Buy Gift Cards for 2024!

Nor’Banks FAQs

ParasailingWaveRunnersSailingPontoon BoatsCatamaran CruisesTube/Wake/SkiKayak/SUPsGeneral Information
Who Can Parasail?

Parasailing is an excellent option for nearly everyone! Participants must be able to fit snugly in the proper size harness, and the combined weight of the 1, 2 or 3 people in your flight typically must be between 150 and 450 pounds. A single flier may not exceed 350 pounds. Children as young as 5 years old may parasail. Our extra-small harness fits children as small as 35 pounds. Unfortunately our parasail vessel is not handicapped accessible. If you have any specific concerns due to health, mobility, etc., please call us and we will discuss your options.

What time should I arrive at Nor'Banks?

To ensure a timely departure, we ask all of our customers to arrive 30 minutes before their scheduled parasail adventure.


What should I bring?

Prepare as you would for the beach. You may want to bring water, a towel, and sunscreen as there is no shade on the parasail boat. A bathing suit is the best attire, especially if you would like to take a dip in the water at the end of your flight. You may also want to consider extra layers for sun protection and cool weather, as well as cash to tip the crew.  We also carry many of these items in our shop available for purchase.

What should I avoid bringing?

We’ll ask you to leave your shoes on the pier and to apply/spray sunscreen before you leave shore. You may want to lock valuables in your car and leave your keys with our office staff.

Will I get wet?

The Icarus II is an Ocean Pro 31, the driest parasail boat in production, however the shuttle ride can get a little wet on choppy days. Your parasail ride will be dry unless you opt for a dip in the water on the way back in.

How long will I be out on the boat?

The length of your boat ride will depend on the number of flights scheduled. You can usually expect to be on the water between 45 and 90 minutes.

Can I choose to fly side by side with friends and family?

Yes! You may choose to fly double or triple, however, the captain may alter your chosen combinations based on your weight and the weather conditions. We do our best to make sure that these changes work in your favor. For example, if your triple is too heavy to fly, we can turn it into two doubles by flying one member of your party twice for no extra charge. The total weight requirement for passengers flying together is generally between 150 and 450 lbs., however, this window is subject to change based on wind and weather conditions. A singles flier may not weigh more than 350 pounds.

How high up will I be?

Our three options, “Chicken”, “Duck” or “Eagle” represent approximately 500, 700 and 800 ft. of line. These line lengths represent about 200, 300 and 400 vertical feet. Your exact altitude will vary based on weather conditions. Our most popular option, the Eagle flight, is the maximum height allowed by the FAA anywhere in the country!

Is it customary to tip?

It’s customary to tip the Captain and crew 15-25% for good service. If you feel that your experience was less than you hoped for, please let us know and we will make it right!

Can I come along if I am not parasailing?

We can guarantee a spot for one observer per party for $25. Additional observers may be added as space allows. Observers must be able-bodied and in good physical condition.

How long is the flight?

Each flight is 10-12 minutes depending on which height you choose.

How old do you need to be to drive your own Jet Ski?

You must be 16 years old or older and present a photo ID in order to drive your own Jet Ski! You must be 18 years old or older in order to rent and pay for the wave runners.

At 14 or 15 an individual may drive with a parent or other responsible adult on the back of the jet ski. For those learning, it is imperative to keep as much distance as possible between yourself all other operators. Jet skis are fun, but they can be very dangerous. It’s your responsibility to avoid collisions!

How many people can ride on a Jet Ski at one time?

All of our jet skis are 3 seaters, with a max weight capacity at 400 lbs. However, if the conditions are rougher than usual, we will reduce the number of riders as well as reduce the weight capacity. If you are participating in the jet ski tour, there is a max capacity of two passengers per jet ski.

How large is the riding area?

Our free ride area is one of the largest on the Outer Banks, about a square mile. If you want to cover more ground and explore the islands of Duck, our Jet Ski tour is for you.

Can my child ride with me?

Children are more than welcome to ride along, however it is not safe for children to sit in front of the driver. We recommend a minimum age of 5. The child must either be able to comfortably hold on behind the driver, or sit in-between two adults.

Will my sunglasses or hat fall off?

