SUP Board Kealakekua Bay Kona
SUP Board Kealakekua Bay Kona

I recently had the opportunity to experience stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) in Kealakekua Bay, Kona, Hawaii. It was an unforgettable experience. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the area.

Kealakekua Bay is a protected marine sanctuary that boasts crystal clear waters, abundant marine life, and stunning views of the surrounding cliffs.

A stand-up paddleboard glides through the clear blue waters of Kealakekua Bay in Kona, with lush green cliffs and a bright sky in the background

Renting a SUP board from local outfitters was easy and affordable. Several companies offer SUP board rentals in the area, and most provide everything you need for a day on the water, including a board, paddle, and life jacket.

Some rental companies even offer guided tours of the bay, which can be a great way to learn more about the area and its history while enjoying the beauty of the bay from a unique perspective.

Overall, my experience paddleboarding in Kealakekua Bay was one of the highlights of my trip to Kona. Whether you’re an experienced paddler or a first-timer, I highly recommend trying it. The calm, clear waters of the bay make it a great place to learn, and the scenery is breathtaking.

Kealakekua Bay houses a fantastic coral reef on the rush and tropical South Kona coast.

The bay houses one of the top snorkeling spots in Hawaii.

The nearby tropical and lush region also has the best historical significance, as it grips many historical and archaeological places.

Review contents

Stand-Up Paddleboarding/SUP on the Island of Hawaii 

The area values a visit.

Here are some of the best things to do:

Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay is a piece of paradise, both on land and underwater.

The bay, located on the lush and tropical Kona coast, hosts one of the perfect coral reefs on the island.

The heart of the bay is deep, and you can generally find a pod of spinner dolphins that use the bay as resting grounds.

The total area is rich in history and spans a marine life conservation area and a state historical park.

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Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park

The park spans the shoreline of almost all of Kealakekua Bay. The most accessible part is on the northeastern edge of the bay, where Poopoo Beach Park has a parking place, restrooms, a picnic pavilion, showers, and a water fountain.

The little beach in the park next to the pavilion is famous as Napo Opo Bach and Hurricane Iniki stripped it of its sand.

It now consists of a set of rocks. While not remarkable for hanging out, it is reasonable for a fast swim and the best place for SUP board surfing.

You can also find the Hikiau Heiau in this park.

This Heiau is a well-deserved ancient temple in the park dedicated to the Hawaiian god Lono. However, it has a dark history: It was built as a place of human sacrifice.

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Kealakekua Bay Captain Cook Snorkeling Big Island Hawaii

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What is SUP?

Stand Up Paddle Boarding, or SUP for short, is a water sport that has recently gained popularity. It involves standing on a board and using a paddle to move through the water. The board is larger and more stable than a surfboard, making it easier to balance.

History of Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

SUP has its roots in Hawaii, where surf instructors use it to better view their students and the incoming waves. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that SUP began to gain popularity outside of Hawaii. Today, it is enjoyed all over the world in a variety of settings, including lakes, rivers, and oceans.

SUP vs. Other Water Sports

Compared to other water sports like surfing and kayaking, SUP is relatively easy to learn and offers a full-body workout. It is also a great way to explore the ocean and get close to marine life. While surfing requires waves and kayaking requires a certain skill level, SUP can be enjoyed in calm waters by beginners and experienced paddlers alike.

In summary, SUP is a fun and accessible water sport that offers a unique way to explore the ocean and get a full-body workout. If you’re looking for a new activity on the Kona Coast, consider renting a SUP board and paddle and trying it!

Getting Started with SUP

A person stands on a paddleboard in calm, turquoise waters at Kealakekua Bay, Kona. The bay is surrounded by lush greenery and a clear blue sky

Getting started can seem intimidating if you’re new to stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). But with the right equipment and a few basic techniques, you’ll be up and paddling in no time!

Choosing the Right SUP

Choosing the right SUP board is crucial to your success on the water. When selecting a board, consider your skill level, weight, and the type of water you’ll be paddling in. If you’re starting, choosing a wider, more stable board that will be easier to balance is best. As you gain experience, you can move on to a narrower board that will be faster and more maneuverable.

