Oriental North Carolina Kiteboarding
Hiding over on the Neuse River is a small piece of paradise called Oriental North Carolina. Boasting a massive population of 875 people according to the 2000 census, it is easy to see why this town can be overlooked when thinking about vacationing within the state of North Carolina. A unique aspect about this area is the fact that there are 7 creeks that converge on the 5 mile wide mouth of the Neuse river where it becomes the Pamlico sound. The water system is supported by a huge Castle Hayne aquifer.
Oriental is known as the sailing Capitol of North Carolina. Having been provided this information it stands to reason that there would be a local kite scene in such a place. I was fortunate enough to travel over to visit with some of these folks and check out what they had been raving about on their local kiteboarding facebook page. Having preconceived ideas of what its like to go kiteboarding on a river, I thought they were boasting their spot because it was close. This brings to mind a quote from a man named Herbert Spencer which went something to the tune of, “contempt prior to investigation will leave a man in everlasting ignorance.”
The Oriental North Carolina Kiteboarding scene proved that Herbert Spencer was a wise man and I still have some growing to do. That being said, it would be great to fill you in on what an awesome spot they have to enjoy and what an amazing group of people surround that spot. People that are enthusiastically passionate about where they live and in helping each progress, not only kiteboarding, but also in happiness.
Pulling up to what they call their secret (not so secret) location, I walked out to the beach and was struck by the beauty of the place. Their beach runs NNE to SSW. Looking to the South there is a large spit of land known as Wiggins Point. This point of land on a S, or SW breeze makes for an amazing flat water slick, but will only support one kite at a time, which makes for organized riding. The group of kiters assembled here are very safety oriented and were quick to point out the “do’s and dont’s” of riding at their spot, which will always help keep everyone safe.
Spending time in the butter flat slick is quite enjoyable, but that is not all this area has to offer. Venturing out past the point you will find small rollers which make for great kickers. Doing a lot of shallow water riding I am aware that many places have small waves that can get confused and be a choppy mess, but these are nicely spaced which makes timing your jumps much easier. The Orientals as I affectionately call them, say that on a NE wind a nice rolling river swell takes shape . I am anxious to go and experience this for myself.
This area is spectacular in its beauty, but even more so in its people. Don’t expect the kite scene to explode here because it is just to small for that to happen. I am certain with a group of well rounded individuals such as they are, their local kite scene will only continue to grow, and they will help spread the tremendous word that the sport of kiteboarding is rescuing souls from a mundane life. Thank you Oriental NC Kiteboarding scene for sharing a piece of your treasured spot with a guy who knew a little less before coming out to the shores of the Neuse River.
Michael Schrems – Owner of Blown Kiteboarding