Our motto is, “If you don’t want to lose it, don’t bring it!” We do sell Croakies in our shop that will keep your glasses from flying away. Feel free to lock your valuables in the car and leave your keys with us.

Will I get wet?

Oh yeah! You’ll step into waist deep water to board your jet ski and you’ll will also experience a little or a lot of spray while riding depending on the conditions!

What type of Jet Skis do you rent?

We use the latest Sea-Doo GTX Pro from BRP. These are comfortable for up to three riders with a top speed of about 55mph depending on the weight of the riders and the conditions. As a part of our commitment to offer the best equipment on the Outer Banks, you will never ride a Sea Doo more than two model years old at Nor’Banks.

What's the difference between a WaveRunner, a Sea-Doo and a Jet Ski?

WaveRunner, Jet Ski and Sea-Doo are all model names of personal water craft or “PWC”. Kawasaki invented the first production personal water craft in 1972 and called it the Jet Ski. The original Jet Skis were small, single person “stand-up” skis. Yamaha first dubbed their PWC the Marine Jet in 1986 before changing it to WaveRunner and Bombardier made the first multi-passenger PWC in 1988 and named it Sea-Doo. 

What types of boats do you have?

We have 19’ Flying Scot daysailers, 17’ Hobie Getaways and 14’ Hobie Waves.

Which boat is best for me and my group?

The Topcat is our highest performance catamaran and an excellent option for sailors with ample experience that want to sail fast. It crews 2-4.

The Getaway is best for experienced sailors who want an exciting sail. It’s super fun to sit out on the wings, but that does make it a more acrobatic sail, as you have to crawl across the trampoline, under the sail and up onto the opposite wing when coming about. It crews 2-4.

The Flying Scot has remained basically unchanged since it was first built in 1957. With bench seating built into the deck, it’s a little more comfortable and a less acrobatic sail than the Getaway. The Scot is great for up to six passengers and sails best in wind up to 15 mph.

The Wave is an energetic sail for experienced sailors and a blast to fly a hull in higher winds. In lighter winds, the Wave is great for single-handed sailors or those with less recent experience. Even if you have limited experience, when the conditions are light the Wave is your best option.

Where can we sail and what are the boundaries?

We don’t have strict boundaries, but rather some geographical and common sense limitations based on the conditions. We always sail within line of site due to the rapidly changing weather, and so that we can see and assist you if you have an issue.

We ask that you stay up wind and south of the islands to the North to avoid the shallow water. We recommend that you avoid sailing in the jet ski ride for an extended period of time.

I grew up sailing a Sunfish . . . do you have those?

No Sunfish, but you’ll like the Hobie Wave even better! It has a single sail and no clunky low boom to smack your head on.

Can we bring our own life jackets?

Yes! You may use your own life vest as long as it is Coast Guard approved. Please see our staff in the office for life vest approval before heading out on the water.

Can I sail if I don’t have any experience?

We do require you to have some prior sailing experience in order to take out a boat on your own. If you don’t, then consider taking a sailing lesson with one of our awesome instructors.

How long does it take to learn to sail?

This is different for everyone, but if you define “learning to sail” as acting as skipper of your own small boat, we recommend at least three two hour lessons. If you have not sailed before, we strongly recommend making your first lesson two hours instead of one. We will offer a discounted rate for multiple days of instruction.

How much should I tip my instructor?

15-20% is customary and much appreciated.

What are your wind limitations?

Up to around 15 MPH we are good to go! When the wind starts to gust higher than 15 MPH we restrict sailing to those with recent (within the past year) experience. Do not hesitate to give us a call to check on wind conditions in our area.

We cannot operate when the wind is sustained over 20.

I know you said you’re closed for sailing, but I’m comfortable in higher wind. . . can I sail today?

We have strict weather parameters to ensure that we can rent safely. While certain conditions may be feasible for an experienced individual on their own vessel, we have to be more proactive when it comes to limiting our rental activity. We cease rentals when the wind is sustained over 20mph and we do not rent with storm cells in the area or a high likelihood of inclement weather. Other conditions such as wind direction and wave height may also play into our decision.

Is my child allowed on the sailboat?

Absolutely, just remember that there is often a chance of capsize. In some conditions (and based on your experience) it may be important that your child is comfortable in the water and will not panic.

