CB is the Rodanthe of the Cape Fear area, more of a crusty fishing village than a resort town. And although the water is significantly dirtier (the Cape Fear River empties a lot of its nastiness right north of here through the Inlet), the waves are generally hollower and more powerful than those produced by the same swells in Wrightsville. Thus, Carolina Beach serves as the backup chute for surfers frustrated with the C Street crowds or the piddly shorebreak at the South End. For others, it's just a better wave, and worth looking at over and over again, particularly during hurricane swells. Either way, crowds can get thick during good swells at the Sunskipper, so be mellow. Locals have been known to start fights, bash cars and even pull knives. Fortunately, you can find just as good a wave down the beach without the pack, especially if you have four-wheel drive. Just scoot north and get a little privacy, as well as some of the better waves.