Atlantic Beach, North Carolina
August 27, 2016
August 21, 2015
We were at the coast for seven days, but I only saw an hour's worth of waves. They rolled in early Friday morning. I had time to catch 7 or 8 small ones before they disappeared. At least I did get to go out and have a little fun though, just not as much as I would have liked. The seas were the calmest I have ever seen them. The waves I did catch were a few hundred yards to the east of Oceana Pier.
August 20, 2014.
I awoke on our first morning at the coast to see a parking lot
full of surfers. So before breakfast, I grabbed my Fun and hit the surf.
Probably matched the best waves I have seen here. Things were long and
clean while I was out surfing. I caught three really good, tall waves,
bouncing down the front of them each time. I caught a handful of smaller,
fun waves as well. Only one flip, which happened on my way out. I
have learned the hard way to take a solid forward stroke and to dive when big
waves crash on my way out. In one particular set, I made it through three
waves, each getting progressively bigger, when a fourth, really big wave came
down on my bow hard. I was tucked and leaning forward, but got pushed into a
backwards surf. Eventually it flipped the bow over my head and I had to
roll up into a side surf. Not too bad of a ride though. For the rest
of the day, I just kicked back and watched the surfers shine on the waves.
By that afternoon things were getting more chaotic and messy and before long
only the kids were trying to catch them. Then for the rest of the week,
the ocean was flat. Really glad that I caught the waves when I did.
August 18, 2013.
After two days of flat seas and one of unsurfable chop, I woke on our last day at the coast to find waves breaking on both sides of Oceana Pier. Later in the day the waves were full of surfers, but I was out early and was joined by only one other person, briefly on the right side of the pier. I split my time evenly, but with left breaking waves, I found my most fun on the left side of the pier. The waves were no where near as big as they were on the day we arrived. I was not able to go out and catch them that evening, but they were really nice and I enjoyed my time in the sun on the water.
July 31-Aug 3, 2012
Day 1. With rain early and an impending storm later that night, the waves were okay, not great, but good enough. I paddled out on the right side of Oceana Pier and quickly caught a wave at the sand bar and rode all the way in to the beach. The only photos from the week came from day 1. Because it was the first wave of the day, I just rode it straight in. I paddled back out, with a flip or two thrown in and found that the waves and the surfers both quickly disappeared.
Day 2. It rained until mid-afternoon. When we returned to the beach from the aquarium, surfers were out in force and on the side of the pier that I always surf. Typically the surfers all stay on the left of the pier, but rights were coming in and stacked close, just like they were in 2009 when we were here. I caught a nice, really big wave and rode it all the way in, took a break to play with the kids, then paddled back out. I was a hair late in trying to catch a really nice wave and sat on top of it the whole way in. It would have been the biggest wave I had ever dropped in on had I made it happen. Frustrated, I fought my way back out and saw another really big wave building. I was pretty sure that it would break before I could get there, but I tried anyway, leaning back as far as I could, then - BAM, rolling, salt water, rolling, salt water, rolling. Paddled in whipped. Went out again later, but it was another short session. There were so many surfers that it made catching waves tougher because you 1st had to make sure that no one else was going to ride a wave, then try to time it well enough to grab it before it was too late. And you also had to keep an eye out for the guy that had surfed the wave in front of you so that you didn't run over him. Good adrenaline rushes that day, even if I didn't ride a ton of waves, the ones I did catch were good ones.
Day 3 - just perfect. Waves were just as steady and
stacked up in sets of 5 or 6 in a row, not as big as the day before, but still
pretty big. Just rough enough that each time I paddled out and took 5 or 6
waves in the face, I thought "I'm not doing that again", but just small enough
that after the next super fun ride, I would spin around and go back out. No
idea how many waves were rode that day, just surfed forever out at the sand bar
on the right side of the pier. Got to side surf some and carve a little, got
pummeled a few times. Got along well with the surfers. Good stuff that day.
The kind that can hook you on kayak surfing. Would have loved to have seen one
of the rides. I dropped in with left angle and the wave crashed in on me.
I braced hard expecting to flip, but the brace held and I felt like I was in the
middle of the foam forever. I finally opened my eyes and found myself in a
side surf as the wave settled down. When I drug my butt out of the water,
I had sand and shells in my helmet, my hair, my ears, my shirt, I was done.
Day 4 - didn't see a lot out there, but wanted to paddle out one more time before we left and ended up catching a lot more waves than I thought I would.