We want to make sure we’re setting your kids up for sailing success and those early sailing memories are important! We’ll be honest with you if we don’t think it’s a good idea.

Can I put more than four on a Getaway?
2-4 will be the optimal crew on a Getaway for good sailing, but the manufacturer lists the Getaway capacity as 6 people or 1000 pounds, whichever is lower.

Can I sail the Getaway without the Jib?

The Getaway does not sail well without the jib. There are other ways to spill wind and depower using the traveler, but if you’re not comfortable sailing with a jib, you’re not going to be able to effectively sail the Getaway.

Are your boats handicapped accessible?

Strictly speaking, no they’re not. We may facilitate some mobility issues as long as we deem it safe to do so. Feel free to discuss specifics with a manager prior to making a reservation.

Can I sail a Getaway or a Scot single-handed (alone)?

Typically we discourage it and recommend a Wave, but if someone has considerable experience and the wind is on the lighter side (sustained at 13mph or less) we can allow it.

Can I use a trapeze on any of your boats?

While we don’t have trapeze rigs and harnesses available for our catamarans, our Getaways all have wings. Wings are outrigger seats that make it fun and easy to get out over the water.

Where can I rent Windsurfing Equipment?

Ocean Air Sports in Avon.

Where can I learn to Kiteboard?

We recommend Corolla Kiteboarding and Outer Banks Kiting in Rodanthe.

Is there shade on the boat?

Yes! Each boat has a shade top that covers about half the seating area.

Do we need a boater’s license to rent in North Carolina?

While we recommend it, North Carolina does not require that you have a boater’s license when renting from a watersports business. We’ll give you a thorough safety orientation and take time to make sure you are comfortable operating the boat. If you would like to get your boater safety certificate, you can take a free online course from BoatUS.org.

Where can we go and what are the boundaries?

We typically recommend that you go to Dew’s Island across the sound from Nor’Banks. Dew’s Island and the opposite shore have a beautiful undeveloped shoreline and this is a great spot to explore or drop anchor to swim and relax.

We ask that you stay north of the Wright Memorial Bridge which is about 7 miles south of us and that you do not go north of Nor’Banks, where it’s too shallow to operate.

Do you provide life vests?

Yes! Nor’Banks provides clean and comfortable life vests for your entire party. We have plenty of children’s life vests in less than 30 lbs., 30-50 lbs. and 50-90 lbs. sizes.  Our vests are cleaned and sanitized between each use!

Can we bring our own life jackets?

Yes! You may use your own life vest as long as it is Coast Guard approved. Please see our staff in the office for life vest approval before heading out on the water.

Can we bring a dog?

Small dogs are welcome with a few qualifications. We ask that you only bring your pet along if you are 100% certain that they are comfortable on boats and will be safe and well-behaved. We do not provide pet life vests and there is no pet boarding ladder on the pontoons.

Dogs can easily damage the vinyl seats with their claws or teeth. The seats are brand new and cannot be repaired, so we’ll take an additional $500 deposit at the time of rental in case we need to replace a cushion.

Can we go fishing and crabbing from the pontoon boat?

You are welcome to fish and crab from select pontoon boats. The fishing on the northern sound can be hit or miss, but the crabbing is usually good. We do not rent equipment or sell bait, but you can get gear in town at Bob’s Bait and Tackle.

When fishing we ask that you please be mindful of your mess and careful with your catch, bait and tackle, especially around the vinyl seats which can be easily stained and damaged.

Are the pontoon boats handicap accessible?

Unfortunately our boats are not wheelchair accessible. There are 2-3 steps leading down to the loading platform and passengers must step across a small gap between the dock and the boat to load.  If you or someone in your party have mobility issues please call us at 252 261 2900 to discuss your options.

Do we need a fishing license?

Yes, you will need a fishing license to fish on the sound. You can get a temporary or year-round North Carolina fishing license at www.ncwildlife.org or by calling (888) 248-6834.

Can we hire a captain to drive the boat?

Due to Coast Guard regulations, we cannot hire out captains to drive the pontoon boats. We’ll give you a 10-15 minute orientation and train a few people from your group to operate safely.  If you are specifically looking for a captained cruise, we do have other options. Check out our tubing, wakeboarding and waterskiing trips or our catamaran cruises aboard Surfer Girl, our luxury Maine Cat 38 sailboat!

