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O`ahu (Oahu), HI Surfski

Lanikai to Castle Point (Kailua Bay South to North)

Boat Rental/Sales/Lessons/Local Knowledge


South Side

  • Hawaii Kai Run
    • Short version - aka Kahala Run - Maunalua Beach Park to Kahala about 5 miles
      • “The most challenging parts are the beginning and the end. At the start the wind is more offshore and once you get out of the boat channel it can be challenging to stay on the inside line. Beginners often make the mistake of going out too far, which makes the whole rest of the run a struggle as you have to fight the slightly offshore wind direction. If you stay on a more inside line, the wind direction switches and comes straight from the back after the first couple of miles which can make for a fun, fast run with groomed bumps. Coming in through the reef at the end takes some local knowledge, especially on lower tides, so it’s best to do this run with an experienced guide. …. Going with a group is always more fun, safer, and you tend to push yourself harder.” - Robert Stehlik
    • Longer version - Maunalua Beach Park to Kaimana Beach (beach .5 miles before Waikiki) 8 - 9 miles - can take longer than you expect, depending on your skill level and chosen exit location (there are options).
      • “The Hawaii Kai Run is on the south side of Oahu. It starts out strong and goes on for about 6- 7 miles. After that you typically have offshore winds if you continue to paddle into Waikiki. A lot of padders will go in around Diamond head to avoid the Waikiki traffic. Shuttling depends on traffic.” - Jeremy Riggs
      • “coming around Black Point can be challenging due to refracting swells bouncing off the rocks, the last part coming into Kaimana can have strong offshore winds, so it’s best to stay just outside the surf line after passing Diamond Head. For a bigger challenge you can start at Sandy Beach or even Makai Pier, where the water is rougher, which is great practice for the finish of the Molokai Race which rounds the rough waters of Portlock point at the finish.” - Robert Stehlik
      • “Towards the end of a Hawaii Kai Downwind there is a place called Sleepy Hollows just after lighthouse. when the conditions are just right, you can experience a magical run. You'll be able to hop lots of bumps with ease but beware the sneaky freak sets that frequent this area. Be safe out there!” - Kalaau Kila
    • Maunalua Beach Park - Magic Island 10 miles video
    • Alan Davis Run (Alan Davis Beach - Kaimana Beach) 12 m (adds about 2 miles to the long version of Hawaii Kai Run) Downwindfun
  • Makai Pier to Kaimana Beach 15 miles (Makapu'u run + Hawaii Kai run)
  • Makapu'u Run Makai Pier in Waimānalo 10 miles along the Ka Iwi coast (southeast end of O'ahu)
    • Manny Kulukulualani: “It’s the roughest paddling water we’ve got on the island…That backside from Makapu‘u Lighthouse to Alan Davis gets really big and gnarly because of the cliffs. We’re going from a couple feet to hundreds of feet of water, and it’s an immediate drop-off. Then you’ve got different swells converging, and on top of that the wind creates its own swell. The funny thing about that coast, especially that wall between Hanauma bay and Portlock,” Kulukulualani continues, “is it’s never the same. There are so many elements—swell directions, wind, backwash, currents, tides—so it’s always presenting something different. Boaters, canoe paddlers, kayakers—that water has claimed a lot of vessels. Once somebody thinks they understand the way things are supposed to be out there, it totally proves them wrong. That water is not predictable. That’s the mystique.”

Darryl Khng on Makapu'u and Hawai Kai Runs

  • Channel Crossing
    • Molokai To Oahu Finish in Maunalua Bay on Oahu southside. The Molokai to Oahu (M20 race) run is where the best of the best test their true grit. There's also the fact that the M20 downwind run also hosts what is considered the world championships for OC-1 and SUP. The M2O is a very challenging run that spans 32-miles from Molokai to Oahu through the Ka Iwi Channel, a.k.a. the “Channel of Bones”. This run provides big swells and unpredictable currents making it very dangerous. The M2O is not for the ill prepared and requires significant knowledge and skill to be completed safely.
  • Surf

Hickham Harbor

East Side (windward)

  • Kahana Bay - Laie 12 km video
  • Kailua
  • Keanae to DT Fleming Beach 25 miles
  • Turtle Wash Riding & More Sheltered Paddling
    • Kaneohe Bay a sheltered bay and one of Hawaii’s calmer places to kayak. Spot parrotfish and mahi-mahi on the two barrier reefs, wander the sandbar that’s exposed at low tide and pull the kayak up on the white-sand beach with views of Pyramid Rock

North Side

  • Sunset Beach to Waimea approx 3 miles - good for beginners
  • Turtle Bay to Waimea ~ 6.5 miles
  • Turtle Bay to Mokuleia ~ 12.8 miles

Island to Island


Robert Stehlik: “Hawaii’s location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and its predictable pattern of Easterly (&NE) trade winds make it ideal for downwinders…. The trade winds are most consistent in the summer months and can also be very good in spring and fall. Trade winds are least consistent in the Winter months (November through February), when they are often replaced by Kona wind and variable winds…”


Trip Reports




Tina Cohen Recommendations:

  • Ken’s Fresh Fish - family owned business (Open only on Friday and Saturday from 11:00am till 6:00pm) down in Laie on the North Shore of Oahu (55300 Kamehameha Hwy, late, HI 96762). This is the BEST Ahi Katsu out there. I get it “well done” with the salad and rice. They also sell some of the best Poke, (raw fish). It’s a local secret, so for those who want to try out what the locals love, definitely add this to the priority of things to do when in Hawaii!“
  • Dessert: I love this little spot called “Ono Yo” in Kahuku. They sell the best frozen yogurt out there. It isn’t anything like fro-yo, since they make their frozen yogurt with greek-yogurt and fresh fruits. I get the plain flavor with a bunch of fresh fruit on top. YOU HAVE GOT TO TRY IT. YUMMMM!”

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