North Carolina Surf Trip
PROJECT 1 : Surf The Entire NC Coast
In early January, I sketched out a picture of the North Carolina coast putting a star next to all the best surf spots. For a few months, I’d been gnawing on this idea of road tripping from the Outer Banks to Fort Fisher. It was just a loose plan; at least it was, until I showed the sketch to my buddy Jackson. Within a week, plans were solidifying for a North Carolina surf trip.
I rolled over in my tangled sleeping bag, pushing a surfboard off my chest and searching blindly for my phone. The screen lit up, illuminating the condensation on the single pane camper shell windows. 5am. Jackson was still passed out in the front seat, next to the jacket he’d jerry-rigged over the window as a shade. Still constricted by the surfboard, I knocked on the cab, jolting Jackson to a groggy attention. Laughing, I motioned for him to let me out of the back of the truck.
We had arrived in Nag’s Head at 2am. Exhausted from the drive, we found the closest Walmart parking lot to call home for the night. After buying a few groceries that morning, we went North on Highway 12 until the pavement turned to sand in Currituck and busted a U-turn. From there, we would spend the next week driving and surfing our way down to Fort Fisher. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the trip.
Reaping the benefits of the off-season.
Our nightly ritual included beer and swell info.
‘The tailgate technique.’
Exploding gear in the parking lot on the reg.
Mid-day session at Cape Hatteras.
Sunset on the Outer Banks
Rise and shine
During one of our days in Hatteras, we were lucky enough to catch a mullet run. For 6 hours, we surfed just feet away from hundreds of Dolphins.
Making roots hummus wraps for lunch.
Arguably the best day of surf we had at Kill Devils Hill.
Wringing out every last drop at Frisco Pier.
Most campgrounds were closed, but we managed to score this beach front KOA camping space for $30 per night. It made for a perfect halfway point between Northern and Southern OBX.
While taking the ferry to Ocracoke Island, a local woman shared stories with us about the abundant spooky history of the Outer Banks. “Well boys, they don’t call it ‘The Graveyard of the Atlantic’ for nothing.”
Hoping rainbows lead to good surf rather than gold
We weren’t able to stay on Ocracoke long because of how we scheduled our ferries, but we did eat the best fish sandwiches on the island at Gaffer’s Sports Pub. A must if you’re ever passing through.
By the time we made it South the surf gods were smiling on us. A big swell had come in and all the reports were reading overhead for the next three days. It’s safe to say we didn’t spend much time out of the water.
By the end of the week, the swell had diminished. We spent our last morning catching mushy knee highs and couldn’t have been more content.
Waterlogged and hungry, it only seemed right to end the trip with a feast of Wake n Bake Donuts for breakfast.
We downed our last sugary bites of jelly donut, high-fived, and followed signs for I-40 West.
Words & Photos by Jon Moore