We say Fort Fisher because it tends to be a little less crowded than beaches to the north, something you (not to mention fellow beach-goers) will appreciate as you learn to get the hang of this acquired taste in kayaking.

The biggest challenge in surf kayaking off the North Carolina coast is paddling out. Our waves tend to come quick and furious; once you get through the first set half the battle is behind you. Don’t waste time getting your boat perpendicular to the wave, either: you don’t want to be crossways in a boat that’s already tippy by nature. Actually catching the wave isn’t difficult — if you make it this far. Alas, our waves break quickly so the ride will be short. Short but exhilarating. And wear your helmet: If you think the ocean bottom is unforgiving when you get flipped body surfing, try it with a boat on your head. There are boats made specifically for surf kayaking, but your playboat should do.

Again, an acquired taste in kayaking.

More info: Learn more about surf kayaking here http://paddling.about.com/od/paddling101/a/surf_kayaking.htm

Getting there from downtown Wilmington

Photo: Paddling.About.Com

Rating: surfing
Length: short
Drive: 30 minutes from downtown
Put-in: Fort Fisher State Recreation Area
Latitude: 33.5818
Longitude: 77.5508
Take-out: same (hopefully)
Latitude: 33.5818
Longitude: 77.5508
Time to complete: an afternoon
Gauge: none
Minimum flow: always flowing; best at high tide
City: Wilmington
State: NC