Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Hawaii


With miles and miles of beautiful coastline and year-round swells of picturesque surf, it’s no surprise that the sport of surfing originated in Hawaii. Lately, a new variation called stand up paddle boarding has been growing in popularity. Known also as SUP or stand up paddle surfing, you’ll often see entire families out with stand up boards in the waters around the islands.

If you pick a calm location, you may even be able to see down into the water and the marine life below, similar to what you’d get to see on a kayak tour. Thrill seekers will instead search out the larger waves and actually surf them, using the paddle for control and an extra push. If you’re confident in your own ability, you may also look into SUP board rentals, either by the hour, day, or week. Stand up paddle is a great core workout, and good for all skill levels. For the best conditions, try to schedule your lesson as early in the day as possible as winds generally pick up as the day goes on.

If you’re looking to try Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Hawaii, here are a few companies offering tours, rentals or lessons:

Stand Up Paddle Lessons on Oahu

Hawaiian Watersports (Kailua or Waikiki/Diamond Head) – Offering board rentals or SUP lessons, as well as sales of new and used boards.
Wet Feet (Waikiki or Hawaii Kai) – This shop specializes in all things SUP and offers lessons for all levels, including eco-tours and advanced classes.
Blue Planet Surf (Kapahulu) – Sales and rentals of SUP and surf gear. They also conduct free monthly SUP clinics.
Surf and Sea (Haleiwa) – Offering intro lessons, stand up paddle surfing, and SUP workouts near the Anahulu River on the North Shore.
Waikiki Beach Services (Waikiki) – For lessons and/or board rentals right on Waikiki Beach.

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Stand Up Paddle Lessons on Maui

Royal Hawaiian Surf Academy (Lahaina) – Offers private, semi-private and group SUP lessons in Lahaina.
Girls Gone Surfing (Lahaina) – Two hour beginner or intermediate surf or SUP lessons, 5 hour day camps, or even surf/yoga retreats, taught by surfer girls in Lahaina.
Action Sports Maui (Kihei) – Private, semi-private and group SUP lessons for beginner through advanced levels held at Kalama Park in Kihei.
Maria Souza Stand Up Paddle Boarding School (Lahaina)– Individual lessons, distance technique, and family camps available.
Maui Surfer Girls (Lahaina) – Individual or Group Lessons, surf camps, and honeymoon packages are offered at Ukemehame Valley and 1,000 peaks surf break.
Hi Tech Maui (Kahului) – This company comes highly recommended for great customer service with board rentals and sales, but doesn’t do lessons.

Stand Up Paddle Lessons on Kauai

Kauai’s North Shore Surfing Lessons (Hanalei) – Private, semi-private or group SUP lessons or combo packages held daily in Hanalei.
Kayak Kauai (Hanalei) – SUP lessons, SUP/Kayak combos, and rentals in the Hanalei River on Kauai’s North Shore.
Hawaiian Surfing Adventures (Hanalei) – Lessons begin in Hanalei River but can include up to 2 hours of practice after your lesson.

Stand Up Paddle Lessons on the Big Island

Kona Boys (Kona or Kealakekua) – This great company offers lessons and rentals from two locations. At the “beach shack” in Kamakahonu Bay in Kailua-Kona or at Kealakekua Bay.
Hulakai (locations vary) – Offering lessons and rentals at various spots, depending on conditions.

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>> Read about other Things to Do in Hawaii.