Which boat should I choose/what is the capacity of each boat?

We routinely update our fleet. All boats have been purchased in the last four years  and come equipped with bluetooth stereo, GPS, Bimini shade top and swim ladder. You’ll find detailed descriptions and photos of each boat on the pontoon page.

The capacity represents the maximum number of people and weight allowed on each boat. We are strictly limited to these capacities per Coast Guard regulation.  Always size up for your party for a safe and comfortable ride.

Can we tow a tube behind the boat?

We do not allow tubing or other towables to be pulled behind our pontoon boat rentals. If you would like to go tubing, wakeboarding or water skiing you can book a tubing or watersports charter with one of our licensed captains. For large groups you can even book a boat to go alongside your pontoon and swap out riders along the way!

Can we bring a cooler with drinks and food?

Yes! You are welcome to bring drinks and food. Keep in mind that operators must remain completely drug and alcohol free!

Can my family rent more than one pontoon boat?

Absolutely, just remember that you will not be able to tie the boats together and that they will need to remain a safe distance apart.

Can we cook on the pontoon boat?

No, for safety reasons we do not allow any open flames or grills on the boats.

Do you provide a cooler/food storage on the pontoon boat?

We do not provide any coolers or food storage options so you will need to bring your own. 

Is the Pontoon boat safe for young children?

The Pontoon boats are safe for all ages, provided your child is large enough to fit in a USCG approved personal floatation device. Children 12 and under will be required to wear a life jacket at all times while onboard. We always encourage you to know your limits and make sure the children stay seated safely while the boat is underway.

Is there shade on the boat?

Yes! The bridge deck has plenty of shade.

Where will we go?

We will be sailing in the Currituck Sound, known for great wind, beautiful coastline and very little boat traffic!

Do you provide life vests?

Yes! Nor’Banks provides clean and comfortable life vests for your entire party. We have plenty of children’s life vests in less than 30 lbs., 30-50 lbs. and 50-90 lbs. sizes. Life vests are required for children under 13.

Can we bring our own life jackets?

Yes! You may use your own life vest as long as it is Coast Guard approved.

Can we bring a dog?

Unfortunately your four legged friends will have to sit this one out.

Is there a captain to sail the boat?

Yes! You will have a captain and crew. If you’re interested in taking a turn at the helm, speak with your captain!

What is the capacity of Surfer Girl?

Surfer girl is certified by the coast guard for up to 18 passengers or 3000 pounds in addition to the captain and crew. This is a strict legal limit, regardless of the size of the passengers. We allow online booking for up to 15 passengers for your private cruise. If you believe that your group of 16-18 passengers plus gear is under 3000 pounds, please call to book your charter!

Can we stop and swim?

We recommend booking a three hour charter if your group is looking to swim. There are a few great little secret spots to anchor and enjoy the water and the scenery.

Can we bring a cooler with drinks and food?

Yes! You are welcome to bring drinks and food.

Can we bring alcohol?

Yes! You may bring beer and white wine. Please refrain from bringing red wine (it stains), liquor or glass beer bottles.

What is your cancelation policy?

We require 72 hours notice for a refund. No refund will be issued within 48 hours unless inclement weather prevents your trip. Light wind or cloudy skies are not grounds for cancellation.

Can I book for longer than 2 hours?

Yes! You can book up to a maximum of four hours. If you have any questions about how much time would be best for your group, please call us at 252-261-2900.

Do infants and children count as a passenger?

Yes, they do. The United States Coast Guard considers every person, except for the Captain and crew toward the 18 passenger limit.

What time should I arrive for my cruise?

We highly recommend arriving 30 minutes before your cruise is scheduled to depart. If you’re running late, please contact us and let us know.

What should I wear?

Spring and fall- layered clothing and a light jacket. Summer time- light clothes, shorts, sunglasses or a hat for the sun. We will ask you to leave your shoes at the dock.  Please apply spray-sunscreen on land prior to departure.

Do you have a bathroom on board?

We have a marine head aboard. We encourage you to use the restroom prior to departure.

Should I tip the captain and crew?