At Kealakekua Bay, you can find various stand-up paddleboard rentals for beginners and advanced paddlers. If you’re new to SUP, it’s highly recommended that you take a lesson with an instructor who can teach you the proper techniques and safety tips.

Basic SUP Techniques

Once you have your board, it’s time to hit the water! To get started, follow these basic SUP techniques:

  • Stand parallel and shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointed forward.
  • Hold the paddle with both hands, with your arms straight and your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Place the paddle in the water and pull it towards you, keeping your arms straight and your core engaged.
  • Once the paddle reaches your feet, lift it out of the water and repeat on the other side.

As you gain confidence, you can try more advanced techniques, such as turning, paddling backwards, and riding waves. Remember always to wear a life jacket and stay aware of your surroundings.

In summary, getting started with stand-up paddleboarding at Kealakekua Bay is easy and fun! Choose the right board, take a lesson if you’re new to SUP, and follow these basic techniques to get started. With a bit of practice, you’ll be paddling like a pro in no time.

SUP Rentals and Lessons in Kealakekua Bay

If you’re looking to explore the crystal-clear waters of Kealakekua Bay in Kona, Hawaii, then stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is an excellent option. With its calm waters and breathtaking scenery, Kealakekua Bay is a perfect spot for beginners and experienced paddlers. In this section, I’ll review some essential things about SUP rentals and lessons in Kealakekua Bay.

Where to Rent SUP Gear

Several rental companies in Kona offer SUP rentals for Kealakekua Bay. Some of the most popular options include Kona Boys, Ehu & Kai, Saltwater Soul, and Kona Kayaks. Each company offers a range of rental options, from hourly rentals to full-day rentals. Prices vary depending on the company and the length of the rental.

If you’re not familiar with SUP gear, don’t worry. Rental companies typically provide all the necessary equipment, including the board, paddle, and life jacket. Some companies may also offer wetsuits, especially during winter when the water can be more excellent.

Booking a Lesson or Tour

If you’re new to SUP or want to improve your skills, booking a lesson or tour can be a great option. Many rental companies offer lessons and tours designed for all skill levels. These lessons are typically led by experienced instructors who can teach you the proper technique and help you feel more comfortable on the board.

Some rental companies also offer guided tours of Kealakekua Bay. These tours can be a great way to explore the bay and learn about its history and marine life. Guided tours are typically led by knowledgeable guides who can point out interesting sights and answer any questions you may have.

It’s a good idea to book your SUP rental, lesson, or tour in advance, especially during peak season. Most rental companies allow you to make a reservation online or over the phone. If your plans change, check the company’s cancellation policy before booking.

In conclusion, Kealakekua Bay is a beautiful spot for stand-up paddleboarding in Kona. Whether you’re looking to rent SUP gear or book a lesson or tour, plenty of options are available. Just be sure to book in advance, and remember to have fun and stay safe on the water!

Best SUP Spots around Kona

As a seasoned stand-up paddleboarder, I have explored many spots around Kona. I can confidently say that the area offers some of the world’s most picturesque and serene paddleboarding locations. Below are some of the best spots to SUP around Kona.

Kealakekua Bay and Captain Cook Monument

Located about 12 miles south of Kailua Pier, Kealakekua Bay and Captain Cook Monument are some of Kona’s most popular paddleboarding spots. The bay is home to many marine life, including dolphins, sea turtles, and colorful fish, making it a perfect location for snorkeling and paddleboarding. The monument is a famous landmark commemorating Captain James Cook, who discovered the Hawaiian Islands in 1778. The monument is only accessible by boat or hiking, making paddleboarding an excellent way to get there.

Other Notable Paddle Boarding Locations

Puako Bay is a unique spot to paddleboard in Kona. The beach is known for its natural beauty and rich marine life, offering rugged lava coastlines and turquoise waters to explore. You can also explore several offshore reefs with your stand-up paddleboard.

