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Worried about Snorkeling being good in Feb...big surf Hapuna

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Kirkland, Washington
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Worried about Snorkeling being good in Feb...big surf Hapuna

Hi, we are going to the Big Island for our 1st time in the middle of February, staying at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel in Kohala-Kona area.

We love to be in the water, snorkeling the entire trip and I've noticed extreme surf conditions listed for Hapuna Beach and have noticed photos with large waves on various sites.

Anyone with experience this time of year.... would love your input on being able to snorkel (not too large of surf and good viability) this time of year.

Thanks for any insight!!

Salem
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1. Re: Worried about Snorkeling being good in Feb...big surf Hapuna

I've been there once in February. I remember one day being really windy. so bad you couldn't even get on Hapuna because the sand would hit you to the point of pain. A couple days later it was perfectly fine. There were some big waves but not so bad you couldn't get in. Basically, it could be bad or good. No way to tell until you are there. We're going in 3 weeks so I'm hoping for nice weather too! Kahalu'u is pretty protected with a reef break so you can usually snorkel there. (but you will have to drive into town for that.)

Kirkland, Washington
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2. Re: Worried about Snorkeling being good in Feb...big surf Hapuna

Thanks, that's when we go as well.... crossing fingers I guess.

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Worried about Snorkeling being good in Feb...big surf Hapuna

Well to be blunt Hapuna is not your best snorkel spot anyway. Even in dead calm there are better places a few minutes away, including Mauna Kea Beach at south or north end. We have had high surf this trip but using boats have still been in the water seeing great stuff on Sea Paradise, Hula Kai, and from shore at Mauna Lani. Just keep an eye on the surf forecasts and move to where the conditions are good. Ask the dive shops and boat operators.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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4. Re: Worried about Snorkeling being good in Feb...big surf Hapuna

It is unfortunate perhaps that you booked the Prince with the impression that it's good for winter snorkeling. Hapuna is well known for being the most treacherous regularly used beach on the island during winter months.

However, it has its moments it is fine. Be careful and find out where the rip currents are located, as it has some serious currents. It's a beautiful beach though.

Most of Hawai'i is problematic for shore snorkeling during the winter. This island has the best snorkeling by boat of all of them.

Medford, Oregon
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5. Re: Worried about Snorkeling being good in Feb...big surf Hapuna

I recently learned that Kahalu'u Beach Park is overused and it is stressful for the coral and fish so I typically snorkel from the harbor. If it is relatively calm then the snorkeling is amazing! I saw a manta ray there the other day and turtles all the time. Try to be cautious of other swimmers and paddle boarders but some nice snorkeling. Again if it is calm I have had nice snorkeling at Spencer Beach Park north of Hapuna. Check your conditions and I hope you have a great time!

california
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6. Re: Worried about Snorkeling being good in Feb...big surf Hapuna

I'm on the Big Island right now, and my vacation home is at Puako reef, one of the best snorkeling spots in the entire state. Hapuna Beach is 5 minutes away.

Last week we experienced extraordinarily high surf. Even this week, the waves are such that it's more difficult than usual to snorkel. Winter will often provide bigger waves than summertime will. That said, we always have a chance to snorkel with every visit.

If you're staying at Hapuna, you will be close to Kohala Divers, great people who can take you diving or snorkeling nearby. Or, you can make your way down to our community of Puako on your own. There are several public beach access points. You may have to scramble over some rocks to get to the snorkeling spots. The easiest entry is just beyond the little Hokuloa Church.

You'll do fine. Have a great trip.

Denver, Colorado
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7. Re: Worried about Snorkeling being good in Feb...big surf Hapuna

Yep my friend was at Waikoloa last week and reports that both Hapuna and Wailea Bay parking gates were closed due to un safe surf condtions. Of course the surfers walk right around the gates cause they love that type of wind and surf. Your chances of those type of conditions are higher probablility for a while. Wailea Bay protected on 3 sides might be a possible snorkel spot.

So be flexible on what day to snorkel and have back up day trips planned.

United States
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8. Re: Worried about Snorkeling being good in Feb...big surf Hapuna

I asked the same question as you earlier as I was going on vacation in late Feb myself.

They said not to worry. That I can book a boat tour if needed. They also mentioned A-bay being a beach that was fairly well protected.

Kona, Hawaii
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9. Re: Worried about Snorkeling being good in Feb...big surf Hapuna

Kahaluu has some great shore snorkeling.. you should also consider taking a snorkel tour boat to Kealakekua Bay.

Kirkland, Washington
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10. Re: Worried about Snorkeling being good in Feb...big surf Hapuna

Thanks for all the suggestions, input, etc!!