Outer Banks Adventure Leader

Teaching the world to fly at Jockey's Ridge State Park.

Teaching the world to fly at Jockey’s Ridge State Park.

Kitty Hawk Kites is the adventure leader on the Outer Banks. It’s a safe statement to make because nobody else does so many activities and does them all so well.

Because we do so many things and do them so well, it can get pretty crazy in the summer, so the time to make the reservation for a summer lesson is now. Even though as a company we expand how many lessons we give and train some of the best instructors anywhere, classes do fill up.

Here is a list of the adventure lessons Kitty Hawk Kites offers: hang gliding—we are the oldest and largest hang gliding school in the world; paragliding; kiteboarding—if there is a better place to learn than the Pamlico Sound where our school is located, we’ve never heard of it; stand-up paddle boarding (SUP); surfing; wakeboarding and waterskiing.

There is truly something for everyone in what we teach . . . and the best part about it is that many of our activities can be done by kids and adults of all ages.

These are just the lessons that Kitty Hawk Kites offers. There is all of this and more in the adventure packages that have given so many visitors the opportunity to explore a side of the Outer Banks they may never have known.

We’ll write about that later.

Springtime=Hang Gliding Spectacular

The weather has turned springtime spectacular–lots of sunshine, temperatures have stayed moderate and the daytime breezes are a reminder of how perfect the Outer Banks is for wind sports.

Coming in for a landing at the 2014 Hang Gliding Spectacular

Coming in for a landing at the 2014 Hang Gliding Spectacular.

The big event for springtime wind sports is coming up in just a few weeks—the Kitty Hawk Kites 43rd Annual Hang Gliding Spectacular is May 15-18. Held at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, right across from the flagship Kitty Hawk Kites store in Nags Head, it’s a competition but there’s a lot of fun to it and as hang gliding competitions go, this one is very viewer friendly, according to VP of Recreation Bruce Weaver.

“It’s an introduction to a lot of people to dune flying,” he said. “It’s very spectator friendly.”

It is a competition. “The oldest around,” Bruce mentioned. But after 43 years the event has become as much about renewing old friendships as it is competing. “We view it as a kind of reunion,” he said. “It’s not a cutthroat completion by any means.”

The competition runs Friday through Monday, although the Monday competition are aero towing events. It’s difficult to say if there is a highlight to the weekend. The dune competition is fun to watch. For a real feel for what the event is like though, check out the Woody Jones Memorial Street Dance on Saturday night in the Nags Head store parking lot. It’s always a lot of fun with old friends stopping by.

What’s Hot and What’s Hotter

Walking into any one of the Kitty Hawk Kite stores or a Kitty Hawk Surf Company store, can be a shock to the senses, so it can be a little bit tough to say what’s the hot product now. There is one product, though, that really seems to be catching fire and flying out the door.

The Lokai bracelet.

The Lokai bracelet.

The Lokai Bracelet is a simple bracelet with a profound message. “Life is full of joy and sadness, and we can all relate to its highs and lows. I hope that lokai will remind you to stay balanced and centered along your journey,” founder Steven Izen says of his bracelet.

With mud from the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth, and water from Mt. Everest, the highest place, the bracelet represents the balance that Izen suggests we all need in our lives.

Made of clear silicon material, the Dead Sea bead is black and the white bead filled with the waters of Mt. Everest. The other beads are clear to allow the wearer to create their own story.

The Lokai Bracelet is just one of the many uncommon and unusual products we carry at our Kitty Hawk Kites and Kitty Hawk Surf Company stores. From the largest collection of sunglasses on the Outer Banks, to footwear for every foot, toys, kites and fun things to do, there is something for everyone in our stores.

Kitty Hawk Surf Company Fun & More

Riding the mechanical shark at Kitty Hawk Surf Company in Nags Head.

Riding the mechanical shark at the Kitty Hawk Surf Company in Nags Head.

With all the neat toys, gadgets, and great things to do, sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of how much fun it is to just walk into one of the Kitty Hawk Kites stores or Kitty Hawk Surf Company stores.

“We have a lot of everything,” Craig Purkiss, who’s the manager of the Kitty Hawk Surf Company store at Jockey’s Ridge in Nags Head was saying. “It’s a very diverse group of brands we carry. North Face, Patagonia, Vans, Hurley. You’ll find brands here you won’t find anywhere else.”

The Nags Head Surf Company store is a really fun store to shop. Great clothing lines, an amazing selection of footwear, sunglasses in every price range . . . and then there’s the shark. Think of it as a mechanical bull only a little more tame and a lot more fun to ride. Challenging, guaranteed to get kids smiling and a great photo op.

Of course, the Surf Company built its reputation on surfing, and the selection and expertise is certainly there at the store—especially with the newest way to ride the waves, or paddle the sound. “When it comes to SUPs we have the largest selection around of boards and accessories,” Craig says.

Kitty Hawk Kites Horse Tour & Gus the Stallion

Newest addition to the Corolla Wild Mustangs-Gus the Shacklford Banks Stallion.

Newest addition to the Corolla Wild Mustangs-Gus the Shacklford Banks Stallion.

The weather is turning springtime spectacular here on the Outer Banks and with spring break coming up for so many families, we’re seeing a lot of our visitors coming to town.

Easter weekend is upon us now and of course for the little ones, the Kitty Hawk Kites Eggstravaganza is the place to be on Friday and Saturday. For the older kids and some of those moms and dads who still love acting like a kid, check out “Fly into Spring” with kite flying demos and kite displays.

After that the question becomes … “what to do with the rest of the week?”

Here’s a suggestion for something really different—take the Kitty Hawk Kites Spring Wild Horses Tour, a guided 4×4 tour that goes to the heart of the Corolla Wild Horse country. It’s beautiful and remote and a new addition to the herd just showed up.

Even more exciting than a newborn colt, Gus the Stallion has just joined the herd from Shackleford Banks. It seems the Corolla horses have become inbred over the years and the Shackleford ponies are a genetic match for the Corolla wild mustangs. Hopefully Gus will find his way into the hearts of a few mares and create a healthier herd over time.