Don’t Surf? 7 Other Ways to Enjoy the Water in Waikiki

aIf you have never visited Hawaii before, your knowledge of what the islands have to offer may be limited to surfing. It is true that the island of Waikiki is reputed to have some of the most perfect waves in the world. It is also true that the Hawaiian Islands are frequented by some of the most renowned surfers in the world and that hundreds of thousands of surfer-tourists visit the islands each year hoping to surf the waters and see their idols. However, if you are not a surfer, this doesn’t mean your activities calendar won’t still be packed with amazing ways to enjoy Hawaii’s stunningly beautiful waters. In fact, these great water activities can also help ensure you don’t have to deal with the surfing crowds — while they are all jockeying for a wave, you can be enjoying the water in other ways.

Visiting Hawaii 101

Because Hawaii is so popular year-round as a tourist destination, there are always great deals you can take advantage of. Researching cheap vacation packages is as simple as an Internet search. It can also help to look for off-season deals for periods just before or after the busy periods. These vacation deals can be quite a bit cheaper than booking during the busy summer season. Once you have your vacation dates set and your vacation package booked, you are ready to plan which water sports you will try.

Outrigger Canoes

The outrigger canoe is an infinitely more stable version of the traditional canoe. The structure includes one or more external stabilizers called “outriggers.” There are several configurations of outrigger canoes. Configurations often depend on the size of the canoe itself. They are distinguished from their smaller, flimsier cousins by being quite stable, very fast and able to navigate rough waters with ease.

Paddle Boarding                                                                                                                       

Basically, a paddle board is a combination of a surf board, a paddle boat and a canoe. Paddle boarding can be done in any type of water, but is typically done in calmer waters. You stand up on the board and use one paddle to navigate your way.


Wakeboarding is similar to waterskiing, but with one board for anchoring both feet instead of two slim skis. The wakeboard is typically attached to a motorboat. The motorboat generates the “wake” through which the sport gets its name.


It is nearly impossible not to love snorkeling — that gentlest of water sports that allows you to float just below the surface of the water, attached all the while to a ready supply of oxygen through the slim mouth tube. You don’t have to be a strong swimmer or an athlete to enjoy glimpses of exotic fish and other sea creatures.


Skimboarding—also called “skimming” — is like skateboarding but in water. Here, the goal is to anchor your feet to a slim board and skim along the surface of the water. The skimboard itself looks like a surfboard without the fins.


While it does take place in the water, parasailing is actually considered to be a “recreational kiting” sport rather than a water sport. Parasailing is a neat combination of hang-gliding and water skiing. The parasailer ascends into the sky by means of a parachute-like “kite.” The kite is attached to a motorboat, which pulls the skyward parasailer along.

Jet Skiing

If you have ever gone snowmobiling, you will also love jet skiing. The Jet Ski is a small powered motorcraft that typically seats one or two people. You can operate the Jet Ski like you would a motorcycle, scooter or snowmobile, using foot and hand pedals to race ahead, back up and turn.

Now that you’ve got an idea of some of your water activity options, what are you waiting for? Pack your vacation calendar with fun activities for each day of your trip!

About the Author:Carol Martine has never surfed a day in her life, but she vacations with her family in Waikiki each summer — and has since she was a girl. She loves sharing her favorite island with visitors.




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