Oahu is well-known for international surfing competitions. It’s at the North Shore of the island that you can find those serious world-class waves such as the ‘Pipeline’ and ‘Waimea”. Some locals even claim surfing and windsurfing was invented on this. In the ’80s, Maui became the preferred island for wind sports; Despite its lower popularity, it doesn’t mean Oahu isn’t a kitesurfing destination!
Crystal blue water
I spent a week in May 2013 in Oahu; I had the chance to kite every day. I didn’t venture to the North Shore of the Island as it seems you need to have “total faith” in your kiting abilities. The North Shore has lots of obstacles, tricky launches, and gigantic waves.
I kited instead in beautiful and relaxed Kailua. The spot offers a long sandy beach with tons of room for kiters. The place is ideal if you are traveling with non-kiter family members, which was my case. Getting there is easy. You can park at Kailua Beach Park, you can get a quick lunch at Kalapawai Market before your kite session and relax on the grass after. My family was also happy to find plenty of room to swim in the ocean, picnic tables, and clean washroom facilities at the park.
The wind was on the light side, mostly in the mid- ten knots. The water is crystal clear with different shades of blue, it’s gorgeous. I kited for the first time with sea turtles, it was a real treat!
Because of its popularity for swimmers, it seems that a board leash is mandatory. I wasn’t aware of that rule and didn’t have one for my twin tip. Most of the riders were using surfboards – I bought my first one right after that trip.
Where to stay?
We rented a place called Ocean View Kailua for half of our trip (using VRBO if I recall). It was a huge house, clean and a very short drive from the kite spot. We couldn’t stay there the whole trip, so we moved to the North Shore for the other half of the week, at Honu Hale Retreat in Turtle Bay. The drive from the North Shore to the kite spot in Kailua wasn’t ideal but we truly enjoyed visiting Turtle Bay area. While driving there, we saw plenty of surfer bum trucks driven by young Hawaiians with their surfboard on top! We also stopped at to the Dole Pineapple Plantation, which is a must for families.
Where to stay: VBRO in Kailua
Where to eat: Kalapawai Market
How to get there: Rent a car at the airport
Closest airport: HNL (Honolulu)
GPS Coordinates Kite Spot: 21°23’55.9″N 157°43’42.4″W