8 Best Places to Stand Up Paddle Board In Hawaii

8 Best Places to Stand Up Paddle Board In Hawaii

Let’s talk about the best places to stand up paddle board in Hawaii. The beautiful island of Hawaii is regarded as one of the best stand up paddle boarding destinations in the world. Coincidentally, Hawaii is where the sport of modern day paddle boarding was created.

Let us look briefly into the history of paddle boarding in Hawaii

History Of Paddle Boarding In Hawaii

In 1778, Captain James Cook sailed into the Hawaiian islands and became the first European to witness the Hawaiian people surfing. Paddle boarding is called “He’e” in the native Hawaiian tongue, and was done either in canoes or on specially carved boards gotten from the koa tree.

Traditionally, the village chief used the biggest board, usually 5m long, while his subordinates used smaller 2-3 meter boards. Due to the size of the boards, a paddle was used to maneuver through the waves.

Now that you know a little bit about the origins of paddle boarding in Hawaii, let us proceed to take a look at 8 destinations which are considered to be the best.

Here Are The Top 8 Places to Stand Up Paddle Board in Hawaii

  • Makena Landing Park

  • Kapalua Bay

  • Hanalei Bay

  • Hanalei River

  • Mokoli’i Island

  • Lanikai Beach

  • Waimea Bay

Makena Landing Park

Makena Landing Park Stand Up Paddle Board In Hawaii

The Makena Landing Park is located very close to the Grand Wailea in South Maui. This spot is a favorite for both locals and tourists, and for good reasons too. Its lively reefs are very beautiful, little wonder it is one of the most popular stops for stand up boarders.

You would also like to see the Honu (sea turtle), it’s a common feature of the Makena Landing Park and it is a great sight to behold.

The park is pretty spacious, although it gets crowded during the day, thanks to lots of surfing, snorkeling and SCUBA diving activities. The calm water offers you a smooth, fun, and relaxing adventure but it’s advisable you go early enough, just so you don’t get caught up with tour crowds.

Having all the right amenities in place, the Makena is perfect for paddle boarding.

Why Visit The Makena Landing Park?

  • It has a paved parking lot
  • It has shaded grass areas where you can prep your boards. You can also have picnics there and hangout with friends or family
  • Public bathrooms
  • It has an outdoor shower area where you can rinse off and clean your boards
Top 10 Must Have SUP Accessories
Top 10 Must Have SUP Accessories

Kapalua Bay

Kapalua Bay

The Kapalua Bay is found in the West of Maui and is protected from large swells. It also has a lovely sandy beach and it’s surrounded by resorts.

Thanks to its popularity, it gets crowded in the afternoon, so if you want to catch that serene, sunrise feel, then make sure you get there early enough. Getting there right after sunrise is perfect, you’d hardly see anyone else around, at least for a while.

The Belle Surf Café, located on the bay, offers you an excellent relaxation spot. They’ve got the best coffee and crepes ever!

Why Visit The Kapalua Bay?

  • It has a beautiful sandy beach. Great for relaxing and watching the surfers
  • It is surrounded by very nice resorts
  • The Belle Surf Café is a great place to hang out whenever you visit the Kapalua Bay

Hanalei Bay

The beach at Hanalei Bay, Kauai

This lovely stand up paddle destination is located in Kauai and features close to 2 miles of beach sand and an amazing mountain backdrop. You would notice the large grassy area between the parking lot and the beach, flooded with surfers carrying their boards, as well as families and friends who converge for barbeque dinners.

The bay around the Pier has calm waters and it is really beautiful to look at. You can also see the amazing water falls between the ridges of the lush green mountains. Not bad at all

Why Visit The Hanalei Bay?

  • It has an amazing mountain backdrop which is a great sight to see and take cool pictures
  • It has great spots to watch surfers from a distance
  • The area offers a rich cultural experience

    Hanalei River

    Hanalei River

This river is very wide and calm, it is beautiful as well. You can also find there, bright orange sea hibiscus blooms that light up the bay nicely.

The Hanalei river features a lot of plant life, thanks to the fertility of its wetlands. Here you will find an abundance of palm trees, monkey pad trees, hibiscus bushes and tall grasses along the water.

Why Visit The Hanalei River?

  • It has very nice calm waters, great for stand up paddle boarding
  • It has a great view of waterfalls and lush green landscapes
  • If you love looking at beautiful, colorful plants, then this place is for you

    Mokoli’i Island

    Mokoli’i Island

The Mokoli’i island is also known as the “Chinaman’s hat” and is part of the Kualoa Regional Park.

During the low tide, the water between is only waist deep, this makes it possible to go on foot. When paddle boarding here, be careful not to hit your fins on the rocks sticking out of the water around the shallow parts.

It’s a quick and easy paddle to the islands. It’s one of the great places to stand up paddle board in Hawaii.

Why Visit The Mokoli’i Island?

  • Very easy paddle from the park to the island
  • You can hike the island (for those who love hiking)

Wailua River To Secret Falls

Wailua River To Secret Falls

Sailing through the Wailua river or hiking through the rainforest are the only routes to access the amazing, 120-foot tall waterfalls known as Secret Falls.

The falls usually get crowded during the day so you need to get your time of arrival right.

Here’s how to get there.

  • Enter the Wailua river Marina’s boat ramp
  • Paddle 2 miles up the river
  • When you get to 2 miles, make a right turn at the fork
  • A few minutes later, you will see a small clearing, which is the beginning of the trail head
  • Hike one mile through the rainforest
  • You’ve arrived

Why Visit The Secret Falls?

  • The fall is a staggering 120-foot tall. Truly an amazing sight you’d like to see
  • You can have an exciting hike through the rainforest to get there

Lanikai Beach To The Mokulua Islands

An Oahu scenic

The Lanikai beach is perfect for just laying around all day relaxing. This beach is long and sandy and it’s got some beautiful palm trees and colorful boats.

The Mokulua islands, also called the Mokes, are about a mile out. Both islands are known to be bird sanctuaries and people are only allowed around the perimeter of the smaller island, Moko Nui

Why Visit The Lanikai Beach?

  • Only a mile’s paddle away from the Mokulua island
  • The Lanikai beach is spread out long and wide
  • Very beautiful palm trees, among other lovely views

Waimea Bay In Haleiwa

Waimea Bay In Haleiwa

If you ever find yourself on the North Shore around the summertime, then be sure to pay the Waimea Bay a visit. It has some of the clearest waters on the Haleiwa island, making a great spot for stand up paddle boarding in Hawaii.


Why Visit The Waimea Bay?

  • It has very clear waters
  • It is excellent for relaxation

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Conclusion To Best Places to Stand Up Paddle Board in Hawaii

So, there you have it, 8 great places to stand up paddle board in Hawaii. I hope on your next visit to Hawaii. You check out some of the recommended destinations for your SUP adventure.

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