For years, I watched from the shoreline as others played in the water. I always wanted to try water sports like kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, etc. But, what if I didn’t like it? What if I wasn’t very good or got tired after the first few minutes? Those thoughts made it hard for me to justify the cost of renting equipment. But, during Aloha Days at the Beach with Ocean Sports, there was nothing to hold me back.
TIP: Check out our “30+ family-friendly things to Do on the Big Island of Hawaii w/ Travel Tips” post too!
Ocean Sports near A-Bay & Aloha Days at the Beach
Ocean Sports is a recreation rental and charter company located near Anaeho’omalu Bay, aka A-Bay, on the northwestern side of the Island of Hawaii (Big Island). The company offers beach toy rentals, various cruises, scuba boat dives, private charters, and fitness classes. Aloha Days at the Beach are every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00am to 2:00pm.
During that 4-hour window, guests have UNLIMITED use of beach toys. These include snorkel gear, hydro bikes, Stand-Up Paddleboards (SUP), kayaks, and boogie boards. They can also cruise on the Glass Bottom Boat as much as they’d like. The cost is $40 per person and you can either reserve your spot online or sign up at the desk.
This was the perfect opportunity to try all the water sports beach toys as much, or as little, as we wanted! Check-in was easy and staff outlined which activities were included and usage boundaries. We also had to sign waivers for using the equipment. They ask that guests use beach toys for no more than 30 minutes at a time. This way everyone gets a chance to play. All we had to do was stand by the sign of the activity you want to try. An employee will assist you as soon as possible.
4 Hours of Unlimited Water Sports Beach Toy Use
The first thing we did was hop on a 3-person kayak (there are also 1- and 2- person kayaks). The staff member didn’t give us any instruction and sent us on our way. Unfortunately, we were totally out of sync with each other and didn’t get very far. Plus, it was a SUPER windy day and rough waters made it tough to navigate very far. I’ve read online that the water at A-Bay is usually calm and clear. We must have been there on an off-day so make sure you check the forecast before you head out.
Next up, Munchkin and I opted to try SUP. The staff member who helped us this time was extremely helpful. He provided thorough instruction before we got on our boards. He mentioned that, due to the windy conditions, we would have to work extra hard to get anywhere. We did manage to head further out than we did on the kayak but it was a challenge.
Munchkin and I did manage to work up the nerve to stand up. But, thanks to choppy waves and a lack of balance, I fell off my board quicker than I stood up and plopped into the water. Then, I had the task of trying to get back on without tipping over. Munchkin was nearby so she recovered my hat and checked to see if I needed help.
Frans, though, watched the whole ordeal comfortably from the seat of the hydro bike he was on. He video/photographed the whole thing as he tried to hold back his laughter. That’s okay. I was able to return the favor when the wind blew his hydro-bike up onto some rocks and some staff had to help get him unwedged. He was nervous since staff at the front desk told us it was a $50 charge to recover people from beyond the boundaries. Fortunately, they didn’t ask us to pay extra. It was quite an eventful time for us all…
Exhausted, we took our turn on the Glass Bottom boat. This was actually very relaxing and we were able to see quite a bit. The boat crew was friendly and told us about the coral and fish we saw along the way. Then, while we were about a mile away from shore, we even saw a sea turtle! We got a glimpse of him through the glass bottom but then he came up for air not far from the boat. That was definitely a highlight of the afternoon.
But, it got even better! After we got off the boat, Frans noticed a shadow under the water. It was another sea turtle but this time it was only a few feet from the shore. We followed him for a while, waiting to capture the moment it came up for air. I threw on my snorkel mask (we had our own but snorkel gear was available to use too) to see if I could get a better look at the turtle. Sadly, the wind stirred up so much sand that I couldn’t even see a couple inches ahead of me. I was nervous that I’d get too close so I popped out and continued to stalk the little thing above water. It was so cute and getting to see it so close really made our day!
Why Play with Ocean Sports Near A-Bay
If you’re looking for things to do with the family on the Big Island, check out Aloha Days at the Beach with Ocean Sports. It’s a great atmosphere for visitors of all ages. Upbeat music plays on the speakers, the staff is helpful, there are plenty of spots to lay your towel out, and enjoy snacks and shave ice (yes, that’s spelled right as there is no “d” according to locals) from a well-equipped refreshment stand.
Get there early to nab a chair under the shade of a palm tree or reserve a covered cabana for $50. Four hours is plenty of time for everyone in your party to get their fill of water fun. Everyone seemed satisfied with doing a few activities, resting for a bit, going back out, and then finishing off the time with a treat or sunbathing. A-Bay is a public beach so you can stay as long as you want. You’ll have tons of fun on Aloha Days at the Beach with Ocean Sports so book now! You can also check out the other Ocean Sports storefront locations and services.
My family and I participated in this at no cost for review purposes. All opinions are my own.