Molokai’s south shore is enclosed by the largest reef system in the United States—an area of shallow protected sea that stretches over 30 miles. This reef gives inexperienced paddlers an unusually safe, calm environment for shoreline exploring. Outside the reef, Molokai waters are often rough, and strong winds can blow you out to sea. Kayakers out here should be strong, experienced, and cautious.

Best Spots

South Shore Reef. This reef's area is superb for flat-water kayaking any day of the year. Get out in the morning before the wind picks up and paddle east, exploring the ancient Hawaiian fishponds. When you turn around, the wind will usually give you a push home. For a kayak, contact Molokai Outdoors. For paddleboard lessons, contact Molokai Ocean Tours. Kaunakakai, Hawaii, 96748.

Equipment, Lessons, and Tours

Molokai Ocean Tours. At the west end of Kaunakakai's commercial strip, this outfitter offers paddleboard lessons inside the South Shore Reef. 40 Ala Malama St., Kaunakakai, Hawaii, 96748. 808/553–3290; www.molokaioceantours.com. From $65.

Molokai Outdoors. For guided kayak and paddleboard tours, this longtime Molokai activity company offers five-mile, guided, downwind runs along Molokai's southern coast. Kaunakakai, Hawaii. 808/633--8700; 877/553–4477; www.molokai-outdoors.com. From $99 per person.