Yes, your crew works for tips!  As with other service industries, tips are discretionary based on your satisfaction with the service provided by your captain and crew. A customary tip is 18-25% of your charter or ticket.

How does the tubing work?

Our most common activity on the watersports boat is tubing.  The minimum time is 60 minutes for $250 and we can take up to six at a time on the boat. If you have 7-12 people you can book 1.5 hours and switch half way through. If you have 13-18 passengers you can book at least 2 hours and split the time three ways.

We book trips on the hour. 60 minutes is your total time on the water. You’ll get roughly 50 minutes of tubing depending on the conditions.

What if I want to go tubing but not go too fast?

We can do mild rides or go wild and crazy . . . it’s up to you! You’ll give the driver hand signals from the tube to indicate your preference.

How many people can be on the tube at once?

Up to three can ride the tube at a time and we’ll switch the groups out several times so that everyone gets multiple turns.

What is the minimum age to tube?

Our tube is large and stable and we can go nice and slow for small children. . . we’ve had children as young as 2 go out with a parent! We just ask that you use your best judgement and that your child is comfortable in the water.

Do you teach wakeboarding and waterskiing?

Yes! Our captains are also instructors. Keep in mind that it takes at least  20-30 minutes for each individual to try each new activity and plan accordingly.

How old do you have to be to learn to wakeboard or waterski?

Though it’s really specific to each individual, typically 12 is the minimum age we like to teach in this environment. Younger children typically take longer to learn and learn better in a camp setting where they can take their time over several days. We are happy to teach anybody, but it’s especially important to set realistic expectations and allow the proper amount of time for success.

In this setting we recommend teaching those that are determined to learn and encourage everyone else to ride the tube. Unless enough time is allotted, it can be difficult to get a child comfortable in the water when they are tentative about the activity to begin with, whereas tubing is fun and easy for everyone.

I have six people and they all want to tube and learn to kneeboard, wakeboard and waterski. How much time do I need?

About two weeks! We suggest that everyone choose just one activity in addition to tubing and schedule 30 minutes per person. I.e. For six people to learn to wakeboard or waterski and get some time on the tube, you’ll need three hours.

If you don’t want to book 30 minutes each we recommend you stick to tubing for a guaranteed smile on everyone’s face. Up to three people can ride the tube at a time and it really maximizes everyone’s time on the water.

Are there age restrictions?

Not strictly, but there are some common sense limitations based on a child’s strength and agility. As a general rule of thumb children of about age 12 can handle a single on a calm day. Younger children of any age can ride along, but keep in mind you may be paddling for two.

Can we bring our own life jackets?

Yes! You may use your own life vest as long as it is Coast Guard approved. Please see our staff in the office for life vest approval before heading out on the water.

Can I launch my kayak or SUP here?

Customers of Nor’Banks may launch and park here (e.g. if they want to rent one and launch one). Neighbors may launch, but as a rule we ask them not to park on site.

Non customer parking onsite is $10 per vehicle and subject to availability. Customers of Nor’Banks and The Village take precedence and if we are busy or likely to be busy, we won’t be able to facilitate parking for kayak and SUP launching. Please give us a call at 252-261-2900 before you head over.

There is a public kayak and SUP launch in Duck by the town hall.

Where can I go?

We ask you to stay up wind, closer to shore and within site distance, about 1.5 miles from our location. There is a nice stretch of undeveloped land to the south and to the north there are some beautiful soundside homes. We may impose more specific limitations based on the current conditions.

Are adults required to wear life jackets for Kayaks and SUP?

Yes, everyone is required to wear a life jacket regardless of age.

Can my child ride on a single kayak with me?

Yes, on our larger single kayaks there is room for a small child.

Are dogs allowed on the kayaks and SUP?

Yes! Keep in mind that we do not provide pet life vests.

Should I make a reservation?

Yes! We always recommend reservations. Even on seemingly slower days we’ll say something along these lines, “The schedule is open now, but that can change quickly. We always recommend a reservation to guarantee your spot.

What’s the best time to book?

Never knowing what the weather will do, we recommend that you book early in the day and early in the week. If the weather doesn’t cooperate early in the week, we can always push your reservation back.

We incentivize many of our rentals and activities on Monday and Tuesday for this reason, and if your rental is prevented by weather, you even get to take your discount with you to a later booking!

