From beach bum to beach babe: Hawaii’s best beach sports
Have you ever spent a whole day lounging on the beach without once getting into the water? Although evening out those tan lines is important, there is always something to be said for getting active! As a plus, you look great barefoot on the sand with a surfboard in hand and that beach hair you try so hard to re-create at home.
Hawaii is filled with beach boys and girls who live and breathe ocean fun. We know watching expert athletes can be intimidating for those who don’t have the opportunity to practice, but there are many activities in Hawaii that you can enjoy even if you have never tried them before. After all, there is a first time for everything…
Here are some of the best beach sports to try out in Hawaii:
It would be a shame to visit Hawaii and not at least try to pick up a surfboard if you have the chance. Surfing is an ancient Hawaiian tradition with deep roots in Hawaiian legend and culture. As the birthplace of big wave surfing, it attracts flocks of experienced riders to extreme surf breaks such as Peahi (aka Jaws) and the world-famous Banzai Pipeline.
If you’re a first time rider, try the Waikiki Beach Boys Surf school, offering lessons from the newest generation of the legendary surf instructors. There are many other great beaches and surf schools for beginners in areas such as Kihei, where the waves are gentler and the waters shallower.
As one of Hawaii’s top sports, windsurfing is offered at many beaches throughout the islands. Combining elements of surfing and sailing, this sport lets you perform jumps and spins that just aren’t possible in other water sports. Pro windsurfers flock to Hookipa Beach to showcase their incredible aerial maneuvers. Nicknamed “the Aspen of Windsurfing,” make sure to stop by this windsurfer’s haven and observe the pros in action. To try it yourself, equipment can be rented for two hours at a time and Kailua Beach Park is a popular area for first time lessons. Although no experience is necessary, you will need to know how to swim.
A whole underwater world lies underneath Hawaii’s beautiful sparkling waters. Home to miles of coral reef, Hawaii is the perfect space to put on a mask and discover a rare, vibrant ecosystem. It’s also a great activity to get you up out of bed, as the cute little sea critters are much more awake in the mornings! Bring a buddy or join an excursion and get started spotting green sea turtles, manta rays and over 250 species of reef fish. Try the Molokini Crater, three miles off the coast of Maui, or the Haunama Bay Nature Preserve, where colorful coral and a diversity of marine life attract snorkelers from all over the islands.
Hobie Cat Sailing
If you long to feel the ocean breeze whipping through your hair, sailing takes lots of preparation and years of hard work to master. However, there is an alternative for those who want a taste of sailing without the hassle. Hobie Cats are small sailboats with a single sail, and after only a single lesson, you’ll be ready to sail off into the Hawaiian sunset. Conceived to be easily launched into the surf from the beach, their innovative design makes them delightfully easy to use. With fleets and regattas around the world, Hobie Cats have got many people hooked.
If you watched any of the Olympics, you may have noticed that beach volleyball players have some of the greatest bods. Not only is volleyball a great workout, it lets you feel the warm sand under your feet and is a great opportunity to meet new people. In Hawaii, this sport is as mainstream as football or basketball in the rest of the country. Maui is one of the first places volleyball was played as a sport in 1915 when the Outrigger Beach and Canoe Club set up a court on Waikiki Beach. Join a team and get a rally going—it will bring out your team spirit and your feisty competitive side.
So there you have it. No more excuses – Hawaii is a haven for beach sports with so many resources to get you started. When renting, keep in mind that villas in Maui often come with beach equipment, from snorkeling gear to boogie boards, and some even feature their own volleyball nets! Now pick up that surf board and get your hair wet… gone is the lazy beach bum of your last vacation!