Hang Gliding Spectacular on the Outer Banks
Seeking adventure? High-flying action? Spectacular views? Bucket list items to check off your list? Hang gliding on the Outer Banks may be just for you!
Speaking as the blogger responsible for writing this post and not really knowing much about hang gliding previous to writing this, I can tell you for certain that it is on my personal OBX bucket list. I quite honestly didn't know what hang gliding really entailed or what types of hang gliding lessons and programs were available on the Outer Banks until I watched the video below.
Before we go any further, let's take a look at that. Shall we? It's filmed by Kitty Hawk Kites, who also happens to host the OBX Hang Glider Spectacular (we'll talk more about that, too). They also give some great insight into hang gliding, what it is, how it's done and why the Outer Banks of North Carolina is the perfect place for such an adventure.
Hang Gliding on the Outer Banks Video Clip by Kitty Hawk Kites
Hang Gliding Spectacular on the OBX
Okay, now that you're more familiar with what hang gliding is and what's offered on the Outer Banks, let's talk about the annual Hang Gliding Spectacular event held each May at Jockey's Ridge State Park in Nags Head, North Carolina. It began 44 years ago and was originally named the Annual Tactile Meet. The Spectacular has developed over 40 years of fun flying competitions, good times and camaraderie with bonds of friendship that last a lifetime.
The Hang Gliding Spectacular is usually held the third weekend in May. It's the longest running hang gliding competition in the world! Join professional hang gliders, fans, and families at Jockey’s Ridge State Park for this Outer Banks tradition. The Hang Gliding Spectacular and Air Show is free and open to the public for viewing with fun activities all day long.
This year's 44th annual event runs May 13-16, 2016 and promises an action-packed day for both the participants and spectators. You can read all about the OBX Hang Gliding Spectacular activities and events here. Be sure to look at the Spectacular's 2016 Schedule of Events for everything you need to know about what's happening, when and where. The Hang Gliding Spectacular video archives are worth the watch, too!
More About Jockey's Ridge State Park
Let's face it, Jockey's Ridge State Park deserves a bucket list mention all its own. Home to the largest natural sand dune on the East Coast is a pretty compelling reason to go visit.
Oh, but that's not all. Along with it being an ideal hang gliding destination, it's also perfect for kite flying, sand-boarding and even picnicking (there are eight picnic shelters available free-of-charge with grills and tables with restrooms and water located nearby for comfort and convenience).
Jockey's Ridge is also pet-friendly. Leash laws and pooper scooper laws are in effect of course, and pets are not allowed inside any of the buildings.
What isn't allowed? There is no overnight camping since the park is a daytime use park only with no overnight accommodations available. Four-wheelers are not permitted either as its a protected environment where vehicles and four-wheelers are not permitted.
It's also important to remember that sand temperatures in the summer can be 10-20 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. Shoes or sandals are definitely recommended as are sunscreen, sun protection and staying well hydrated with copious amounts of water.
Jockey's Ridge State Park is located in Dare County on the Outer Banks. The entrance to the park, Carolista Drive, is in the town of Nags Head at milepost 12 on the Hwy 158 Bypass (South Croatan Hwy). Visit the Jockey's Ridge State Park website for more information, hours of operation and other frequently asked questions.
Ready to Sign-up for Hang Gliding Lessons?
Are you psyched to try this? Sweet! Here's what you need to know about local hang-gliding lessons and programs offered by Kitty Hawk Kites. Book it!
Plan Your Stay on the Outer Banks
All that's left to do now is to plan your stay on the Outer Banks. Élan Vacations has plenty of beach vacation rentals in Nags Head and all throughout the OBX. Pick your favorite place with the amenities that are important to you, and start counting down the days to your adventure. Happy hang gliding!
Have you ever been hang gliding on the Outer Banks or anywhere else? We'd love to hear about your experience!