Water temps regularly fall to the low 40s.

Walk on the Beach

Not every activity is an athletic contest on the Outer Banks in the winter, and there may be nothing quite as pleasant as walking along a mostly deserted beach in January. A great time to look for seaglass, driftwood and the oddly shaped shell, because you’ll have the beach mostly to yourself, winter may be the best time to take a walk