Bodie Island tends to cause a lot of confusion, for both the pronunciation of its name as well as its precise location. This small strip of the Outer Banks doesn't get a lot of attention, and most North Carolina visitors simply pass through the area on their way to or from the Hatteras and Ocracoke Island resort towns, or make a quick stop for an up-close-and-personal view of the Bodie Island Lighthouse.
One of the original surf shops on the Outer Banks, if not in the state of North Carolina, the quaint and friendly Cavalier has been at the same Beach Road location for more than 50 years. It’s been owned and operated by the same local family for close to 30 years, so you know this is the real deal. Not only does the shop have a lot of customers who come back every year, now they’re seeing children of the repeat customers coming back every season. At 1,300 square feet, the shop is a simple square building built right at ground level across from the beach. It’s had some close calls, but somehow it has survived numerous hurricanes and nor’easters. A photograph taken after the infamous Ash Wednesday Storm in 1962 shows the devastation on the oceanfront, and there’s the Cavalier sitting intact in the midst of the mayhem. Despite its compact size, the shop is stuffed top to bottom with all a surfer would want: top brand surf clothing and footwear; surf gear and accessories; boards, beach chairs and umbrellas for sale or rent. Surfing lessons are also available, and loyal customers and lovers of Outer Banks heritage can pick up Cavalier T-shirts.