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Snorkeling / Kayaking for beginning non-swimmers in Kauai

Santa Clara
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Snorkeling / Kayaking for beginning non-swimmers in Kauai

Hi all,

I couldn't find any info on any snorkeling and/ kayaking guided tours in Kauai for folks like my boyfriend/I who cannot swim and will be doing both activities for the first time. We will be staying in Poipu next door to the Grand Hyatt and will also be staying in Kauai for only 6 days so a combo tour would be ideal so we could kill 2 birds with1 stone and not have to spend long full days on tours. We are already planning on doing a luau and so the kayaking down the Waimea a River just sounded way too long of a day. I enjoy not packing my days when in Hawaii, but since this will be my boyfriend's (coming from Ireland) first time, I thought taking him snorkeling and kayaking would be nice and memorable for his 50th birthday celebration in Hawaii (the trip to Kuaui is my gift to him since he's already coming all the way from Ireland to visit me!) I just want to make sure we will be safe on a guided snorkeling /kayak tour....I want to go with a company that really caters to the novice beginner. Are there any out there none can recommend? The ones I've read about on tripadvisor while doing my are search didn't sound like they catered to the novice beginner at all and I know for sure my boyfriend is not comfortable trying either without some kind of feeling of security from a good guide in both activities. Also, do we wear life jackets for both activities out in the water.

Thanks in advance.

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Santa Clara
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21. Re: Snorkeling / Kayaking for beginning non-swimmers in Kauai

Everyone's points are well taken, thank you! I totally agree about getting used to the breathing thru mouth only, that IS the most difficult part other than walking with the fins and getting back up if you end up falling over them while walking in water. I find concentrating/focusing on the breathing as well as just trying to stay calm is what works. we are staying at a condo complex in Poipu Sands and will most likely hang out at Poipu Beach most all our 6 days in Kauai. So it sounds like we may not even have to use the snorkeling equipment to see fish at Poipu Beach and may just be able to walk into the shallow waters and see the fish swimming around us, is that correct? If that's the case, then great....forget the gear. Maybe we'll just have to forgo the kayaking until we learn how to swim as it sounds like even the Hanalei River isn't calm enough to maneuver for non-swimmers.

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Poipu
Poipu
Kauai, HI
Poipu Beach Park
Poipu Beach Park
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Hanalei
Hanalei
Kauai, HI
Buford, Georgia
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22. Re: Snorkeling / Kayaking for beginning non-swimmers in Kauai

Poipu by the lifeguard is a good place to try snorkeling. Rent some gear for the day. It's so much neater to see the fish underwater. The "trick" to not tripping over your fins is to get in the water before you put them on and take them off before you get out. At Poipu you'll be able to sit in the water and put them on, then just roll onto your stomach and float away. There are a bunch of rocks piled up underwater near the lifeguard stand that spell (or use to) "Poipu". It's only about 2 feet deep and lots of fish hang out there. If you want to see more, stack some of the rocks that have fallen down back up on the letters and watch the fish swarm to see what they can eat from the turned over rocks. A lot of people dismiss that area for snorkeling, but it really is quite good and stays shallow quite a ways out! We even had a turtle swimming with us there last FEb.

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Poipu
Poipu
Kauai, HI
Santa Rosa...
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23. Re: Snorkeling / Kayaking for beginning non-swimmers in Kauai

Agree with Slabaume. That side of the tombolo IS typically dismissed for snorkeling but it can be just as good as the opposite side plus it's calmer water with little to no current now that the sand bar (tombolo) has returned to almost it's past glory.

If the breathing through a snorkel concerns you then take off the snorkel. Again, try it the way many little ones do,. Put on the mask and stick your face under the water for a few moments or until you feel like your'e going to burst. You'll still see the fish even if just for a minute or two at a time. There's all levels of snorkeling and that can include without a snorkel. lol

Middletown...
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24. Re: Snorkeling / Kayaking for beginning non-swimmers in Kauai

If you are "walking with fins on" you are making things wayyy more difficult than they need to be. The easiest approach is to walk into the water with the fins in your hand(s) and your mask around the top of your head, get to where you want to start snorkeling, then put on your left fin with your right hand while standing on your right foot and leaning on your buddy / friend / spouse with your left hand to balance yourself. Crossing your left leg over the right knee a bit helps the maneuver. Then reverse everything and put your other fin on. Ready, set, snorkel. Do the reverse getting out, snorkel to a spot where you can stand up waist deep on sandy bottom, remove both fins one at a time, and then walk out to the beach carrying both fins. Fins were not meant for walking :-D

Edited: 09 June 2014, 22:39
East Coast
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25. Re: Snorkeling / Kayaking for beginning non-swimmers in Kauai

Once on an ocean kayak it is not easy to tip over. These are not canoes. To get back on hold the opposite side of the kayak with both hands and and pull yourself up (not easy at all). Won't happen on the Hanalei river or calm bay.

Edited: 10 June 2014, 01:35
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Hanalei
Hanalei
Kauai, HI
Buford, Georgia
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26. Re: Snorkeling / Kayaking for beginning non-swimmers in Kauai

Thanks Napaguy for agreeing with me---most people don't believe the snorkeling on the lifeguard side of Poipu "can" be better then the other side. I've been there many times when I preferred the lifeguard side. At most beaches I walk into the water until it's about waist deep and put on my fins, but at that part of Poipu, it's easier to sit in the water since it's so shallow and put them on while sitting. He's also right that if breathing through the snorkel is the problem, just bring a swim mask or goggles(easy to pack and you don't have to rent them). It took my husband until about trip 6 to Kauai before he finally decided to use a snorkel instead of just a swim mask. You really don't even need fins at that part of Poipu. But if you're not in a protected area like there or Lydgate, I wouldn't recommend going without fins.

Edited: 10 June 2014, 02:37
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Poipu
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SoCal
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27. Re: Snorkeling / Kayaking for beginning non-swimmers in Kauai

I don't kayak much but have never tipped one over. The Hanalei River looked pretty calm and I think it would be pretty hard to tip. Again, contact the tour company and ask if they think it is an appropriate activity for your swimming abilities.

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Hanalei
Hanalei
Kauai, HI
pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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28. Re: Snorkeling / Kayaking for beginning non-swimmers in Kauai

The Hanalei River is generally very calm.

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Hanalei
Hanalei
Kauai, HI
29. Re: Snorkeling / Kayaking for beginning non-swimmers in Kauai

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