Without a doubt, the Outer Banks are one of the very best places to catch a wave on the East Coast. When the conditions are just right, you’d be hard pressed to find a better location to catch a barrel within a 500-mile radius than Nags Head or Hatteras Island.
During the main swell season in winter (November to March), the Outer Banks gets swells from North Atlantic low pressures, generating surf from any where between 1 to 10 feet in height. Summer can have long spells of flat surf broken up by small wind swell days.
Most days during the summer aren’t great for surfing, however there are exceptions. For instance, if a tropical storm or nor’easter is brewing in the Atlantic Ocean, the storm can send some excellent waves our way. Of course you won’t want to paddle out during a storm or if the conditions are too dangerous.
The ocean water warms up into the low 70s in late June, and continues to remain warm until about October… which means you can comfortably surf off the coast of the Outer Banks in just board shorts or a bikini for about 4 months out of the year!