Kayaking is a great ocean sports adventure enjoyable for many ages, from the novice to the most experienced water sports enthusiast. Just off the shores on Kailua beach you will find two kayaking destinations, Flat Island (Popoi’a), and the Mokulua Islands.  All three islands in the area are bird sanctuaries intended to protect the long-winged shearwater bird, who make their nests on the ground and are easily trampled by guests to the island. Kailua bay is also home for the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and a variety of small reef fish, making it the perfect place for snorkeling and swimming.

Flat Island is the shortest paddle of the three islands, about 700 meters off the beach and is at least 15 minutes by kayak.  The Mokulua Islands, located straight off Lanikai beach, are roughly one mile off shore and would take an average kayaker about 45 minutes from Kailua Beach Park. While most days are ideal, it is important to keep in mind that Mother Nature decides what activities are fun and safe each day.  One can usually find calm and smooth waters surrounding the Mokulua islands, but it’s always good to check the conditions ahead of time to ensure that it’s a day everyone can enjoy.  

Tips from our local water sports experts:

Ocean safety must always be your priority, here are some simple but important guidelines to ensure your kayaking experience fun and relaxing. 

  1. Stay together: Always stay with your group and keep close enough so that you can assist others or be assisted as needed.
  2. Assist one and other: Getting into an unstable kayak at the waters edge requires a little finesse, one person should sit at a time, while the other does their best to stable the kayak.
  3. Seating Arrangements: The bigger (or more experienced) paddler should sit in the back of the kayak, while the smaller person sits in the front.
  4. Paddling: The person in the front of the kayak sets the pace of the paddling while the person back follows along, paddling to the same side at the same side, for maximum efficiency.
  5. Turning: The kayaker in the back has more control over the kayak then the rider in the front. This makes them responsible for turning and any slight adjustments to keep the kayak straight.
  6. The Surf: Whenever you kayak into the ocean you will inevitably have to deal with the ocean waves, even a small wave can turn your kayak sideways and knock both riders out. Face your kayak into the wave or keep it straight if the waves starts to move you towards shore.
  7. Proper Gear: Using the proper gear for the right day is always best, and can be found at a local water sports shops.
  8. Practice Rescue: You can get in and out of your boat or board with or without a paddle close to shore before you go farther out into the ocean. 
  9. Have a Back-up Plan: Swimming back is always the last resort but its is something to be aware of when headed into the ocean and should determine how far into the ocean your group is prepared to go.
  10. Landing Permits: The Mokulua islands and Flat island allow landing and limited perimeter walking, there is no walking or exploring on the interior of the islands because it is a bird sanctuary.
  11. Mokulua islands and Flat Island: Kayakers are allowed to land on either island but are limited walking the perimeter, there is to be no walking or exploring on the interior of the islands.
  • Postings: Please be mindful of the rules posted on the islands.  It is almost always possible to go kayaking in Kailua but still not always weather permitting to paddle out to the islands.   
  1. Respect the Environment: No matter where you’re from, or where you go, the idea that you leave no trace or footprint is something to consider. Our goal is always to leave the places nicer then when we found them, which means never leaving trash behind and whenever its possible pick-up whatever trash others may have accidently left behind.
  • Leave the Beach at the Beach: Another good practice is to ocean rinse your gear so that the sand stays at the beach where it belongs. There is no need to waste fresh water to clean your gear and allow sand to run down the drains. 

When you go out to enjoy the beach and the ocean, keep the feeling of “Aloha” flowing and others will follow your lead. Having a positive attitude and relaxed state of mind is a great way to enjoy your time here in Hawai’i.

Hawaiian Watersports
171 Hamakua Drive
Kailua, HI 96734