A renowned group of Hawaiian watermen worked on the Waikiki beaches during the first half of the 20th century. These “Beachboys” shared their culture, aloha, and intimate knowledge of the ocean—and led the revival of traditional aquatic sports. Today Ted Bush and his Waikiki Beach Services keep this warm welcome alive, offering surf and SUP lessons along with outrigger rides. Tours paddle out to the surf break, then line up and catch some waves. Don’t worry: These nimble canoes rank among the safest vessels at sea; sit back and enjoy “the original Hawaiian roller coaster.” The company also rents umbrella sets in front of the Royal Hawaiian hotel ($50 plus tax; arrive when the desk opens at 7:45 a.m. if you have a strong preference about chaise lounge placement!).
Paddleboard Until the Sun Goes Down
Paddleboarding is an easy water sport to learn in Hawaii. After you get on your board, all you have to do is sit and paddle around the bay. For the slightly more adventurous soul, you can stand and paddle parallel to the shoreline, maybe even ride some of the gentle Waikiki waves to the beach. There’s no better place to try paddleboarding than on Waikiki Beach, where the waves are pretty regular and usually small. As long as you mind the more serious water-sport enthusiasts, you’ll have a memorable day enjoying the views until the sun goes down.