Outer Banks - Kayaking in the Ocean or the Sound?

Posted by Erik Weston on 4:00 PM on June 20, 2018

In Kayaking

Ocean and flat water kayaking are awesome water activities that let you explore your world from a different perspective while getting a great workout. If you’re considering ocean and flat water kayaking during your Outer Banks vacation, you may be wondering whether you should first venture out on the Atlantic or take to the Sound for starters.

Here are a few tips to help you decide:

Safety first!

The most important component of any new outdoor activity is safety. While both ocean and flat water kayaking are generally both a safe sport, Outer Banks kayaking in the ocean to the east is typically more intense than kayaking in a flat body of water like the Sound to the west. When you kayak in the ocean, you have to contend with more wave action, currents, wind, and water depth. If you flip over or get tossed from your kayak, you’ll have stronger forces of nature to deal with in order to right yourself.

That’s not to say that ocean kayaking is something to be avoided. If you're in good physical shape, take a few lessons, and choose a calm day, you're sure to have a memorable time. By contrast, the Sound – located between the mainland and the west side of the Outer Banks -- tends to be smoother sailing, especially for new kayakers. When you don’t have to fight waves or currents, it’s easier to practice your skills and get your techniques down pat.  Just be realistic about your physical abilities and experience level when choosing where to launch for your ocean and flat water kayaking adventures.

What’s your reason?

Vacationers rent kayaks for many different reasons. Knowing what you hope to get from the experience will help you choose which type of kayak is right for you. If you want to explore a new environment quietly and get up close and personal with wildlife, kayaking in the Sound may be the right choice. Kayaking in this calm water will give you the chance to relax, move slowly, and take it all in. Exploring the seacoast by kayaking in the ocean will still be beautiful, but you’ll probably be putting a lot more energy into keeping your boat upright and going where you want it to.

If you’re more of an adrenaline junkie and want to get your blood pumping, ocean kayaking may be the better bet. The constant movement and change of the ocean means you’ll need to stay alert at all times, which may be more fun and challenging. Regardless of where you choose to kayak between your ocean and flat water kayaking options, you're guaranteed to get a phenomenal workout!

Get out there!

Whether you launch on the Sound side or right off the beach into the Atlantic, be sure to enjoy the experience!  Feel free to ask the Customer Service team at VayK Gear any questions while renting your kayak so the experience is nothing but an enjoyable one!