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'The waves were massive' | Outer Banks kite surfers use storm winds ahead of Hurricane Ian to their advantage

Before swimming was prohibited on the coastal beaches, at least two kite surfers decided to ride the waves brought on by the storm.

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. — While some take incoming storm conditions as a chance to go inside or travel elsewhere, others use it to maybe find a little extra adventure.

That's what Karl Kniffin, Outer Banks resident and kite surfer, did Thursday ahead of the second landfall of Hurricane Ian, which was later downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone. 

Using the storm winds from the days before Ian moved through the Carolinas, Kniffin and a buddy ventured out to the Atlantic Ocean to take advantage of the high surf and high winds, by kite surfing along the shoreline of the Outer Banks. 

"Usually when there is a hurricane coming, you hope for the best, but we got the wind coming from a certain direction, yesterday [Thursday] it just panned out really nice. Probably the nicest wind I’ve ever been in," he said. 

"Never been in something that strong, it was so much fun, the waves were massive," he added. 

His family shared with 13News Now video of the surfing, showing one rider leaving the water dozens of feet in the air. 

The Outer Banks fell outside the direct path of Ian, but still engulfed the area in high winds, heavy rain, and rough surf Friday afternoon. 

In a news conference Friday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper acknowledged the state was experiencing an increase of power outages across the state, as well as worsening road conditions the further Ian moved inland. 

Friday afternoon, flooding remained the "biggest" concern for portions of northeastern North Carolina -- including Dare County, according to that region's National Weather Service. 

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