Surf the Wind

By Hawaii.com Team

kailua

Kailua Beach. Photo: Napua N. Heen / Hawaii.com.


Windsurfing, the inventive marriage of sailing and surfing, has found the perfect honeymoon spot in Hawaii. This island state is a Mecca for windsurfing enthusiasts and Oahu, boasting some world-class sailing spots, is a good place to learn the sport.

Try Kailua Bay on Oahu’s Windward side. Most of the bay’s floor is covered with sand and the few coral heads and reefs are easy to spot. Winds are onshore 90 percent of the time, which helps the novice avoid being carried out to sea. Lessons typically include time onshore with a simulator, and time on the water with an instructor close at hand. Several Kailua companies rent equipment and offer single and group lessons.

Diamond Head, one of the most popular windsurfing spots on the island, is recommended for intermediate to advanced sailors.

Please take note of the customary right of way between sailors. The first sailor to reach a swell owns the wave. If two sailors catch a wave together, the upwind sailor owns it. Always watch out for surfers. They have the ultimate right of way. As with any other water sport in Hawaii, take your time and check out conditions. Ask the locals for the scoop.

Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding is a relatively new and rapidly growing water sport. Like windsurfing, it’s an extreme sport that requires wind, guts, the right equipment and a lot of practice.

Here’s how it works: The kiteboarder, standing on a kiteboard, which looks like a small surfboard or wakeboard with straps, is pulled across the water and into the air by a large inflatable kite. On a kiteboard, it’s possible to take a flying leap off flat water and soar 40 feet in the air. That’s the extreme side of the sport.

Sounds simple enough, but it’ll take a little practice to coordinate the moves. Some kiteboarding instructors say a three-day class will do it. And once you get on to it, you’ll know why kiteboarding, which was popularized by Hawaii’s Robbie Naish, is one of the fastest growing watersports in the world.

You’ll need some equipment —a kite, board and control bars — as well as some lessons. Both are available at Kailua Bay.

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