MAUI (KRON) – With summer comes the rare chance to see traditional Hawaiian sailing canoes in race mode along Maui’s Kā‘anapali Beach. The popular stretch of sand is loaded with water activities to keep vacationers busy.
Travel enthusiast Dana Rebmann says that during the summer, Kā‘anapali Beach really stands out for folks who like to be on the water.
Every year, the first or second weekend of June, a half-dozen or so Hawaiian sailing canoes pull right up onto the beach for the Wa’a Kiakahi festival. Hawaiian sailing canoes have become pretty rare. Even many Hawaiians don’t know much, if anything, about them.
The idea of the festival is to pass along the history and tradition. Crews also show how much fun sailing canoes can be, offering free rides for anyone willing to jump on board. When the sailing canoes aren’t on the water, they’re parked on the beach, so it’s easy to get a good look.
The paddling that most folks are familiar with is outrigger canoe paddling. It’s the official team sport in Hawaii.
The watermen leading the activity have years of experience to pull from and they take the time to explain the tradition behind the sport. And the view from the water, looking at the West Maui mountains, it good inspiration to learn a new skill.
Summer is also when parasailing returns to Kā‘anapali Beach. When the humpback whales head out of town, the fast-moving parasailing boats are allowed back in the water. So in other words, when it’s not whale season, it’s parasailing season. (May 16 through December 14.)
If you’ve never tried it before, you don’t need any skill or talent. The captain and crew will walk you through the ropes and fit you securely into the harness.
Once airborne, along with being wowed by how pretty it is from above, folks are often surprised by how quiet is. You can stay completely dry during a flight, but it’s fun to give the captain the okay to drop you in the water for a little splashing before touching back down on the boat. (Prices start at $89 p/p.)
Maui has more miles of swimmable beaches than any other Hawaiian island, and Kā‘anapaliis one of the more popular stretches. Some of that popularity may be credited to an area that’s commonly called Black Rock.
Located at the northernmost end of Kā‘anapali, below the Sheraton, you won’t have the place to yourself, especially during summer, because you can snorkel right from the beach, but along with colorful fish, odds are in your favor you’ll find sea turtles.
If you’re up for a bit more of a snorkeling adventure, Teralani’s boatloads upright on Kā‘anapali Beach. We had company on our trip out to Honolua Bay.. both bottlenose and spinner dolphins made appearances.
There’s more to see once you’re in the water. And remember, only reef-safe sunscreen and no aerosols. In July of 2018, Hawaii became the first U.S. state to ban the sale of sunscreens damaging to marine life. ($122 p/p)