Explore Stand Up Paddling at Hanalei Bay
Explore Stand Up Paddling at Hanalei Bay
Hanalei Bay is the perfect location to give stand up paddling or "SUP" a try. Born out of the combination of two Hawaiian ocean sports, surfing and canoe paddling, the wave of SUP has now swept the globe making it one of the most popular new paddling activities on the planet. The calm inner bay and the adjacent river waters of Hanalei supply the perfect glassy conditions to give SUP a try in a safe and picturesque environment. Stand up paddling works the whole body, but is easily grasped through just a few lessons or hours of practice after an initial lesson to get the basics.
At a Glance:
Highlights: Learning a great watersport while floating on the crystal blue waters of Hanalei Bay, a perfect way to enjoy an epic Kauai day.
Activity level: Easy to moderate, but requires a good sense of balance, strong legs, and swimming ability. Beginners instruction is recommended.
Options: Take a lesson and get your initial "how to's", then practice with rental boards on river or ocean with the comfort of your own timing and stamina.
Warnings!: Avoid the Hanalei stream when it is brown with run off. Beware of winds if choosing to go on the ocean, when strong winds occur stay close to shore.
Reservations: For lessons and rentals reservations are required
Cost: Lessons are $100 to $65 per person for 1.5 hour private lessons if you assemble small group. Rentals range from $30 per 2 hours or $50 for the day.
Where to Start:
After you have called and made the arrangements by phone with "uncle Kenny" (or book online prior to 48 hours before your desired SUP date) the Beach Boys Surf Shack in Hanalei is easy to find. Look for the bright yellow surfboard sign on the right entering Hanalei from the east on Kuhio Highway HI-route 56. Once parked check in, and your instructors or staff will help you size up a paddle, and board that will fit your body type. Lessons take place on river and ocean locations to give you an understanding of the ways to balance in varied conditions.
Stand up paddling is better at getting you up and moving with muscles you have been using in other fitness activities. Traditional surfing is done with mostly upper body strength and requires waves for propulsion. When you get your skills up on SUP you get to really move around and explore, almost like having a kayak. SUP fun can be had with or without waves as your propulsion is in the paddling so an up river trek or bay front exploration are possibilities.
Up the River with a paddle:
Starting from the Black Pot Beach Park near Hanalei Pier you can paddle up river for approximately 2 miles along the Hanalei River. This fresh water stream is tree lined and mostly navigable up to the bridge of Kuhio Highway. The water is calm and several feet deep, so no rapids or boulders to navigate about just smooth water.
Around the bay:
There are several beaches along Hanalei Bay where you can launch for SUP
Hanalei Pine Trees, Hanalei Pavilions, and Hanalei Peir aka Black Pot Beach Park are all possibilities. The Pier generally has the calmest water, especially in the summer. The ocean can appear like a lake around the pier, as you head west across the bay the surf breaks more and the wind also becomes a factor.
Go early for this activity, mornings are best for less wind and better surf possibilities. Once you have tried SUP, it is an easy way to get daily water and ocean time. You can even strap rental boards to your car and explore Kalihiwai Beach and river, or Anini Beach with its protected outer reef. Add a surfboard leash and a net bag to carry snorkel and fins over your shoulder and SUP can be a great dive platform for a snorkel adventure. Just tow the board by the leash while you snorkel along.
Hanalei Beach Boys rentals and lessons:
Hanalei is on the North Shore along the Kuhio highway HI-route 56 past the Hanalei River Bridge, and as you enter Hanalei town look for the yellow surfboard sign on the right hand side of the roadway.