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Kayaking to Flat Island


Kailua beach is a great spot for various water sports, with kayaking being one of the more popular ones. For those who don’t have the resources, many equipment rentals can be found throughout the Kailua town. Those who have military access should check the nearest base for cheaper rates.

Flat Island, about a quarter mile offshore, is a fun and easy paddle for beginners.
Melissa Heintz

The closest island you can paddle out to is Popoi’a Island, also known as Flat Island to many of the locals. It is an easy paddle for beginners, only a quarter of a mile off the boat ramp, but be sure to watch the weather conditions. Wind and high surf could determine the length and intensity of your paddle.

Landing is permitted on the island’s small sand beach. Due to the sharp reef and rocky terrain on the island, it is advisable to wear reef booties while walking around. A mask and snorkel is also a good thing to bring along with the numerous reef formations providing a wide variety of marine life to view. Flat Island is a part of the Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary; so keep a lookout for seabirds nesting in the holes in the ground.

Another fun activity to do in the area is go surf kayaking. A popular site for longboarding, the Flat Island waves break on the south side of the island as the incoming swells approach shallow waters. Paddle hard to catch those waves and you’ll find it a great way to get that upper body workout!


  • Melmar 5 years ago

    Surf kayaking sounds fun. I think I can handle kayak rather than the board. This I must try in Kailua.

    Great pictures!

  • nguyena 5 years ago

    Can't wait to get all jacked and tan... upper body workout and sun.. what a combo. What if I can't swim?

  • squiksilver 5 years ago

    great article. I have to check that place out one day. It sounds interesting.

    Nice pictures!