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Best Places to Paddleboard in the United States – Hawaii 2021

Hawaii Paddleboard

1: Hanalei Bay/River

Hanalei Bay Paddleboard
You can go almost anywhere within the Hawaiian Island chain and have an amazing time paddleboarding, but if you can only go one place, we suggest Hanalei Bay and River. Located on Kauai, Hanalei Bay is a beginner-friendly surfing area with friendly waves and dozens of instructors who are willing to help you learn how to surf with a SUP.

If you prefer touring or want to check out the local wildlife, you can start paddling up the Hanalei River instead. This river is filled with vibrant colors and gorgeous sights you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else in the nation. If you’re on the island of Kauai, then Hanalei Bay is the place to go.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 244
Distance to Major Cities: 1 Hour to Lihue. Lihue is the central airport for Kauai.
Motor Vehicles Allowed: No
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

2: Makena Landing Park

Makena Landing Paddleboard
If your objective is to lay on golden beaches while staring at beautiful turquoise waters, you will want to make your way past the black lava rock barriers to the Makena Landing Park! Located in the southern portions of Maui, Makena Landing Park hardly goes a day with sea turtles floating by, a true delight to see for the young and old alike.

Visiting in the morning will make for great yoga sessions while you watch the sunrise, or you can wait for the wind to pick up in the afternoon if you want to surf. With paddleboard rentals right on the beach shore, Makena Landing Park is a fun, easy place to head to if you’re paddling off of the island of Maui.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 276
Distance to Major Cities: 30 Minutes to Kahului. Kahului is the central airport for Maui.
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

3: Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach Paddleboard
Lanikai Beach might not be as famous as the other beaches at Oahu, but it is among the best for those who want to go on a paddleboarding adventure. Once you make your way past the palm trees and into the blue water, you have plenty of exciting sights to see and explore from Lanikai Beach.

Visit Mokulua Island or Moko Nui’s perimeter to catch sights of rare and endangered birds that live at these bird sanctuaries, or linger in the ocean to watch beautiful fish, turtles, and sharks that swim around the reefs. If you’re visiting for the surf, you won’t have to paddle out far to catch a wave. Just be careful about the rocks if you’re paddling too close to shore.

While it’s a little bit of a trip, you can also paddle south to see the Bellows Air Force Station, a WWII military outpost now used for training and recreation for the military. You’ll avoid the crowds and have a fantastic time in Oahu by opting to go to Lanikai Beach instead.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 278
Distance to Major Cities: 30 Minutes to Honolulu. Honolulu is the central airport for Oahu.
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

4: Kepuhi Bay

Kepuhi Bay Paddleboard
Located on the west coast of Molokai, Kepuhi Bay is a bit limited as a beach, and so casual paddlers will want to consider Papohaku Beach instead. However, Kepuhi Bay is our top recommended destination for Molokai because it is the starting place of the annual Molokai2Oahu SUP race.

In late July every year, Kepuhi Bay is the starting point of the 32-mile touring journey from the west coast of Molokai to Oahu’s east coast. Come here to start practicing or even register to compete in one of the world’s most famous paddleboard races by visiting Kepuhi Bay.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 281
Distance to Major Cities: 30 Minutes to Kualapuu. Kualapuu is the central airport for Molokai.
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

5: Kahaluu Bay

Kahaluu Bay Paddleboard
The Big Island is home to many beaches, but there aren’t many better than Kahaluu Bay. This beach gets popular fast, but for a good reason as Rainbow Parrot Fish, Sea Turtles, Whitespotted Puffer, Potter’s Angelfish, and the state fish, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, can all be found within the bay.

If you need more excitement than just fish, you can get some great surfing in, though the surfing is definitely for an intermediate to advanced level due to the strong sea current and rocky shores. Due to Kahaluu Bay’s popularity, it is very easy to find a private tour guide or surfing instructor as well.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 173
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Kailua-Kona. Kailua-Kona is the central airport for the Big Island.
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

Conclusion: Plan Your Paddle Board Trip and Have Fun!

Thank you so much for reading our top destinations to paddleboard in the island chain of Hawaii! While we’ve had the chance to visit a few of these places, we also had to rely on others’ reviews and insights to create our list. If you’ve been to one of these places, or have another destination you feel deserves to be on our list, be sure to let us know by leaving a comment below or by sending us an email!

We are also developing the top destinations to paddleboard in other states, including Idaho, so be sure to visit us again in the future to see our recommendations for those states. While you’re here, be sure to check out our reviews, instructional guides, and videos as we strive to become the ultimate paddleboarding resource.

Thank you again for visiting SUPBoardGuide.com, and remember to have fun SUPing!

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Heyo! At SupBoardGuide.com we are a team who love the water, the outdoors, and are more than grateful that our full-time job allows us to review stand up paddle boards. We paddle year round (it helps that we are just about 2 hours outside of Las Vegas), and we bring in a wide range of paddlers with the goal of providing our readers with the best, most in-depth, and accurate stand up paddle board reviews.

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