SUP in Hawaii

SUP in Hawaii is a great way to sightsee Hawaii.

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One of my favorite activities to do in Hawaii is standup paddleboarding (SUP). It’s easy for anyone to catch on quickly, extremely safe and a super relaxing activity that’s fun for the whole family. Older children can commandeer their own board while younger children can stand or sit in front of you and enjoy the view!

SUP your way around Hawaii's shorelines.
Courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority

Hawaii is a great spot to stand up paddleboard because we have a ton of calm beaches here that are perfect for SUP. There are several calm bays and if you speak to SUP rental companies, they’ll let you know about the best trails for you and your friends and family. Another thing I love is the sightseeing that you’ll get to do. Most people don’t realize that SUP allows you to view Hawaii from a totally new perspective. It’s not just beaches and shoreline that you’ll be seeing, but also mangrove trees, forests, mountains, cities, fish, coral and even the odd turtle here and there.

SUP at historic landmarks such as the historic Kailua village.
SUP at the historic Kailua village | Courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority

You can even paddleboard at unexpected sightseeing spots such as the historic Kailua village where you’ll see several famous landmarks in Hawaiian history. This is a fantastic way to really see Hawaii from a different POV that not many others will get to see. Many people also don’t realize that you can dunk yourself in the water every so often and snorkel your way around coral and fish. Snorkel gear is easy to carry with you on the board and can even trail behind in the water as long as it’s secured properly. Plus, the best part is that the area you’re snorkeling in is probably not often visited by snorkelers swimming from the shore, which means a more authentic snorkeling experience with clearer waters.

SUP surfing is also an option for the more adventurous traveler.
SUP surfing at Waikiki | Courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority

If you’re really looking for adventure, try your hand at some SUP surfing! This is a fantastic way to both surf and SUP if you’re short on time. You’ll be able to start your day with a relaxing view of the beautiful shorelines then surf your way in a few times before heading in. I highly recommend asking a few locals or SUP rental employees where the best and safest places to SUP are. Be aware that the big waves in Hawaii are seasonal (winter) so there are certain coasts you’ll want to avoid and leave to the pro surfers.

For those of you looking for an even bigger challenge, check out this video by Keahi de Aboitiz filmed right here at Oahu’s famous North Shore. That GoFoil looks amazing!

Things To Do

Visitors and locals alike love to SUP in Hawaii because it’s a great way to explore the islands. If you don’t know how to stand up paddleboard, then I recommend a beginner’s class to get the hang of it. It’s an ideal way for your first time out on the ocean with supervision, tips and things to see and it’s just like a walking tour except you’re on the water!

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