Get In on the Watersports Action

Leave the highways for our waterways and make a splash with one of the many watersports activities Wilmington and our Island Beaches have to offer. Learn how to hang ten with a surf lesson taught by certified instructors, cruise through area waterways on a paddleboard, or jump in a kayak and explore the Cape Fear River or coastal waterways and salt marshes.

Cape Fear River Fun

See the city sites from a new viewpoint as you navigate our award-winning riverfront by water. Take in views of the USS Battleship NORTH CAROLINA and Wilmington Riverwalk as you explore the Cape Fear River with a jet ski rental from Riverwalk Watersports. Let the water be your guide as you explore Greenfield Lake by kayak or paddle boat. The expansive urban lake is filled with active wildlife including turtles, alligators, ducks and various species of bird and fish. Enjoy serene views of Spanish moss-draped live oak trees, lush greenery and colorful blooming azaleas in season as you float around this peaceful urban oasis.

A Gold Medal Surf Experience

The unique positioning of Carolina Beach allows visitors to enjoy a variety of watersports along the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway, Snow's Cut and the Cape Fear River. For surfing newcomers of all ages, learn the sport with lessons from a professional, Olympic gold-medal-winning surfer at Tony Silvagni Surf School. Journey through the calm waters of Snow's Cut and the Intracoastal Waterway on a paddle board or kayak with a rental from Paddle NC or Pleasure Island Rentals. From jet ski excitement to scuba diving adventures, there is no shortage of water-based fun in Carolina Beach.

Fish or Dive for Treasure

Fishermen flock to Kure Beach to enjoy phenomenal fishing both on and offshore. Cast your line from the beach shore, or enjoy a day on the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Coast. For the adventurous angler, schedule a deep sea fishing charter along the Gulf Stream. Unique scuba dive sites lie just offshore, like North Carolina's first heritage dive site, The Condor. About 700 yards off the beach, dive 25 feet to explore the hull, engines, paddle wheel and boilers of the Civil War-era blockade runner. Up the coast near Wrightsville Beach, divers can explore Alexander Ramsey's liberty ship. The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources reports approximately 65 ocean shipwrecks within 50 miles from our shores, and another 25 in the area's rivers and creeks, ensuring you'll find a dive site for every skill level.

Come Sail Away

Wrightsville Beach is a watersports hot spot, with active competitions happening year round. Several signature races take place on the water, like the Carolina Cup stand up paddleboard (SUP) competition, one of the largest SUP races in the world, and the IRONMAN North Carolina. For the amateur sportsman, learn to surf at the birthplace of surfing in North Carolina. Rent a kayak and paddle through a maze of salt marshes teeming with coastal wildlife. With two prominent sailing schools to choose from, hop aboard a lesson or rent a boat and sail away.