Windsurfing and Kiteboarding
From the technological advances of windsurfing, paragliding and wakeboarding has come a hot, new watersport called kiteboarding. This is an extreme sport that takes wind, guts, the right equipment and a lot of practice. Maha'ulepu, the last undevelopedshoreline on Kauai's southern coast in Po’ipu, is much more than an exquisite beach and favorite windsurfing spot. Kiteboarders are often seen at Fuji (Baby) Beach in Kapa`a, at Wailua Beach and at Hanalei Bay on the North Shore. Lessons and equipment are available at schools throughout the island.
You can paddle a kayak in the ocean at places all over Hawaii, and on Kauai you can also kayak a river. Even more than that, you can paddle the path of the ancients. Paddling a kayak up the Wailua River is more than a pleasant diversion.
The easy 4-mile paddle and 2-mile hike to Uluwehi, or Secret Falls, is a popular trip that is available year-round. Paddlers can rent kayaks and navigate on their own or sign up for a guided tour.
For some waters ports enthusiasts, Kauai's Na Pali coast is considered the Everest of sea kayaking. The 17-mile voyage passes soaring cliffs, valleys ripe with guava and mangos, sea caves and waterfalls. When giant winter waves make kayaking the Na Pali Coast treacherous, most tour providers take their tours to the South Shore where the waters are calmer.
It's so quiet and peaceful up here you almost forget you're being towed by a boat and floating somewhere between 300 and 800 feet above the ocean. You can see for miles and miles, yet you aren't so far away that you can't distinguish details. Was that a pod of spinner dolphins just below?
Parasailing above the sun-drenched blue Pacific Ocean, the shoreline passing below you, clouds drifting above you, is a great experience. Parasailers put it this way: "If you want the thrill of skydiving with longer hang time, this ride is for you."
The hi-tech winch boats provide dry takeoffs and landings. Most operators use harnesses (rather than chairs). A harness is comfortable, flexible, and allows for a better view as well. The ride is designed for just about everyone and most operators can take two people up at the same time.
After a certain amount of time you may be "dropped" in a maneuver that resembles a parachute descent. Here's your chance to dip your toes in the ocean before the line is winched up and you rise up again.
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