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“A birdseye view”

Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding School
Ranked #1 of 21 Shopping in Nags Head
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The largest hang gliding school in the world! Located at Jockey's Ridge State Park, Kitty Hawk Kites has taught well over 300,000 people how to hang glide since the school was founded in 1974 by pioneer hang glider John Harris.
Braselton, Georgia
Level Contributor
91 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A birdseye view”
Reviewed 15 September 2013

We passed the hang gliding school that they had at Jockeys Ridge state park we were on our way some where else so we got the information so we could plan it the next day. At Jockey Ridge it is a 3 hour lesson and you go about 15 feet high with someone holding a tether line to guide you. We did not have three hours the next day so we did what turned out to be the best idea. If you go off the island and look for a store called the Cotton Gin they have a tandem hang gliding lesson where they take you up 2,000 to 5,000 feet and then cut the tether line. On the way up the instructor tells you what to do, once they cut the line he lets you glide. If you do this make sure you ask the instructor to show you the roller coaster move, it will blow you away.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Revpar2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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174 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Erie, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Too bad for little wind.”
Reviewed 14 September 2013

The staff was great and getting checked in was quick and easy. The instruction was brief and to the point. When we went out onto the dunes to begin our hang gliding, there was little wind. The instructors had to "provide" the wind for all of our first flights. After all 14 of us went once, we were told that all of our flights would be pretty much the same as the first. We were given the option to continue with the flights this way or to get a refund or windcheck. Though that first flight was fun, it wasn't $99 worth of fun so I opted for a refund. The kept $39 for the instructions and the videos we watched and refunded me the rest. All in all it was a good experience. They can't help it if there is no wind. Bob was my instructor and he was great.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Kim E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
virginia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“2,000 ft up or the Dunes”
Reviewed 10 September 2013

Some may not know that you can choose to do the lessons at Jockey's Ridge or you can do the 2,000 foot tandem flight further north near Jarvisburg, NC (right behind the Cotton Gin, a cool little store off of 168). If you like the idea of being in hot sand and climbing up a few times for a 50 yard flight then the dunes are for you.

My wife surprised me with a 2,000 foot flight with an instructor. I strapped into a double harness with instructor Jonny and we were pulled up in the air by a plane. After a few minutes of gaining altitude we disconnected from the plane and soared over the sound and fields for another 10-12 minutes. My flight lasted over 16 minutes as we found a thermal uplift and were able to circle in it for a little bit, even gaining altitude while mimicking a circling vulture below us. Jonny let me fly the glider until it was time for the landing (which was really fast and really, really cool)!

I can't say enough about my experience. That was my first time ever hang gliding and I'm now even considering taking lessons. Just don't opt for the boring dunes - do it the real way up near the Cotton Gin.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank davehead75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virginia
Level Contributor
50 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Tandem Hang Gliding Rocks!!”
Reviewed 3 September 2013

I booked and attended a tandem hang gliding adventure on Sept 1, 2013. It was AWESOME!!! We soared at 2000 ft. above the outer banks. The staff were very nice and offered ( at a cost) video of the adventure. I would highly recommend this and would do it again without hesitation!!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank SCgirlatheart1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virginia
Level Contributor
235 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 227 helpful votes
“Group enjoyed the experience but instructor makes a world of difference”
Reviewed 20 August 2013

Our group, ranging from 14-53 years old, had a great time hang gliding the dunes of Jockey's Ridge. We were beginners and all of us enjoyed it but two of us had to switch instructors and our flights were not as successful. There was a total of 20 people signed up for the 4:30 time slot (mornings were booked about a week in advance, which was our first choice). We were worried about the heat as we arrived and temps were in the 80s. You watch a movie and go over instructions for the first hour, so we did not go on the dunes until 5:30 (still hot). There were 4 instructors or a ratio of 5 customers to 1. Originally they assigned us one instructor and then when we got up the hill (a walk of about 5 minutes), they changed their minds and divided us into two large groups of 10 and we had two instructors and some flew with two people helping on each side of the glider, until the instructors changed their minds again (I guess they were trying to figure out the best and safest thing to do with the current wind conditions). Each person goes twice, then waits for others , then goes again twice, waits, and then the final one (5 flights in total). Anyway, most people were able to successful hang glide and land on their feet and some experienced "soft" landings ending in a "complete superman pose" or belly. But here is where the instructor makes such a difference, I was able to land on my feet once and I absolutely loved it and felt the floating sensation. 2nd flight, I ended up on my belly but still had a great flight. Then I was asked to switch to another instructor...It went downhill from there. I quickly crashed into the side of the hill, slammed hard on my 4th dive (and scrapped and cut my elbow), and 5th was okay. My last three attempts were much worse and I never experienced the floating or flying like the first two flights. While our group was watching others, we realized that one instructor was struggling the most, and the people were crashing (NOT soft landing on belly). Someone in my group heard that earlier in the day someone had broke their nose (not sure how accurate this is) but I can definitely see this happening after I crashed hard a few times. But we are all glad we did this activity and the staff are very friendly and nice and encouraging. We were there until almost sunset (the session lasts 3 hours) and it was gorgeous up on the dunes at the time of day. We have been going to Outer Banks for years and we are glad we finally took advantage of the hang gliding experience on the dunes. There is a discount of $5 for a group. Bring lots of water and maybe a snack bar, and definitely have someone capture the memories!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank 4NY2VA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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