Atlantic Beach Kitesurfing

On January 20th seven of us set out to do some kite surfing in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Our mission was to go from the Iron Steamer to Fort Macon, a distance of seven miles. We met at the Fort, piled into a truck, and then headed to the Steamer.

When we arrived at the Iron Steamer we found the wind-speed had dropped about 5mph. We were slightly concerned it would drop more, but decided to give it a try. We all got busy rigging, methodically laying out the lines and pumping air into the kites. I made sure all of the kites were off the beach before I went out. Once I was in the ocean I got a good view of the shoulder high surf. There is nothing like riding a surfboard in conditions like those. Surfing limits you to the wave that is coming at you next, with kitesurfing, you can overtake any wave that you want, and that’s what I did.

Looking down the beach I could see all of the kites in the air making progress down-wind. The wind-speed continued to drop, making it difficult to navigate the surf. I was riding a wave when I felt the kite falling back through the air (back-stalling). This is a sign that the wind is dying, or you are moving toward the kite to fast. I tried to catch it, but it was to no avail. The kite dropped in the surf.

I immediately pulled hard on a steering line trying to get the kite out of the surf and into the air. The current was carrying me to fast making the lines slack. A wave washed over the kite causing it to flip. This happened three times before I was able to get the kite back in the air. Once it was back in the air, I made my way to the beach to wait for the wind to pick up.

While I was sitting there I noticed everyone came in because of the declining wind. Three of us wound up in the same spot and were talking about the course of action we were going to take. We were debating on hiking back to the truck when all of a sudden the wind started to increase. We didn’t waste any time in getting back out.

While we were making our way to our destination, you couldn’t help but notice the people staring at us. They were mesmerized by the kite show that was going in in front of them. Any time we came in close they would snap photos with their phones and cameras. I can remember being in that position, sitting on the beach and watching people doing something that looked so amazing. I knew that I had to make kitesurfing a part of my life. Everyone yearns to be at the beach. This sport will drive you to get there.

I took a lesson seven years ago and was hooked from the moment I got in the water. My life has never been the same. I am as passionate about the sport now as I was in the beginning. Every year I get the pleasure of teaching hundreds of people the sport of kitesurfing. It is important to note that it’s not safe to purchase gear and go and try this sport. There is a list of “need to know” things that is paramount to your safety. I shared the story above because even after thousands of hours with a kite in my hand, its still possible to crash it in the surf.

Knowing the appropriate action to take is what will make you a safe and successful kitesurfer. We would love to be the ones to introduce you to this amazing sport. We offer a service that is customized to meet the individual’s needs, while maintaining a lesson format that has been proven to work.

We all made it the seven-mile stretch from the Iron Steamer to Fort Macon. We did it safely and had the time of our lives. Our local group continues to grow each summer season. Our mission is to keep adding kiters to share in our passion. We hope you will consider being one of them. You can contact is with questions by emailing We look forward to hearing from you.

About The Author