Kahalu’u Beach Park is another popular paddleboarding spot in Kona. The beach has calm waters and a beautiful coral reef, making it an excellent location for beginners. You can also rent paddleboards and take lessons from the nearby Kahalu’u Bay Surf & Sea.

Kamakahonu Bay is located in the heart of Kailua-Kona and is an excellent location for paddleboarding. The bay has calm waters, and you can paddle around the historic Kona Inn, built in 1928.

Honaunau Bay is located on the southern coast of the Big Island and is a popular spot for paddleboarding and snorkeling. The bay is home to many marine life, including sea turtles, colorful fish, and coral reefs.

Kukio Beach is located on the northwest coast of the Big Island and is a beautiful location for paddleboarding. The beach has calm waters, and you can paddle around Kukio Bay, home to many marine life.

Mauna Kea Beach is located on the northwestern coast of the Big Island and is a popular location for paddleboarding. The beach has calm waters, and you can paddle around the nearby Mauna Kea Resort, home to a vast array of marine life.

In conclusion, Kona offers some of the best paddleboarding spots in the world, and the above locations are just a few of the many options available. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced paddleboarder, Kona has something to offer everyone.

SUP Tours and Wildlife Encounters

The bright sun casts a warm glow over calm waters as a paddleboard glides through Kealakekua Bay, with lush greenery and wildlife dotting the shoreline

As someone who loves exploring the beauty of Kealakekua Bay, I highly recommend trying stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) tours. Not only is it a great workout, but it also allows you to experience the stunning marine life of the bay up close.

Guided Tours

Guided tours are an excellent option for a more structured and informative experience. Many tour companies offer guided SUP tours that take you to the best spots in the bay. The guides are knowledgeable about the area and can provide information about the history and ecology of Kealakekua Bay. Some tours even offer snorkeling opportunities to see the colorful tropical fish and coral reefs.

Marine Life in Kealakekua Bay

One of the highlights of SUP tours in Kealakekua Bay is the opportunity to encounter marine life, such as dolphins and turtles. Dolphins frequent the bay and can be seen swimming and jumping near the paddleboards. It’s important to remember to keep a safe distance and not disturb their natural habitat. Turtles are also a common sight in the bay and can often be seen swimming near the surface or resting on the shore.

In addition to dolphins and turtles, Kealakekua Bay is home to an abundance of marine life. Snorkeling is a popular activity in the bay and allows you to see a variety of tropical fish and coral reefs. Some of the fish you may encounter include parrotfish, butterflyfish, and angelfish. The coral reefs are also home to diverse marine life, including sea urchins, starfish, and octopuses.

In conclusion, SUP tours in Kealakekua Bay are a great way to explore the area’s beauty and encounter marine life up close. Whether you choose a guided tour or venture out on your own, be sure to respect marine life’s natural habitat and enjoy the stunning scenery of the bay.

Safety and Equipment

Essential SUP Gear

As a paddle boarder, I know the importance of having the right gear to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the water. When renting a SUP board in Kealakekua Bay, Kona, there are a few essential items that you should always have with you. First and foremost, a paddle is necessary to navigate the waters. Selecting a paddle that is the correct length for your height is essential to avoid discomfort and injury.

Additionally, a life vest is required by law to be worn at all times while on a SUP board. Selecting a life vest that fits properly and is comfortable to wear is important. A dry bag is also essential to keep your belongings dry and safe while on the water. Finally, backrests can be helpful for those who need extra support while paddling.

Safety Tips for Paddle Boarders

Paddleboarding in Kealakekua Bay can be a fun and safe experience if you follow a few essential safety tips. First and foremost, always wear a life vest while on the water. Even if you are a strong swimmer, unexpected accidents can happen, and a life vest can save your life.

Additionally, always be aware of your surroundings and any potential hazards in the water, such as rocks or strong currents. Check the weather forecast before heading out to ensure conditions are safe for paddle boarding. Finally, know your limits and do not push yourself too hard. Paddleboarding can be a great workout, but taking breaks and resting when needed is essential.

