Kailua Beach is arguably one of Oahu’s favorite ocean playgrounds – where the shore break is usually gentle enough for the kids and the bay accommodates all genres of water sports enthusiasts.
Sunning, swimming and building sand sculptures are perfectly good ways to spend your day here. You might even drop into BookEnds bookstore (Kailua Shopping Center, 600 Kailua Rd Ste 126, Kailua, HI 96734) and find a good read ($1-$4) on the used paperback racks. But if you’re looking for more ocean action – kayaking, SUPs, kiteboarding and the like – four experienced outfitters in Kailua Town can get you in gear to traverse the waters off Kailua and Lanikai beaches.
Pick Your Water Sport
All of these Kailua-based businesses have been operating for at least 20 years. They are committed to ocean safety and stewardship of the natural resources and wildlife that make our islands and islets unique. Ask about kama‘aina and military rates, too.
Twogood Kayaks (134B Hamakua Dr, Kailua, HI 96734), Kailua Town’s oldest watersports company, can set you up with rental SUPs, boogie boards and kayaks, including surfskis and clear-bottom kayaks. Lessons and guided tours, too. Optional equipment such as backrests, dry bags and snorkel sets are available for rent or purchase. If you live on the other side of the island and need a place near Kailua Beach to store your kayak, Twogood has space for you.
Recognized as the #1 dive operator and dive shop on the island, Aaron’s Dive Shop (307 Hahani St, Kailua, HI 96734) rents SCUBA and snorkel gear by the day. The shop also sells a wide range of dive gear and accessories, and has a staff that’s knowledgeable in snorkeling, free diving, spearfishing, recreational and technical diving.
Accomplished and aspiring watermen and women will find Hawaiian WaterSports (171 Hamakua Dr, Kailua, HI 96734) and its ocean safety school partner, Pa‘ani Wai Hawaii, offer the largest variety of watersports gear in Kailua Town – and probably on the island. Rentals and lessons are available for those interested in kiteboarding, surfing, windsurfing, wing surfing, efoiling, bodyboarding, stand-up paddling, kayaking and free diving.
Just a couple of blocks from Kailua Beach, Kailua Beach Adventures (Kailua Beach Center, 130 Kailua Rd Ste 101B, Kailua, HI 96734) rents surfboards, SUPs, boogie boards, and single, double and triple kayaks. SUP lessons and guided kayak tours available. Their retail store can outfit you from head to toe with hats, sunglasses, apparel and footwear from local and national brands. Also find toys for the kids, reef-safe sunscreen, waterproof phone cases and exclusive in-house designed beach towels.
Pack a Picnic
It goes without saying that a day at the beach means packing snacks and beverages to stay fueled and hydrated. Ka’ohao Country Store (Kailua Beach Center, 130 Kailua Rd Ste 109, Kailua, HI 96734) makes it easy to do both and is right on the way to Kailua Beach. Hearty, handcrafted deli sandwiches with house-made aioli are owner Donna May Leineweber’s passion. Design your own or try one off the menu, like the Ka‘ohao Signature Sammy, stuffed with chicken breast salad with bacon and cheddar on sourdough, topped with red onions, tomato and slaw. You will find a wide selection of cold drinks in the large refrigerator case, plus snacks, sunscreen and other sundries.
On the topic of “refrigeration”, if you’re looking for a cooler with long-lasting chill-ability, meet the YETI soft coolers – built to go the distance like their hard-cased cousins, but available in backpack and tote styles. You can find a selection of coolers and other YETI products in Kailua Town at Hawaiian Island Creations (354 Hahani St, Kailua, HI 96734).