For watersport enthusiasts, the Outer Banks of North Carolina provides a truly epic aquatic playground. While the entire coast of the OBX is a mecca for anyone looking for fun on the water, the small Outer Banks town of Corolla offers almost any watersport you can imagine.
Whether you’re a thrill seeker hoping to hang ten in the barrel of a crashing wave or a naturalist looking for a slow-paced adventure observing the vast coastal ecosystems in the area, you’re sure to find your perfect water excursion while staying at a vacation rental along the banks of Corolla.
In this guide, we’ve detailed the top watersports in the area, what they entail, and what you need to get started on your aquatic adventure.
Of all the watersports in the Outer Banks, surfing is one of the most popular. This fast paced watersport involves harnessing the power of the ocean to ride the waves along the coast. It is a great sport for thrill seekers and those seeking to connect with the energy of the sea.
The Outer Banks offer many different opportunities to surf and to learn the art of surfing.
Never surfed before? Check out Hatteras Island Boardsports for lessons! Beginner surfers may find the gentle swells of Corolla Beach provide a great place to get started. Experienced surfers in search of a challenge may enjoy the S Curves of Rodanthe. This area is known for its powerful waves and adrenaline inducing rides.
Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
Stand-up Paddleboarding offers a much slower paced option for those looking for an easy going watersport. This activity involves balancing on a large board and using a single paddle to navigate through the water. SUP can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. It is the perfect way to peacefully enjoy the scenic sights of the OBX.
There are many different opportunities for stand-up paddle boarding in the Outer Banks. Outer Banks Kayak Rentals offers SUP rentals at locations throughout the Outer Banks. They also offer a guided SUP tour of the Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary located between Duck and Corolla.
For families with children, Kitty Hawk Kites offers SUP lessons for kids. They also have rentals and SUP tours available.
If you’re looking for an action packed adventure skimming the tops of the white caps at high speeds, jet skiing might be the thing for you. The open waters of the Atlantic Ocean provide the perfect playground to enjoy a personal watercraft (PWC) like a jet ski. This experience is great for families looking for something to experience as a group.
Be sure to check with the local laws and regulations of the area you are hoping to ride in before setting out. Several areas prohibit the use of jet skis or have restrictions as to how and where they can be operated.
Jet Ski rentals and tours are located throughout the Outer Banks. The Currituck Sound in Corolla is a popular place to jet ski. Nor’Banks Sailing and Watersports offer jet ski rentals and tours in the sound. Kitty Hawk Watersports offers waverunner rentals and tours in the Roanoke Sound. Their tours provide a different view of the area from a local’s perspective.
One of the best ways to explore the serene waters of the Currituck Sound is by kayak. These small, narrow boats have closed hulls which are also good for protection from splashes and waves. These boat rides can be enjoyed by people of all ages and ability levels.
Exploring the OBX by kayak allows an up close look at the diverse ecosystems surrounding the barrier islands. You can explore the Currituck Sound in Corolla or find rental places along the entire Outer Banks coastline.
Coastal Kayak in Corolla offers affordable kayak rentals for both single and tandem kayaks. They also offer kayak tours for those looking for an opportunity to learn more about the area.
Also located in Corolla, Coastal Explorations offers rentals and kayak tours. They also offer sunset cruise tours and family-friendly tours perfect for kids. If you’re looking for somewhere to launch your kayak, a great place to put in is the Whalehead Club Boat Ramp, located off Club Road.
Kiteboarding & Windsurfing
Watersports enthusiasts in search of a challenge may enjoy kiteboarding or windsurfing. These water activities work by harnessing the power of the wind and combining elements of surfing, wakeboarding, and paragliding to glide across the water on a board. These sports are best for more adventurous individuals who want to experience the thrill of riding the wind and waves.
Since ideal conditions vary for each sport, you’ll find the optimal places for both activities scattered throughout the OBX coastline, including the banks of Corolla.
- Those new to kiteboarding can take lessons from Corolla Kiteboarding. Lessons are 3 hours long and include an hour of on-land training before time on the water.
- For windsurfing lessons, you’ll need to head further south to Avon. Ever Surf & Sail offers lessons on the technique involved in windsurfing.
Another exhilarating watersport perfect for thrill seekers is parasailing. This unique experience involves soaring high above the ocean while being harnessed to a parachute-like canopy. The sport begins in the water tethered to a boat by a towline. As the boat accelerates, the parasail lifts and glides through the air over the sea.
Parasailing provides breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline. It’s also a fitting activity to fly through the sky along the same shores that once witnessed the birth of modern aviation. There are plenty of Outer Banks parasail outfitters ready to show you the ultimate aerial view of Corolla!
North Beach Watersports guarantees a great experience at a great price. They offer a variety of options for double and even triple parasailing as well as a variety of heights to experience. They are conveniently located off Ocean Trail behind the Inn at Corolla Light.
For slightly different scenery, you can head further sound on the Outer Banks to Hatteras Parasail. This company operates out of Oden’s Dock in Hatteras. In addition to incredible parasailing experiences, they offer Yamaha wave runner and boat rentals, including Carolina skiffs and pontoon boats.
The waters off the coast of Corolla are ripe with all different types of fish, making it the perfect spot for avid anglers. You can cast a line off a local fishing pier or book a local fishing charter to take advantage of deeper waters.
No matter where you toss out a line, you’ll surely find a great catch here. OBX Bait & Tackle offers charters out of Corolla. They offer nine different fishing charter boats for both inshore and offshore fishing. The Duck Pier is located on the Atlantic side of Corolla and is home to a variety of specie, including trout, flounder, bluefish, and drum.
Experience the Aquatic Playground of Corolla
Whether you’re a fan of leisurely water activities like exploring the sound via kayak, or fast-paced watersports that send you sailing through the air, you’re sure to find the adventure of your dreams in the Corolla and along the shores of the OBX. While rest and relaxation from the comfort of your vacation rental is one kind of fun, you’ll find real fun in the waters surrounding the Outer Banks. So skip the traditional mini-golf golf course and head out for some surfside adventures.