Having the right gear and following essential safety tips can ensure a safe and enjoyable paddle-boarding experience in Kealakekua Bay, Kona. Always wear a life vest, and know your surroundings.

Planning Your SUP Adventure

Crystal clear waters of Kealakekua Bay, Kona. A SUP board rests on the shore, ready for adventure. Palm trees sway in the gentle breeze

If you’re planning a trip to Kealakekua Bay in Kona, Hawaii, and are interested in stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), you’re in for a treat! Paddleboarding is a fun and exciting way to explore the beautiful waters of the bay and get some exercise simultaneously. In this section, I’ll provide tips on planning your SUP adventure, including the best time of year to paddleboard and what to bring on your trip.

Best Time of Year to Paddle Board

The best time of year to paddleboard in Kealakekua Bay is during the summer months, from May to September. During this time, the water is warmer and calmer, making paddling more accessible and enjoyable for novices. However, if you’re an experienced paddler, you may enjoy the challenge of paddling during the winter months, from December to March, when the waves are more prominent and the water is more relaxed.

What to Bring on Your Trip

When planning your SUP adventure, bringing the right gear is essential. Here’s a list of items you should consider bringing:

  • Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays before you hit the water.
  • Water: Stay hydrated by bringing plenty of water with you.
  • Snacks: Pack snacks to keep your energy levels up during your paddle.
  • Hat: Wear a hat to protect your face and head from the sun.
  • Sunglasses: Bring sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s glare on the water.
  • Swimsuit: Wear a swimsuit or other water-friendly clothing.
  • Towel: Bring a towel to dry off after your paddle.
  • Waterproof bag: Use a waterproof bag to keep your belongings dry while on the water.

With these tips, you can plan your SUP adventure in Kealakekua Bay!

SUP Culture and Community in Kona

A group of people paddleboarding in Kealakekua Bay, Kona, with clear blue waters and lush green mountains in the background

As a regular stand-up paddleboarder in Kona, I can attest to the area’s thriving SUP culture and community. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, something happening in Kona will always pique your interest.

Local SUP Events and Races

Kona Boys is one of the area’s most well-known paddle board companies, and they host several events throughout the year. One of the most popular events is the Kona SUP Cup, which is a race that takes place in Kealakekua Bay. This event attracts paddlers from all over the world and is an excellent opportunity to test your skills against some of the best in the business.

Another popular event is the Kona Brewers Festival SUP Race, which takes place in Kailua Kona. This 5k paddleboard race starts and finishes at Kamakahonu Beach. The race is followed by the Kona Brewers Festival, which is an excellent opportunity to sample some of the best craft beers in the area.

Joining a Paddle Boarding Group

If you’re looking to join a paddleboarding group in Kona, plenty of options are available. Kona SUP Yoga is a popular group that offers yoga classes on paddleboards. This is a great way to improve your balance and flexibility while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Kona.

Another option is the Kona SUP Club, a group of paddlers who meet regularly to explore the waters of Kona. This group is open to paddlers of all skill levels and is a great way to meet new people and improve your paddling skills.

Overall, the SUP culture and community in Kona is vibrant and welcoming. Whether you’re looking to compete in a race or join a group for a leisurely paddle, there’s something for everyone in Kona.

Purchasing Your Own SUP Board

A person stands on a sandy beach at Kealakekua Bay, Kona, holding a newly purchased SUP board, with the calm, turquoise waters in the background

If you have fallen in love with stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) at Kealakekua Bay and are ready to purchase your board, consider a few factors before deciding. In this section, I will guide you on what to look for when buying a SUP board and highlight some local shops and brands to check out.

