Paddleboarding, also known as SUP (stand up paddle) is a fantastic ocean activity and a fun way to explore Maui. View marine life from the standup position allows for a clearer view below the surface that you would get from a kayak. Paddleboarding is also much easier to learn and less physically exerting than surfing, in fact it can be considered a very relaxing vacation activity. Renting the right board, learning the basics of how to paddle board and where to paddle on Maui will help you to prepare for a great day on the water.
What size paddle board to rent
The length of your paddle board depends on your body weight and sometimes height. It can also depend on the kind of paddleboarding you want to do.
Following are the average length of paddle boards according to your weight:
50 – 125 lbs – 9’ to 10’6 or 11’6
125-150 lbs – 10’6 to 11’6
150 – 175 lbs – 10’6 to 11’6 or 12’6
175 – 200 lbs – 11’6 to 12’6
200 – 225 lbs – 11’6 to 12’6 or more than 12’6
225 – 275 lbs – more than 12’6
Keep in mind that the paddle board you choose should be able to carry your weight. If your paddle board is unable to maintain your weight, it will ride too low in the water and be unstable. Worst case scenario, the paddle board sinks but you’ll know right away.
How to paddle board, the basics
Double-check that your board and paddle are facing the correct direction
Many beginners do not realize which end is the board’s front. Also, make sure you place the paddle blade forward and bend behind you.
Don’t be afraid to fall and when you do, fall correctly
While learning how to SUP, chances are high that you’re going to fall into the water. You’ll probably want to take a dip on purpose, too. No matter how you make it in, it’s all part of the fun! Make sure the water you choose to learn to paddle board in is at least shoulder deep and does not have any obstacles, such as rocks and coral heads so you do not hit anything underwater when you fall. When you fall, aim to fall away from the board to keep you from hurting yourself with it.
Look at the horizon
Feeling unstable while paddle boarding is quite normal. Many people tend to look down at the board to stabilize themselves and look for marine life. Instead of looking down, look towards the horizon, raise your head, straighten your back and make sure your weight is evenly distributed on the board. You’ll likely find you’re able to maintain your balance if you watch the horizon.
If the wind picks up
When offshore winds are blowing (from the land out to the open sea), you must paddle against the wind to return to shore. Even if you are a regular athlete, this can be extremely tough, and you can wear yourself out simply maintaining your position. If you are out when it’s windy, and you’re having trouble getting back, go down on your knees and keep paddling. This will cut the amount of wind controlling your body by half, and should help a little.
If you are paddling parallel to shore, and you suddenly find that each stroke moves you forward much farther than it did before, you are being carried by a current. It will be more difficult and take more energy to go back the way you came, because you’ll be fighting that current. To save energy, point your SUP toward shore and paddle until you are out of the current.
Where to paddle board on Maui
Whether you are an experienced stand-up paddle boarder or a beginner just looking to try out paddleboarding in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Maui is the place to be. A few considerations on paddle board locations:
1. Look for a location with easy beach access so you wont need to carry the board too far
2. Check swell conditions to avoid areas with larger waves crashing into the beach or ask at the paddle board rental shop
3. Plan to get out on the water early in the morning before the wind picks up
You can paddle board just about anywhere on Maui, as long as the conditions are appropriate. The best areas for calm water paddleboarding as well as viewing marine life include:
· Kapalua Bay
· Napili Bay
· Ka’anapali Beach
· Kamaole Beach Park in Kihei
· Wailea Beach
If you’re looking for more of a challenge and would like to learn to surf on a paddle board, here are some good locations with fairly consistent, small waves to try it out:
· Launiupoko Beach Park near Lahaina (wear reef booties)
· Cove Beach Park in Kihei
- Stay close to shore and out of surf zones
- Check weather conditions before you go
- Pay attention while paddling so your board (and the fins that act as rudders beneath it) do not run into or across any coral. Not only would that damage the reef, but the jolt can cause you to lose your balance.
- Aim to paddle above the light-colored sand channels that weave around and among the reefs. It is easy to distinguish the safe zone from the non, since coral looks dark brown from above.
- Secure your sunglasses with a strap so they don’t get lost
- Wear the leash on your ankle so if you do fall, you’ll stay close to your paddle board
- Use the buddy system! Always paddle board with a friend
Where to rent a paddle board on Maui
Boss Frog provides paddle board rentals to help you experience the mesmerizing marine life in Hawaii and explore the beautiful coastline. We carry different sizes of paddle boards to fit any explorer! Our boards are wonderful if you want to cruise along and experience the shallow coral reefs.
So, what are you waiting for? If you want to relax and have fun and make your trip to Hawaii memorable, visit any of Boss Frog’s 10 locations on Maui and get paddling right away!