August 5-6, 2011
I have found that, now that I take my kayak with me to the beach, I spend enormous chunks of my vacation obsessing over whether or not there are any waves to surf. I watch to see if they are breaking at the outer sandbar and, if so, are they consistent enough. Are they big enough? Are they curling or munching out? Are they nice and wide enough for some horizontal surfing? Are they breaking to the right or to the left? Which side of the pier looks the best? At what spot are they breaking? And most importantly, I am always thinking "is there anything out there worth riding?"
Now that I've been at this for a few years, I've learned how fickle the ocean can be and I keep waiting for a day like I had in 2009 next to Oceana Pier. On our 1st day out on the beach, I knew the waves were really, really good. Surfers were killing it in at least three different sections. But the beach gear needed to be setup, there was sunscreen to apply and waves to jump with the kids and by the time all that was done, the waves were gone. I waited and waited and finally saw some stuff setting back up, so I put on the skirt and the pfd and just as I was ready to launch, one of the kids said they needed to go back to the trailer. Later that evening, I gave it another attempt, even though the waves were much smaller. I was just getting started when another issue with the kids brought me back in. On day two, I awoke to see hoards of surfboards being carried out to the pier. I thought "Man, the waves must be perfect!" I grabbed the boat and headed out, only to find that it was a club, all non-locals, and there were no waves at all. I sat on the beach all day watching them try to ride what just wasn't there. But then that night, after dinner, while walking with the boys on the beach, I noticed some pretty sweet stuff breaking way out far. I started to get the itch to go get my boat. And about that time, the boarders started showing up. Two, then four, then eight. Amy came out to join us, which gave me the chance to go grab my boat. Putt-putt would have to wait just a few more minutes. The waves on the left of the pier were awesome, maybe the nicest I've seen, with everything breaking to the right. By now enough surfers were riding those waves though that I thought I would see what I could get on the right side of the pier. I rode one fun wave, getting a little bit of a carve back into it, then paddled back out. Things were stacked super close and I paddled through thirty waves just to get out past the break. Amy and the boys were headed to the pier to watch from there and wanted me to wait. It seemed like an endless supply of beautiful big waves formed right where I was at. Once I saw Amy on the pier, I started looking for one to catch. And for some reason, I kept picking waves that barely amounted to anything. I would turn back around and watch three beauties break behind me. So it wasn't that the waves were not there, it was just that I was doing a crappy job of seeing them ahead of time. I repeated this enough times, that I finally just rode the small ones back in. I had fun, but didn't get that one huge ride that I was looking for. Paddling out through all that stuff was an adventure though and is starting to get fun in its own way. Day three was just crazy with big choppy waves stacked way too close and breaking in no pattern whatsoever. I only saw a few guys try to go out on their boards and didn't see anyone ride anything. But after having my shot at it the night before, I was content to just relax and play with the family.
August 20-22, 2010
After the amazing surf next to Oceana Pier last year, I was really excited about taking the kayak back to the same spot this season. Unfortunately, I found no waves breaking at the outer sand bar on day one and could only find a few small ones to surf near shore. Day two was even more disappointing, as you can tell by the photos above. I've been on lakes with more action. I kept my boat on the beach all day hoping that something would kick up, but there was nothing, absolutely nothing happening out there. After two days of lefts, the third day brought rights and a few finally started building further out, breaking on the sand bar. I quickly grabbed the Fun and tried to squeeze in a few rides before we left. It wasn't really anything like last year's fun, but there were still enough moments to make me want to try it again next summer.
July 18, 2009
Whew, couldn't get my mojo working today. The waves were not breaking as nice today and had a lot more munch to them, but mostly the blame was on me. I got greedy way too often and paid the price by spending about as much time upside down as right side up. I think I can still taste saltwater. While paddling out, one wave gave me a huge back flip when it curled just before I could punch over it. Guess that was one that I should have spun around and caught, but like I said, just couldn't find the mojo. Still fun, but no great rides. Jackson did shoot some video this time, catching the final ride in after calling it a day, which was nice of him, since he had to take a break from his own boogie boarding to do it. It gave me just enough footage to finish the latest paddling video, which I'll call Kibler To Coast.
July 17, 2009
Really good waves today, lots of fun. Enjoyed watching the surfers on short boards working the rights next to Oceana pier all day. I paddled out in my Fun around 2 when the waves appeared to be at their best, then again about an hour later. High tide was at 4. Thanks to a sandbar sitting pretty far out, the waves were breaking in two sets on the right side of the pier. Paddling out was an adventure each time, with waves stacked up close and high. Great rides back in though. Ended the day with my most fun ride yet in the ocean, bouncing twice down the front of a big wave before side surfing in front of the foam, spinning my only 360 of the day and finishing with a smooth surf onto shore, ending up right beside a little two year old girl who was jumping and clapping.