Factors to Consider When Buying a SUP

  1. Experience Level: Your experience level should be the first consideration when buying a SUP board. If you are a beginner, you may want to consider a broader and more stable board. However, if you are an experienced rider, you may want a narrower board for more speed and maneuverability.
  2. Board Size: The board’s size is another essential factor when buying a SUP board. The board’s length, width, and thickness should be proportional to your weight and experience level.
  3. Board Type: There are different SUP boards, including all-around, touring, racing, and surfing. Consider what you will be using the board for before making a purchase.
  4. Brand and Quality: The brand and quality of the board are also essential factors to consider. Look for reputable brands like NSP, C4 Waterman, Jimmy Lewis, and Pearson Arrow that offer high-quality boards.
  5. New vs. Used: Finally, consider whether you want to buy a new or used board. While a new board may be more expensive, it may come with warranties and guarantees. On the other hand, a used board may be more affordable but may have some wear and tear.

Local Shops and Brands

If you are looking for local shops and brands to purchase a SUP board, here are a few options to consider:

  1. Kona Surf Co: Kona Surf Co offers a variety of SUP boards, including all-around, touring, and racing boards. They also have a selection of used boards for sale.
  2. Kona Sports: Kona Sports is another local shop that offers a variety of SUP boards, including rigid and inflatable boards.
  3. Big Island Board Co: Big Island Board Co is a Hawaii-based brand that offers a variety of SUP boards, including all-around and touring boards, as well as custom boards.

In conclusion, purchasing a SUP board requires careful consideration of various factors, including your experience level, board size, type, brand and quality, and whether to buy new or used. By considering these factors and checking out local shops and brands, you can find the perfect SUP board to continue your Kealakekua Bay adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the rental rates for SUP boards in Kealakekua Bay?

The rental rates for SUP boards in Kealakekua Bay vary depending on the rental company and the rental duration. For example, Ehu & Kai offers SUP board rentals for $65 per board for up to 5 hours. Kona Boys offers hourly rentals starting at $25 per hour, with daily rates are also available.

Are there any recommended places for stand-up paddle boarding in Kona?

Kealakekua Bay is a popular spot for stand-up paddle boarding in Kona due to its calm waters and beautiful scenery. Other recommended spots include Kailua Bay, Kahalu’u Beach Park, and Honaunau Bay.

Can you rent kayaks at Kealakekua Bay?

Yes, kayaks can be rented at Kealakekua Bay. Ehu & Kai offers kayak rentals as well as SUP board rentals.

Is it possible to paddle board at Hapuna Beach?

While Hapuna Beach is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing, paddle boarding is not recommended due to its rough waters and strong currents.

How does the cost of paddle boarding in Hawaii compare to other locations?

The cost of paddle boarding in Hawaii can be higher than in other locations due to the activity’s popularity and the cost of living there. However, prices can vary depending on the rental company and location.

What do reviews say about SUP boarding experiences in Kealakekua Bay?

Reviews of SUP boarding experiences in Kealakekua Bay are generally positive, with many reviewers praising the calm waters and beautiful scenery. However, it is essential to note that conditions can vary depending on the weather and time of day.

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Tom Leithner
Hi, I'm Tom Leithner, a SUP Paddle Board expert and enthusiast. With years of experience and a passion for all things SUP, I'm excited to share my knowledge and tips on the website https://supboardgear.com/. As a dedicated paddler, I have had the privilege of receiving several prizes and rewards for my expertise in the field. My journey with SUP began with a deep appreciation for the serene beauty of the water and the sense of freedom it provides. Over the years, I have honed my skills and explored various SUP techniques and gear, allowing me to offer valuable insights and advice to fellow enthusiasts. Through this website, I aim to provide comprehensive guidance on choosing the right SUP board, essential gear, and techniques to optimize your paddleboarding experience. Whether you're a beginner looking to get started or a seasoned paddler seeking new challenges, my goal is to equip you with the knowledge and resources you need to make the most of your SUP adventures. I believe in the power of sharing experiences and fostering a strong SUP community. Join me on this exciting journey as we dive into the world of SUP and discover new destinations, techniques, and gear together. Let's make every paddleboarding experience unforgettable. Stay tuned for regular updates and fresh content, as I continue to explore, learn, and share my passion for SUP on https://supboardgear.com/. Together, let's make waves and elevate our paddleboarding adventures to new heights.