Kiteboarding has fast become one of the most popular sports on Kailua Beach on the island of Oahu. The sport has easily surpassed windsurfer as you’ll find more and more kitesurfers out on a 20 mph wind day than you will windsurfers.
Aside from the growing popularity of the sport, Kailua Bay and Kite Beach as it’s become known (within Kailua Beach Park) is one of the most accessible spots for kiters of any level. The parking is right next to the inflate spot, a nice grassy area where there are times that 30 – 40 kites will be inflated and laying around. Still enough spots. To get to the best parking, take the small access road to the left of Kalapawai Market off Kalaheo Ave which will take you right to the inflate spot and kite beach.
The crowd is a nice group, mostly locals with interspersed travelers and tourists hoping they can learn on vacation. Kailua Bay is big and with the tradewinds mostly blowing on-shore, make conditions perfect for every skill level.
The reef shelf at the edges of the bay make for good waves from time to time and limited reef protruding makes the area relatively safe. If you end up losing your kiteboard all you have do is wait for the current and wind to bring it into shore, usually around Kalama Beach Park.
The only real worry here is sticking your kite in a tree at the launch spot, or as you walk up the beach on a low wind day.
Taking a Lesson
Taking a lesson in Kailua is easy and pretty much mandatory when learning to kiteboard, anywhere. There are plenty of surf shops that give lessons as well as the random professional turned entrepreneur/beach bum posting on craigslist or running their own services. You can always head down to the beach and ask around, someone knows someone who gives a lesson. Or check out the following sites/shops for more information.
Lessons at all places range from $75 – $125 per hour which includes equipment and instruction. A lot of places will allow you to credit your instruction towards the purchase of a kite.
Naish Hawaii – 808-262-6068
Naish is a local favorite with some of the best made kites and windsurfing boards on the market. They’ve made their run at standup paddle boards recently but have some of the best instructors for kiteboarding around.
Hawaiian Watersports – 808-262-5483
Another great spot with a lot of instructors is Hawaiian Watersports in Kailua. On any windy day you’ll find an instructor or two from Hawaiian Watersports down at the beach park.
Renting Kite Gear
None of the local places will rent kites, but they will rent harnesses and boards. Check with the two spots above as they’re probably your best bet. Or make friends with someone on the beach and see if you can bum a board from them. You gotta bring your own.
Buying Kite Gear
First off I would check honolulu.craigslist.org and check what someone is getting rid of. A lot of times you’ll be able to pick up some great gear for cheap. But be careful of kites. If a newbie is getting rid of it because they didn’t have the time to learn, it may be because they put it in a tree one too many times.
Other than that check the stores listed above.
Most of all, enjoy the great spot!