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Surfing Kauai

Surfing, boogie boarding and windsurfing are popular water sports on Kauai. Boogie board rentals are available at many beach side activity stands in Poipu as well as water sports outfitters around the island. For seasoned surfers and windsurfers, it is recommended you bring your board via inter island airlines, well-padded and wrapped. There is a fee for transporting equipment.

Windsurfing and surfing instruction is available through private individuals and companies both on the north shore at Anini Beach and in the Poipu area where boards may also be rented. Get started: Kauai Surfing, Kauai Wind Surfing.

Key spots for surfing include Polihale (experts only) Major's Bay at Barking Sands, Davidsons at Kekaha, Pakalas, Poipu Beach, Lawai Beach (also called P.K.s and Acid Drop), Shipwrecks, Nawiliwili Harbor, Hanalei Bay, Tunnels and Cannons. Check with local lifeguards and surfers for a report on conditions and be aware of dangerous currents, increasing swell and ript currents.

Windsurfing spots include Salt Pond, Mahaulepu, Anini Beach, Hanalei Bay and Y-Camps (YMCA at Haena). For local wind and surf conditions call 245-3564 or 245-6001.

Better Safe Than Sorry: Some Water Safety Tips

The waters around Kauai have an undeniable allure, however, everyone who plays in and around the ocean and rivers needs to realize that there are dangers, some obvious, others not so obvious. So along with slathering on your sunscreen, pay attention to and follow these tips for a trouble-free time on the beach.

  • Never swim alone. Always stay with children: flotation devices do not substitute for real swimming ability.
  • Check for and obey warning signs posted before you enter the water.
  • Check with lifeguard (there are only a few on Kauai) on beach and surf conditions. If there are no lifeguards around, ask any residents in the area about rip currents, Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish, or other dangers.
  • Locate the lifeguard station, emergency phone or rescue surfboard when you arrive at a beach.
  • Don't swim in shorebreaks
  • Don't dive into water of unknown depth or into shallow breaking surf.
  • Never turn your back on the ocean until you're well above high tide line.
  • Be careful at beaches with high surf. Riptides are most common in these conditions. If caught in one, don't fight the current. Wait until it subsides, then swim to shore. Don't panic and exhaust yourself by fighting it.
  • Check with the National Weather Service for surf advisories. 808-245-3564.
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