Hatteras Island was always known for many years only for its fishing. Through the 60's only a few local surfers had this incredible place all to themselves. Suddenly in the 70's local Northern Outer Banks teens realized that it was just a short ride over the Bonner Bridge and they could find several excellent beaches with better surf conditions then they were seeing up north. It only took a couple national magazine articles and the world was rushing to Hatteras Island to join the action.
One thing that makes Hatteras unique is that you will find opportunities for novices on one day and just a few days later you might find storm swells that should only be braved by the experts. The Outer Banks is one of the windiest places on the planet and with it sitting sticking here out into the Atlantic this unique geography sometimes brings in swells that rival anywhere else in the country.
The National Park Service has many drive over ramps situated all along the Island and there are many other places where you can find roadside parking to hike over a barrier dune. The National park service maintains an ORV map on their website to keep visitors posted on where you will have beach access.
National surfing tournaments have taken notice, and Hatteras Island is home to the annual ESA (Eastern Surfing Association) tournament, determining which top East Coast surfers will make it to the USA surfing championships.
Over the past 25 years other board sports have also taken hold. At first it was sailboarding and soon after windsurfing also became popular in the area. You don't need the big waves to enjoy these sports so several unique shops catering to these adrenaline junkies have located thenselves on the Soundside of the Island. These shops offer everything from equipment, lessons, rental gear, clothing and even snacks and dining.
If you aren't into all the amenities check out the ever popular Canadian Hole located between Avon and Buxton on the Soundside. The National Park Service has added paved parking and even beach access points for 4x4s with beach permits. This area offers miles and miles of flat water and wind.