Windsurfing and Kiteboarding
Those who call windsurfing and kiteboarding cheating because they require no paddling have never tried hanging on to a sail or kite. It will turn your arms to spaghetti quicker than paddling ever could, and the speeds you generate earn these sports the label of "extreme."
Windsurfing was born here in the Islands. For amateurs, the windward side is best because the onshore breezes will bring you back to land even if you’re not a pro. The newer sport of kiteboarding is tougher but more exhilarating, as the kite will sometimes take you in the air for hundreds of feet. Recent changes to local laws restrict lessons on the beach, so outfitters offering lessons are few and far between.
Hawaiian Water Sports. Learn to kiteboard, windsurf, kayak, surf, or ride a stand-up paddleboard with this multifaceted outfitter. This is the only shop to offer kiteboarding and windsurfing lessons on Oahu, and the location of your lessons—off Kailua Beach—is one of the best and most beautiful on the island. The company also offers windsurfing, stand-up paddleboard, surf and boogie board, snorkeling, and kayak equipment rentals. (For experienced kitesurfers, kitesurfing equipment rental is available.) You'll get a discount by booking your rental or lessons online in advance. 171 Hamakua Dr., Kailua, Hawaii, 96734. 808/262–5483; www.hawaiianwatersports.com. Group lessons from $120, equipment rental from $100.
Naish Hawaii. Although they don't offer lessons, Naish Hawaii offers windsurfing and kiteboarding equipment rentals for those who are already proficient. You can rent for a half day or for 24 hours. The company also rents stand-up paddleboards by the half day or for 24 hours. 155A Hamakua Dr., Kailua, Hawaii, 96734. 808/262–6068; www.naish.com. Windsurfers from $55, kiteboards from $25, paddleboards from $45.