The wind can be pretty good in Sept. Wetsuits maybe needed depending on your tolerance for cold. Nothing more than a 3/2 usually for me and I'm pretty sensitive to cold water. Sometimes I just wear some polypro top layers and can deal but if the wind is NW, N or NE I will always just wear my wetsuit. Usually sometime in mid-August Early September, some good rains hit Hatteras combined with cloudy days and the sound simply doesn't heat up during the day like it does during the summer time so it's a crap shoot. KOA in Salvo has some nice new raised cabins, sea foam motel might be a good spot, or you can splurge for some of the condos at KHK or Real. Check the realty places for pricing of houses.
September can be one of the most unpredictable months. It can be really good or really bad. And can be extreme. From super calm to full Hurricane. This last year was very good. In the summer the Outer Banks benefits from the Bermuda High that sets up off the coast. So June, July, and into August there is the famous Southwest flow. Lots of days of 20-30 mph winds. In the mid to late Fall the Northeast flow sets up and you can get the "NorEasters" with big winds and waves. In the late summer to early fall you get the Tropical period where Tropical storms travel up the coast. Depending on the path these can bring world class waves and wind or absolute destruction. September is right in the middle. So you could get all of these conditions or none.
In general September is a beautiful time of year to be there. The water is toasty warm, but the air is not too hot. The nights begin to cool off, and the humidity is down from the summer. The crowds have thinned. So even if the wind is not the most predictable, when you do score it can be as good as it gets. You most likely will not need any wetsuit, you may want a long sleeve top for evening sessions. At the very end of the month maybe a spring suit.
You want to stay somewhere between Rodanthe to the North and Buxton to the South. There are some kite specific accomodations: Real and Kitty Hawk Kites. If you have a group you may consider renting a small house if you are staying for a week or multiple weeks. Partial week rentals are rare. That is kind of the traditional Hatteras vacation set up. There are a ton of house rentals just google "Hatteras Vacation Rentals". If you want to do the motel thing then you should go to Buxton, more opportunities.
As for other advice, it is the height of the tropical season. Which means there is a chance of an evacuation. Not something you can plan or worry about, but you need to understand it can happen. The other thing, Hatteras is the land of downwinders. An opportunity you may not get anywhere else. So if you can take advantage of it. When the surf is pumping on a nice September day and you get a 10 mile ocean downwinder (never having to work upwind) it is as good as it gets. Or an evening downwinder in the Sound through the slicks is also unforgettable. http://www.sbckiteboard.com/travel_article?news_id=100
Best time to come to Hatteras is May, June, July (SW winds are more consistent) then October and November (NE winds are more consistent). If you want to save some money come in May and June because it's not the high season yet. August and September can be good but also this is when we have these big Hurricanes coming which makes it perfect for me to test my product. May through October no need for a wet suit. But you will need at least 7/10/12/14 meter kite because of the wind especially in the summer because of the thermos. You can start your day on a 14 meter and then by 4 pm end up being on a 7 meter kite. So if you can choose, then the best time will be May-June-July.
not to highjack the thread, but what are the waves like in June for strapless kitesurfing? I mean are the waves only on offshore side and what kind of waves you get in June on average? I personally don't like offshore winds, so that's why I am asking if there is "safe" waves.
Hello omg. The waves can be great in June but it depends of the direction of the wind. Since SW winds are the one that persist during the summer you can choose the beach you wan to kite. If there is a swell and its blowing from the south west, then WAVES and AVON will be Side Side Off, but then if you drive 20 minutes further south towards the Ferry boats in Hatteras or even in Buxton you will be able to kite in side shore or even on shore wind and do a down winder. Even if there is no waves because of the wind swell, you will be able to get at least something good. These are some pictures from different places in Hatteras during some SW wind.
general feeling that we'd be wasting our time going to Hatteras in September
I would not go that far, it could be great. Last year September was excellent (well the whole summer was), but it not as guaranteed as some other months. Unfortunately it is not high season for most of the US spots. The California coast, Bay Area, and the Gorge are also in a transition time where they are starting to wind down. Texas is more a Spring and Fall thing. Again, all of these places could have wind it just not peak season for any. If you are rolling the dice, then probably the Gorge will have the highest likelihood for wind. If you like to surf and kite then that may make Hatteras a better choice. If you catch a nice Tropical Swell it may make a couple days without wind worth it.