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Top Five Water Activities in Hawaii

As the Aloha State is surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii has no shortage of water sports and activities. The tropical climate and beautiful ocean waters make it an ocean sports destination like no other.  So let’s take a look at some of the most popular water activities in Hawaii.

Woman with surfboard under Hawaiian water

Surfing – As the birthplace of the sport, it is no surprise that surfing is one of the most popular water activity in Hawaii. Of course, you may not be a surfer when you arrive in Hawaii on a vacation, but there is no reason why you can’t pick up the basics with a few classes. Ideally, it is recommended that lessons be taken in Waikiki in order to avoid the challenging and sometimes dangerous winter waves of the North Shore on the island of Oahu. On the North Shore, you can find world renowned surf spots like the Sunset Beach Banzai Pipeline, Waimea Bay and Chun’s Reef.  While there are many good places to surf on all of the Hawaiian Islands, some of the more popular venues include:  Honolua Bay on Maui, Hanalei Bay on Kauai and Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Family doing standup paddleboarding in Hawaii

Standup Paddleboarding – Standup paddleboarding is an increasingly popular sport that is easier to learn than surfing and allows for a leisurely trek across calm ocean waters. But just because it has recently gained popularity, it does not mean that it is new. Standup paddleboarding is an offshoot of surfing that originated in 16th century Hawaii. If you are a fan of the Hawaiian language, then you should also learn the Hawaiian term for standup paddleboarding, hoe he’e nalu.  Great places for paddleboarding in Hawaii include:  Ala Moana Beach in Honolulu, Keahou Bay in Kona, Hanalei River on Kauai and Launiupoko Beach on Maui.

Girl snorkeling in Hawaii

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling – A tropical destination, such as Hawaii, is an ideal place for scuba diving and snorkeling. The warm waters off Hawaii offer amazing views and memorable experiences to visitors when they take the plunge under the surface. If you are the explorer type, and want to see what the deep waters of Hawaii have to offer, then scuba diving is the way to go—don’t worry, even if don’t know how to scuba dive, there are plenty of classes you can take. However, if you like to take baby-steps or are accompanied by children, then snorkeling is the better option for you. Either way, you are in for a real treat as Hawaii’s many reefs and coastlines offer a variety of opportunities for great scuba diving or snorkeling. Among the more popular places to scuba dive or snorkel is Hanauma Bay Beach Park on Oahu.  As it is a protected conservation area, you can see a wide range of undisturbed marine life whether you scuba or snorkel.  Another great place is off of Molokini Crater off the southern coast of Maui.  A number of dive operators on Maui can take you there for memorable diving experience.

Couple kayaking off Maui

Kayaking – Whether you are looking to take a quick trip out to the ocean or want to explore the scenic Na Pali coast on Kauai, a kayak ride can do the trick. Visitors to Hawaii can hop in a kayak to paddle down a river or even out into the ocean to enjoy the calm and serenity of the natural beauty of the islands. All of the islands have a number of companies that offer affordable kayak rentals. In addition to the Na Pali coast, other great places to kayak in Hawaii include: Lanikai Beach on windward Oahu, Honolua Bay on Maui and the Wailua River on Kauai.

Deep sea fishing in Hawaii

Deep Sea Fishing – As you might imagine, Hawaii offers some of the best fishing opportunities anywhere in the world. With an abundance of coastline around the islands, Hawaii can be a dream-come-true for deep water sports fishermen. Here you can try to catch big game fishes like marlin, ahi (yellowfin tuna), mahimahi (dolphin fish), ono (wahoo) and swordfish. The town of Kona hosts the globally acclaimed 50-plus year old Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament during July to August of each year. Other places where charter boat operators can offer memorable deep sea fishing experiences include:  Kewalo Basin Harbor in Honolulu, Nawiliwili Harbor on Kauai and Ma’alea Harbor on Maui.


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