At the Ali’i Adventure Shack we offer multiple varieties of kona paddle board tours. We want your experience to be the one that YOU want and we will work to make that happen whether you are traveling alone, with your new spouse, your family, or your extended family. At Ali’i Adventures we will make it happen for you. We rent paddle boards for all sizes and abilities.
Did you know that “Kona” means leeward, or dry side, of the island? That means that any paddling you do on the leeward side of the island is a Kona Paddle Board tour! Today we are going to talk about a few of the areas we can reach from our departure point at the Kailua Pier. Our location at the corner where Palani turns into Ali’i Drive gives us the ability to assist you across the street to the water with your gear. Please do not forget to rent your dry bag and to get your Reef Safe sunscreen and after sun lotion. Big Island sun can be unforgiving if you do not prepare yourself. We don’t want your kona paddle board tour to be the only tour we can help you with on your adventure to the Big Island. We do ask that you use only Reef Safe sunscreens for the health of the reef and ecosystem so we can pass this beauty on to the keiki.
The first stop on this kona paddle board tour will be Pawai. This is an area just a bit over a mile north of Kailua Bay and the departure point. Pawai has multiple areas to paddle depending on conditions. It can be hazardous at times due to wind but if it gets too windy just turn around and head back towards the pier! Pawai is an amazing area to snorkel so we recommend you strap a mask and snorkel to the paddleboard. With that done you will be ready to have a kona paddleboard tour and a kona snorkel tour all at once. On the way to Pawai you will pass the Old Airport Recreational area. This may be an area you want to revisit after the kona paddleboard tour. At Ali’i Adventure Shack we can set your whole family up with coolers, chairs and umbrellas for your day at the beach. Ok, back to paddling. Along the coast you may see an abundance of reef fish throughout the trip. One of my favorites is the Parrotfish. Parrotfish come in multiple colors ranging from bright green, blue and yellow to purple white and black. Parrotfish are also essential to the reef. You will see them constantly nibbling on the coral during any kona snorkel tour. They are eating and ridding the coral reef of the dead and dying pieces of coral. Did you know that without Parrotfish you would not have nice white sand in Hawaii? A large parrotfish can churn out (poop) up to 840 pounds of eroded coral, better known as white sand, per year. Parrotfish “sand” can account for as much as 85 percent of white sand in Hawaii!!! During your paddling in this area make sure to look for green sea turtles and even a kona coastal manta ray. There is a lot of aquatic life that transits this area every day.
From here the next area to explore on your kona paddle board rental tour is Kailua Bay itself. This area is great for the beginner, especially in the mornings. Calm waters along the north side of the bay offer an easy way to get comfortable with your balance on the board. From the side of the pier, or Kamakahonu Beach, head out towards the middle of the bay and look for the Hawaiian spinner dolphins. Did you know that the Hawaiian spinner dolphin is actually sleeping for most of the day? They literally turn off one half of their brain and swim and recover while sleeping so they will be ready to hunt and feed throughout the night. The mother dolphin actually has to nudge the baby to the surface to remember to breathe! When you see a few dolphins lazily swimming along the surface, remember that there are usually three more underwater for every one you see at the surface. A few tips to maximize your kona paddle board tour with dolphins: 1) Make sure you have the paddle secure and that you don’t touch a dolphin with it, or that the paddle cannot float away if you choose to swim. 2) Make sure your board leash is secure to your ankle and slide into the water as gently as possible if you want to swim with the dolphins. Remember they are sleeping and if you startle them they will just swim away. Do not let the paddle board float away without the leash secure to your ankle. 3) Do not chase the dolphins – again, they will just swim away. Often times if you can get in the water near them they will become curious and swim towards and around you. 4) Stay calm and relatively quiet when swimming or floating. As with all aquatic life interactions, let the animals come to you and initiate the “close” encounter. We cannot touch them, or go to near to them but if they come to us, and they often will if you are calm and relaxed, that is alright. Remember, you can always kneel on your board, or even lay down on top of it and stick you head in the water.
After a nice encounter with the dolphins in Kailua Bay it will probably be time to head in and get something to snack on. You can all bring the gear back to Ali’i Adventures Shack or send one of the group to us and we can assist you with any gear. At that point it may be time for lunch, time for pupus and cocktails. We would be happy to point you to our favorites spots to help you relax.