Stand Up Paddle Boarding near Ka'anapali Beach, Maui - November 2011

Before coming to Maui I had heard from some surfer friends of friends that Ka'anapali is a great place to take surfing lessons. The instructors are great, the water is warm. After seeing those HUGE, relentless waves near Black Rock early in my trip I decided against that, but still wanted to check out kayaking.

The days filled up and before long it was my last full day on Maui and I hadn't done my watersport! So, that day I called around and walked around to find out where I could rent a kayak for an hour without having to pay for a lesson or a tour and I settled on the Westin which is just south of Whaler's Village before you reach the Hyatt. $20 for a single kayak for one hour and they open at 8am.

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The following morning, even though I needed to be on a shuttle to the airport by noon, I trekked down to the Westin. A couple was there renting stand up paddle boards (SUPs) and soon I was talked into renting one as well. It was probably just an up-sell for the person working the Beach Activities Center but in reality I'd been wanting to try this and what better place? The man at the Westin said you can see pretty far down into the water since you're standing up - better than in a kayak. And the water was smooth as glass that day so it was perfect for a novice. 

I got a 2-minute lesson and then I was off! I was a bit nervous about falling off over and over, but I have pretty good balance and the water was so smooth that I didn't even fall off once!

The feeling of gliding over water while standing up is a bit surreal. As promised, I could see pretty far down into the water, but I found that looking down messed with my balance so I focused on the beautiful islands of Lana'i and Moloka'i and where I was headed - Black Rock.

Suddenly I wished I had brought snorkel gear so I could snorkel Black Rock before heading back since the day we went was windy with rough water, but I didn't have time anyway and I guess I need to leave some things for another trip to Maui!

Like kayaking (and I assume sailing), it's great to be out in the water without any kind of mechanical noise - just the sound of your paddle hitting the water. At one point, I sat down on my board and just floated a bit. One of the most peaceful places to be.

Sadly, it was time for me to head back to return my board and then the race back to the hotel to catch my ride to the airport. Back to "the Mainland".

Namaste Maui. And Mahalo!

For more photos from my trip to Maui check out my Flickr photo page.