Sports on the North Carolina Coast: Kiteboarding
In addition to surfing, Coastal North Carolina has other local sports, one of which is kiteboarding. Kiteboarding, which is also known as kitesurfing, is the act of riding a surfboard-like board while being pulled by a kite. This is usually performed fairly close to the coast, although some people have been known to boat out to deeper waters and then start kiteboarding. This is not advised however, as it can be dangerous to kiteboard without a lot of experience.
Kiteboarding is naturally adapted to the waters of North Carolina because of the windiness of its beaches. While walking on the beach, it's almost impossible to find a day without any wind blowing. This naturally leads into many beach activities that involve the wind and kiteboarding is one of the chief activities. Many kiteboarding junkies say that North Carolina is one of the best places on the East Coast to participate in the sport, so it makes sense that many kiteboarding competitions have become popular in North Carolina.
The Triple-S Invitational, a kiteboarding competition put on by REAL Watersports, is the invitational competition for the REAL Watersports team, which is a team that competes in various competitions for REAL Watersports. This is a very prestigious team, and doing well in this competition is a very beneficial for anyone who wants to get into professional kiteboarding. Only the world's best are invited to this competition, so while it's not so much an event for amateur kiteboarders to compete in, it is a great learning experience for new techniques.
The Triple-S event gets its name from "Surf, Slick, and Slider." "Surf" comes from the event of kiteboarding, previously called kitesurfing. "Slick", or more commonly "The Slick," is the term used to describe the relatively smooth waters of the region. A "Slider" is a tool used by kiteboarders which is similar to a rail for skateboarders; a slider is a thin piece of material such as a wooden plank or the top of a wall that you jump on while kiteboarding and grind across. Being able to properly ride a slider shows a lot of kiteboarding skill, which is why it's a crucial part of the competition.
The competition is an annual one, usually held during the first week of June. Due to the fact that REAL Watersports is based in the area, the competition is held on Hatteras Island every year. It goes on for a whole week, during which the competitors will take place in a variety of different kiteboarding events and many different local and national bands will play, making this a can't-miss experience for anyone, even if they're not interested in kiteboarding.
Another notable kiteboarding event that takes place is the annual Frisco Woods WindFest. It takes place during April every year on the Pamlico Sound on Hatteras Island. It gets its name from the Frisco Woods Campground, the place that hosts the event. It's a 3-day celebration of kiteboarding, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. It's not so much a competition-based event but instead seems geared towards improving skills for anyone from the area who loves the sport. They host clinics for kiteboarders to improve their skills as well as provide live music and bonfires for general fun times. Just like the Triple-S, this is an event that is for the public (with an admission fee) to observe and create an appreciation for the sport, making it an enjoyable experience for anybody who's interested.