Hui Wa'a Kaukahi

Nui a lehulehu na mokupuni, 'a'ole lawa ka manawa

So many islands, so little time!

Paddle Ratings

Easy Gliders
These paddles introduce first-time paddlers to sit-on-top kayaking in Hawaii – although everyone is encouraged to paddle – children (always accompanied by an adult), grandparents, old-pros, and fisherpersons!
Duration – 1-2 hoursDistance – 3 miles (or so)Generally, flat water in bays, rivers, streams and lakes that are protected from surf and significant wind.
Recommended kayak type – Any kayak, including inflatables
Intermediate Paddles
These paddles are great fun, but require paddlers to have more strength and kayaking skills than the E-Z Gliders.
Duration – 2-4 hoursDistance – 3 to 10 milesGenerally, launching and landing is from protected bays and beaches; however, surf launches and landings are possible given the day’s conditions. The paddle may go outside the reef in open ocean, where 2- to 5-foot ocean swells can be encountered.
Recommended kayak type – Any kayak over 11 feet.
+ Blue Plus – This is an Advanced Intermediate Paddle in which wind and surf are more likely than not and/or paddling time is 3 to 4 hours. Must be able to get back in your boat with little or no assistance. Larger swells than “Intermediate” are expected.
Advanced Paddles
These paddles are the most challenging on Oahu. Paddlers should be in good physical condition and able to exit and re-enter their kayak easily without assistance in open ocean. Must be comfortable in open ocean swells of 2 – 8 feet
Duration – 4 hours plusDistance – 10 miles plusLaunches and landings are often through challenging surf. Paddles are outside the reef, in open ocean swells and around points where water is very choppy and unstable.
Recommended kayak type – Any kayak over 11 feet, and kayaks that are at least 14′ long with rudder systems are highly recommended.
+ Red Plus – This is an Advanced Advanced Paddle in which wind, surf, and unstable conditions are typical and self-reliance becomes highly important.
These paddles are multi-day excursions, requiring advance planning, provisioning and logistics. All recommended safety and survival gear must be carried on board.
Duration – two days or moreDistance – 5 to 20 miles per dayCan involve landing and launching fully-loaded kayaks in moderate to high surf on unforgiving beaches. Third-party rescue and/or medical aid may be a day or more away. Self-reliance and familiarity with Hawaiian waters are high requirements.
Recommended kayak type – Any kayak over 14′, with hatch straps and other deck modifications to allow on-deck stowage, gear securement, and self rescue. Rudder system is highly recommended. Fiberglass boats are discouraged, due to the probability of rock-beach surf landings.