Daily Photo / Hawaii / Hawaii Sights / Travel

Big Island: A Perfect Paddle Boarding Spot

Jake and his sister on the paddle board.

I just recently got back from my vacation from my vacation.ย This time Jake and I spent the weekend in Hilo on the Big Island, spending some much needed quality time with his family. He hadn’t been home in a year!

The weather on the Big Island is typically pretty rainy — even more so in the last few weeks because it’s hurricane season, and they get blasted with the remnants of all the systems that roll through the islands. We flew in Friday night and it was pouring. I kissed my dreams of paddle boarding that weekend goodbye.

But then the sun came out! It ended up being one of those rare sunny Hilo weekends.

I've never stand up paddled before, but now I'm hooked.

I’ve never stand up paddled before, but now I’m hooked.

Jake’s family took us to Reed’s Bay Beach Park, their usual stand up paddle spot. It’s a nice little grassy area sprinkled with a few picnic tables, complete with newly renovated showers and bathrooms. It’s steps away from the bay where small boats anchor and hang out and people kayak or paddle — a great family spot.

But be warned: Bring your reef walkers! The bay is ringed with rocks you’ll need to wade through — a painful experience without proper footwear. The bay floor is also a mixture of sand and dirt, making for a squishy experience if you’re going barefoot.

So what is stand up paddle boarding? Well, it’s pretty self explanatory — you stand (or kneel) on a board, and paddle. The longer the board, the easier it is to stand. Jake’s dad has a 10 ft. board, so I took to it pretty quickly. Jake on the other hand… Let’s just say big guys need bigger boards.

It was wipeout city. He probably would’ve done better with an 11 – 12 ft. board.

Jake getting the hang of kneeling on the board.

Jake getting the hang of kneeling on the board.

It was low tide when we arrived, and the conditions were perfect. Still water makes for easy paddling and a smooth ride. As the tide started to roll in, the water got a little more choppy. But with an adjustment in balance and some powerful strokes, it was manageable.

We ended up experimenting with how much weight we could put on the board and still move around. It’s definitely a balancing act if you want to paddle with two little girls at your feet! The many attempts always sent somebody sliding into the water anytime someone made a sudden move.

Dogs even join in on the fun!

Dogs even join in on the fun!

Even our friend Kahea and her dog Diesel got in on the action! Soon even he was standing like a pro.

I’m totally hooked on stand up paddle boarding. It’s fun, and you can get a good arm workout in while you’re at it. I’m already in the market to buy one, so if you’re selling, hit me up! I’m looking for an 11 – 12 ft. board, paddle included is preferred.

So go out and try it! On Oahu there are so many beaches perfect for this sport, and I’m looking forward to many more sunny days of fun in the sun just like this one. What’s your favorite spot? Sound off in the comments!

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