About Duck

Like most Dare County beachbreaks, the sandbars regularly shift up and down the beach as they are constantly reworked by the surf. But rather than chasing phantom sandbars, there is at least one no-brainer that comes and goes with the sand -- Duck Research Pier.

Source: Duck Surf Guide

Ability Level

Intermediate - advanced

Beg Int Adv

Any and all levels

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

Chill, except when invaded by carpenter/rippers from town on their one-hour lunch breaks: "Don't mean to be rude, but beat it."

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Usually not bad due to lack of parking.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

Still has its moments, like the recent beach replenishment, but parking is an issue.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Normally not bad but the right south swell will make it tough to stay next on the peak.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

Pretty clean.

Additional Information


Parking is the biggest pain since the parking lot got closed after 9/11.


Sketchy. In the wintertime, there is rarely a problem with parking. During summer, or on weekends, forget it.

Bring Your

Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard, sup, skimming, bodyboard, bodysurfing, kiteboard


Sand and whatever equipment the Corps of Engineers are testing.

Best Season

Storm dependent: tropical cyclones in the late summer and fall with frontal activity and nor'easters in the late fall and winter.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos