Paddling in the Hawaii Kai Marina is tons of fun and a great way to explore the area on water. The Hawaii Kai Paddle can begin in several places, however we started at Maunalua Bay because of the ample space for pumping up boards. We then made our way over to the neighborhood canals, took a quick stop at Island Brew Coffee House, went back out under the bridge that leads to the ocean and looped back around to the bay entrance. I used to live right on the water in Hawaii Kai, and paddling here was such a joy due to the calm conditions, easy access to cute eateries and coffee stops right off the bay, and ocean access at any time of day. Being that the Hawaii Kai Marina is in a protected basin, this is definitely a beginner paddle.
|Best time:||Low Tide|
Hawaii Kai is nestled right off Kalanianaole coming from both directions. It is extremely easy to find and because of the flexibility with entrances to the marina, you can park almost anywhere. To get to the bay where we began, follow the instructions below.
If you’re coming from Honolulu/Waikiki, take the H1 until it turns into Kalanianaole. Keep driving past Kahala, Aina Haina and Niu Valley. The Maunalua Bay parking lot will be on your right. Take a right turn and park where you like.
If you’re coming from Kailua, Waimanalo and beyond, get on Kalanianaole and go past Hanauma Bay. Once you get over the hill, you’ll land in Hawaii Kai.
Address for GPS: 6441-6515 HI-72 Honolulu, HI 96825
Parking in Maunalua Bay is totally free. There are plenty of people on SUPs, paddling in outrigger canoes, going on Jetskis, fishing and windsurfing. It’s a popular spot for getting out on the water
There are public restrooms at Maunalua Bay Beach Park. They’re located across the parking lot toward Hanauma Bay.
- A leash is always a good idea even if you’re doing a beginner paddle
- A life jacket or PFD is optional but not required
Cautions & Hazards
In order to cross under the first bridge, this paddle needs to be done during LOW TIDE. Even at low tide, you have to sometimes get down on your belly to fit underneath some of the bridges in the marina.
The Hawaii Kai Marina is one of the least hazardous paddles out there. Not much to worry about except for the occasional small boat or canoe.
The reef is exposed during low tide in Maunalua Bay, but is very simple to get around should you need to avoid it.
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