Early in the day is often the best bet, especially during hot summer days when afternoon storms are more likely.

Can I book multiple activities simultaneously with a large group and switch between them?

We are happy to accommodate large groups! It does, however, take a little extra planning. Typically we require at least 30 minutes between the end of one activity and the start of the next.

E.g. If your parasail trip ends at 12:00 don’t book a jet ski until 12:30 or 12:45. Believe us . . . you’ll appreciate the down time and feel less rushed, in addition to helping us keep everything running smoothly.

We are also able to accommodate events for large parties such as school groups.

Can you hold my spot for ten minutes while I confirm with my group?

For a number of reasons we never hold a spot until someone is ready to make a commitment with a credit card number. While we prefer not to make bookings with the likelihood of cancelling, we can hold for a brief time with a credit card number to ensure that the customer will call back and the reservation won’t accidentally be left on the books.

Can I cancel my reservation?

We don’t typically book with the intention of cancelling, however bookings may be cancelled without penalty up to 48 hours in advance of the start time.

When should I arrive for my reservation?

We request that you arrive 30 minutes prior to your reservation start time. Certain activities require safety briefings and we want time to get everyone into life jackets. We also want to have plenty of time incase of traffic which can happen often in Duck. We are unable to extend time if you are late for your reservation out of respect for the next reservation. Giving yourself plenty of time will make the experience better all around!

We are having a blast so can we extend our time out on the water?

We are always thrilled when our guests are enjoying themselves out on the water so if you are hoping to extend your time just give our office a call and we will let you know if there is a reservation behind you. Due to the high volume of business we do during the summer, we always suggest booking more time when you make your reservation if you think you may want to extend.

I forgot sunscreen and snacks? What should I do?

Don’t worry! Our retail store has you covered for all your basic watersports needs including sunscreen, sunglasses, croakies, and much more. We also offer snacks, sodas and waters for sale plus a water fill station. Don’t forget about the Village Table and Tavern restaurant upstairs.

Can I moor my sailboat or keep it on site at Nor’Banks?

Unfortunately, we can no longer accommodate these request. We are not insured for this and with all of our activities we no longer have the space.

Can I arrive by boat to dine at the Village?

Yes! Our staff will assist you as you dock and will walk your boat to a mooring as we have limited dock space. This is a complimentary service offered by our staff for our friends at The Village and it’s customary to tip the crew.

Where do the activities take place?

All of our activities take place directly off of our dock located on the Currituk Sound.

How deep is the water?

The sound is a very shallow body of water. It’s only 2-3 feet deep for the first 300 yards or so and then it’s 5-10ft. the rest of the way across.

Can I drop my boat at Nor'Banks?

Unfortunately we no longer have space to allow boat launching. Here are some alternatives:

Outer Banks Boat Launches

Currituck Heritage Park Boat Ramp ~ Whalehead Club

  • Closest access
  • Very shallow access, probably best for shallow draft/non-motorized vessels in most situations. 
  • Call for info on conditions.

Club Road

Corolla, NC 27927


Access to Kitty Hawk Bay from Bay Drive 

  • A nice ramp with about 3ft. depth
  • Limited parking and no facilities
  • About 20 minutes from Nor’Banks

2025 Bay Dr, 

Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948

Access to Albemarle Sound from Roanoke Island  

  • Large public boat ramp with restroom facilities and plenty of parking for boat trailers
  • Located under the Washington-Baum Bridge, across from the entrance to Pirate’s Cove
  • Farther away, but provides the best fishing and the most interesting boating destination

Address: 1205 North Highway #64, 

Manteo, NC 27954

Access to Currituck Sound from Point Harbor

  • About 20 minutes from Duck
  • Located along the southwestern shores of Currituck Sound
  • 2 launching lanes, courtesy docks, 27 paved boat trailer parking spaces, picnic pavilions, grills and restrooms

Address: 8955 Caratoke Highway

Point Harbor, NC 27964

Screen Shot 2020-09-21 at 1.07.37 PM.png

1314 Duck Road Duck, NC 27949
252-261-2900 (Watersports Info)
Book Now

Subscribe to OUR newsletter & offers.

Copyright © 2018 Nor’Banks Sailing. All rights reserved