Super popular in Hawaii, kayaking is a great way to get out and explore the ocean. There are several wonderful locations for paddling on Oahu, but Kailua and Lanikai are the most popular. With the Mokulua Islands nearby to explore, Kailua Bay welcomes you to an adventure that’s not to be missed. An offshore reef keeps the larger waves ‘at bay,’ so even the novice can feel comfortable while skimming along on the turquoise blue waters.

Ocean kayaks are usually made of brightly colored polyethylene, and are very stable. Kayaking is a little different from canoeing because of where the paddler sits and by having two blades on the paddle instead of one. Kayak designs can accommodate a wide range of usage. They come in many lengths, with shorter boats being more maneuverable, and longer boats, used by the more expert paddlers, usually travel straighter and faster.

Several kayak rental companies can help you find just the right type of boat and place to explore. Adventuring alone? There are single-seat kayaks available. Spending the day with your family? Rent several double-seater ocean kayaks (some even have backrests!) and everyone can help out with the paddling. Definitely get someone to take your picture sitting in your colorful boat, lifejacket on! Ready? Get paddling!

Three small, uninhabited islands in Kailua Bay are easily reachable in a short time, even by a beginner. On your way there, chances are really good that you’ll be thrilled by the sight of one of the large endangered sea turtles that populate the warm waters. They’re huge! And green! And wonderful! They’ll pop their heads out of the water to check you out on your way by.

At your destination, you can park your boat and enjoying sunning yourself in a secluded spot, or swim or snorkel along the shore. There are coral reefs nearby inhabited by many varieties of colorful tropical fish. Imagine your excitement at seeing these beauties in their natural habitat! One of the islands is a bird sanctuary, where you can see some wedge-tailed shearwaters and many other species.

A little afraid of the ocean? Its vastness and power definitely takes some getting used to. If you don’t feel comfortable venturing out on your own, guided kayak tours are the ticket. Your knowledgeable guide will point out highlights along the way—an occasional dolphin sighting, schools of fish passing by, the view of the majestic Koolau Mountains—as well as affording you the security of knowing you are in good hands.

Kailua is definitely not the only place to kayak. Other popular paddling spots around Oahu are Kaneohe Bay, Kualoa Beach Park, Maunalua Bay, and Waimanalo Beach Park. Pick any one! Find your own favorite!

Leave the hustle and bustle of your everyday life behind and paddle away your stress. The natural rhythms of paddling, gentle waves, and soft breezes will relax you and re-energize your soul. You’ll return to shore in a much better frame of mind!

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