May 2003

Many people in Emerald Isle are not aware of the very good surfing conditions that exist in Emerald Isle, and the high quality of surfers in the area. One of those surfers, Roy Brownlow, has been kind enough to write the following article on surfing related activities in the area. Thank you Roy, and congratulations to all of the surfers that have done so well in their competitive events.

As a surfing enthusiast, I consider myself lucky to have grown up in Emerald Isle and along the beaches of Bogue Banks. With over thirty years of surfing experience, I have seen a lot of changes in the surfing culture and the environment involving surfing, however, there is one area that has remained static and that is the beauty of our ocean and the waves it produces.

For a surfer, Bogue Banks is conveniently located in the outward stretches of North Carolina’s unique shoreline. Being a south-facing island, we get consistent southerly swells produced by the same steady sea breeze that has manicured the canopy of the maritime shrubs and forest in the northeast direction. However, we are not limited to southerly ocean swells as just north of Bogue Banks is Cape Lookout that receives swells from the northerly direction. In fact, when large storms such as hurricanes and northeasters stir up the ocean with mountainous ground swells, our area has been known to produce world-class waves worthy of traveling surfers seeking the “perfect” wave. Our area is also well known for other surfing related activities such as skimboarding, wave skis, windsurfing, and the more recent surfing innovation, kite surfing, which can launch surfers in a breathtaking flight thirty feet above the crest of the waves.

The same quality and consistent surfing conditions along Bogue Banks has provided an adequate training ground for our local competing surfers. The beach communities of Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores, and Atlantic Beach have produced local, regional, as well as national and international professional surfing champions.  The amazing thing about these high caliper competitors who get to travel and sample the world’s best waves, they always come back home to surf the beaches of Bogue Banks.

Anyone of any age can learn to surf. It’s never too late to teach an “old dog new tricks.” The warm ocean waters provide a soft landing for the “wipeouts” and all the local surf shops in the area can provide you access to surfing instructors. If you want to keep your landlegs and prefer to enjoy watching the art of surfing, then go to any of the local fishing piers. The sandbars that form adjacent to the piers provide popular surfing sites where you can view the sport from the pier or the shore.

For more information about surfing along Bogue Banks, visit the Central North Carolina District of the Eastern Surfing Association web site at: and

Provided by Roy Brownlow  28 APR 2003.

Posted by VC3 Admin Thursday, May 1, 2003 10:47:00 AM