Oahu --- Kayaking Advice


Planning a trip to Oahu; would like to have any opinions from Hawaii residents or travellers as to good places to paddle, good outfitters/ Have heard there are some islands off Lanikai Beach, but don’t know how far offshore they are, etc. Likely will rent a tandem. Will be staying in Ko Olina area leeward side of island, but have car, will travel. North shore very windy, so won’t be going on the Banzai, thank you.

“Paddling Hawai’i” book
I suggest you read “Paddling Hawai’i” by Audrey Sutherland.

is the PNet Hawaiian guy. I remember him mentioning some rental places on those Islands.


Check out

– Last Updated: Nov-07-05 8:43 AM EST –

the sit on top forum: http://www.sit-on-topkayaking.com/index.html

Another source is http://www.gobananaskayaks.com/ they are in Honolulu and have a couple of locations that rent kayaks. What you are going to find are SOT's not many (or any) sinks.

Mokulua Islands
The trip you are referring to is the paddle to the Mokulua Islands about ¼ mile off Lanikai beach, Windward Oahu. This is a year round ocean flatwater trip. It is a self-guided trip, which leaves from Kailua Beach. Kayaks can be rented in the beach parking lot; they are exclusively Ocean Kayak Scrambler 2s. It is a ½ day trip, very nice, novice trip. Kayaks can also be rented at Twogood Kayaks in Kailua or Go Bananas kayaks in Honolulu. Advantage of Twogood or Go Bananas is that they have a larger choice of kayaks and you can rent a kayak for the week.

I assume you are going in the winter, which is surfing season. In the winter flatwater paddling is limited to south and east shores. However, it is possible to try surfing at Makaha (Leeward Oahu) or Mokuleia (North Shore).

For most paddling purposes, summer is the better time to go to Hawaii, because the surf is down. Best trips on Islands are Kealakekua Bay on Big Island (Kona Coast, East Shore), which is a year round trip; and Na Pali Coast on Kauai (North Shore), strictly a summer trip. Both are guided, day trips.

Pretty much what they said above
You can get beach (or near-beach) rentals in a number of places, including Kailua Beach for a paddle out to the Mokes. Wind on that side is generally on-shore, but be aware that there are occasionally strong Kona (S or SW) winds in the winter that would be offshore there. You can also paddle out around where you’ll be staying. Just be aware of the surf if swell is up. E-mail me if you have specific questions, etc. What’s fun depends a lot on your experience and what you want to do.

Thanks you all for the tips…
…each very valuable. I will look for the paddling guide, the Mokes, stay out of the surf, etc. Great advice. I will print out this thread and toss in my suitcase.

When we stay at JW Marriott, Ko Olina, does anyone know if kayak rentals right there or nearby. I would rent for a week from, say Go Bananas on Waikiki Beach, but with rental car don’t know how I could get it around the island, unless I rent a whitewater yak stubby and just play in waves and try to throw it in the trunk. If there was a yakking rental place right by Ko Olina, I could rent for a week but keep it at the place and just drive there every morning and paddle: work something out with owner. But I understand Ko Olina, where we are staying for a week, is really not close to congested Honolulu (beach), and I would not relish driving through that traffic to get the boat each AM (in fact, trying to stay away from that beach). Ideas? Thank you.

Ko Olina
The Go Bananas Aiea location is pretty close to Ko Olina. You could also paddle at Barber’s Point Beach Park. Ask the Go Bananas people about that. Kayak rental places put foam blocks on the top of the cars so you can transport them. You could always try to rent a SUV with a roof rack, too.

Ko Olina is very swank but not close to anywhere being on the Leeward side. The football teams all stay there because it is close to Aloha Stadium. It is also good for outdoor weddings since it is on the Leeward side and there little wind or rain. You could go to Kaena Point and hike. Do not try to drive there.


Link to my hawaii photos. You can see the car of someone who attempted to drive to Kaena Point.

Call Go Bananas
Call the Kapahulu store and ask John Enomoto, the manager there, the question you’re asking here. I’m guessing he might have some thoughts. You might also call the Marriott and ask if they have a place where you could lock a kayak to a fence, or maybe if their garage clearance is high enough to leave the kayak locked on top of the vehicle. You’d need rack bars to lock to for that, though.