By Daryl Law/Correspondent
Nothing tops summer fun like the weeklong surf camps Jennette’s Pier offers in Nags Head. Catch a wave, get wet and sandy, laugh out loud and do it all again. Campers eat it up.
Just ask Dahlia Garrett, 8, of Colington. She loves these camps, and she had a great surf session recently. “It was super fun!” she said. “I love the water!”
Small waves breaking on sandbars make the Outer Banks an ideal place to try surfing, and there’s certainly no shortage of outfits teaching the activity. At Jennette’s Pier, several week-long surf camps are offered every year by instructors who also enjoy the sport. These slots fill quickly, and all spots for this summer are full. Registration will open again in spring 2022.
At these 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. camps, campers are first taught wave riding on soft-top bodyboards before moving up to soft-top beginner surfboards. Along with wave riding instruction, campers learn how to stay safe in the water.
This past week, our team of instructors, led by Christin Brown, education curator, took off to a nearby beach for a morning of surfing and bodyboarding. Most of the beginners tried their luck with Boogie Boards. They were first created by Tom Morey back in 1971 and used for bodyboarding. Now, the learning boards for surfing also feature the same type of soft tops.
While Brown watched her campers bodyboard over white-water breakers and onto the beach, seasonal educators Mark Stancill and Danny Cullum took on individual campers to teach them how to pop up and use the proper athletic stance for riding waves. Wave riders often feel as if they’re on top of the world when successfully surfing down the line. The campers’ laughter and wide smiles demonstrated fun throughout the group.
“It was so fun to stand on it. … And it was fun when I flipped off!” Garrett said.
After sessions, surfers usually feel exhilarated — the surfer’s high known as “stoke.” And after riding a few waves, Kennedy Creef, 9, of Manns Harbor, was definitely stoked. “It felt good … riding the waves, I was excited!” she said.
Her younger sister, Hayven, agreed. “It was refreshing!”
That afternoon, everyone loaded up and went kayaking. The campers also learn to paddleboard. For more information about Jennette’s Pier and its weeklong summer camps, call 252-255-1501, ext. 212 or go towww.jennettespier.net.