Top 10 Places to Paddle Board in Hawaii

When you imagine the ultimate place to paddle board, the place that is credited with making stand up paddle boarding what when know it as today should top the list – Hawaii. 

In line with the skyrocketing rise of the outdoor sport are people flocking from all over the globe to the place most sought after for its beautiful beaches and relaxed lifestyle. Hawaii, home to the world’s best SUP locations which you can find below, all with breathtaking scenery and flat conditions that will let you walk in the water!

Sunset Beach, Oahu

This majestic place is known for its big wave surfing during wintertime, hosting the world’s most popular surfing competitions. During summer, where the water has settled down and is a lot calmer, it becomes a great spot for paddle boarding! The tranquil waters seem like a huge horizon where you can paddle for miles on end, where you can take a break and go snorkeling and swimming whenever nature calls for you.

Pua’ena Point Beach Park, Oahu

Right next to the Haleiwa Beach Park and the Waimea Bay side of the Anahulu Bridge is a safe haven for paddleboarding. The waters here are tame, which makes it the best spot for beginners, most areas are flat, but you can also try out paddling in the small waves. Bring the entire family since it’s also an ideal place for picnics and simply hanging out.

Keauhou Bay, Kona

A place great for SUP, kayaking, and snorkeling, Keauhou Bay will let you see the “End of the World,” referring to their glorious sea caves and cliffs where you can jump to freedom. This historic site in the Kona District is built with a stunning harbor burrowed within a dried lava bed coastline.

“Pops” or Populars in Waikiki, Oahu

Dare to try the challenge of paddling in waves that are bumpy enough to make you both have more SUP experience and a hilarious time! This area is less visited and crowded compared to other Waikiki sites. However, you may encounter sharp reef edges or sea urchins, and it would be a good idea to wear booties.

Lanikai Beach, Kailua Bay

A hidden paradise within the astounding charm of Hawaii beaches, the place has the softest white sands and remarkable aqua blue waters. Lanikai means heavenly sea in the Hawaiian language, and upon setting foot, you will realize why. Located on the windward coast of Kailua Bay, it can be tricky to find, but this presents you with the opportunity to paddle your way into this splendid area of the seas!

Kailua Beach, Kailua

The Kailua Beach itself in Kailua presents year-round serene SUP conditions, which is regarded as one of the best water sports destinations not only in Hawaii but in the whole world. It has been voted the Best Beach in America in various surveys, notably on its walking aspect. The surrounding areas include the Mokapu Peninsula at the north, the Mokulua Islands at the south, and Flat Island bird sanctuary swimmers and kayakers will fall for.

Twin Islands

Paddling towards this place is very rewarding as you breeze through sea turtle feeding grounds and colorful coral reefs. A sandy beach connects the northern island, where you can also go camping, to the southern island, which is the smaller of the two. The sheltered water right in the middle of the two islands is teeming with marine life, perfect for snorkeling and viewing.

Kawela Bay

Find this hidden beach, and you will discover so much nature has to offer. The place is enveloped in a picturesque background, historical landmarks, and brimming with marine life. Beginners and advanced paddlers alike will have unforgettable paddling days at Kawela Bay.

Kealakekua Bay, Kona

Known for its famous Captain Cook Monument, this is another historic Kona site that doesn’t have any paved roads. You will have to kayak or SUP your way here. The Kealakekua Bay is the only underwater state park found on the Big Island, where you’ll see manta rays, green sea turtles, spinner dolphins, and more marine life.

Kahalu’u Bay, Kona

Home to what can be the largest collection of diverse tropical fish the Big Island contains, the Kahalu’u Bay is regarded as one of the best snorkeling and surfing spots in Kona, Hawaii. It is also an excellent area for stand-up paddleboards users, where you can take on waves depending on your skills.

Wailua River To Secret Falls

The Wailua River flows through the heart of Kauai’s rural North Shore. A short drive away from the busy Waimea town center takes you into this serene landscape dotted with small farms and quiet country roads. At one point, the road turns inland and leads to a series of cascading falls called “Secret Falls.” These are not well-known secret locations; they’re open access points located within easy reach of any visitor staying in the region.

Hanalei Bay

A popular destination for tourists looking to enjoy the natural wonders of Kauai, Hanalei Bay has been voted as one of the best places to go snorkeling in all of America. It’s also home to the world-renowned Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park. Hanalei Bay offers calm waters and lots of great snorkeling opportunities. There are also some nice beaches along the way if you want to stop at them.

Hanalei is a small town with only about 1,500 residents so there aren’t many tourists here but that makes for an intimate experience. It has everything you need including restaurants, shops, hotels, and even surf lessons! You can stay at the beautiful Kilauea Lodge where you’ll have access to their private beach area as well as kayaks and paddle boards. The staff is very friendly and helpful, and they offer free shuttle service from your hotel or condo to the lodge.

Hanalei River

Take advantage of the pristine beaches and crystal clear waters that surround the area. This park has everything from camping sites to cabins available if you fancy staying overnight. There are many small beaches along this stretch of river including some great snorkeling areas. If you’re looking for something less touristy than Makena Beach Park, then head here!

It has very nice calm waters, great for stand up paddle boarding. It also has a great view of waterfalls and lush green landscapes.

Getting Your SUP Board On The Big Island Of Hawaii

There are many ways to go about getting your board onto the island of Hawaii. If you’re going to bring your own board, you’ll probably be better off grabbing an inflatable paddle board vs a hardboard for ease of travel.

You can rent a car and drive yourself to any number of locations. Or, if you don’t mind spending some money, then consider hiring a driver/guide to take you out to these various places. Either way, once you arrive at your destination, you’ll need to make sure that you know how to properly set up your equipment before heading into the ocean.


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