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Kahana Bay

 
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 1979

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:03 pm    Post subject: Kahana Bay Reply with quote

Just got back from a two week vaca on Oahu. Over the years I have made many trips up the east coast from Kailua to Kahuku for garlic shrimp. Every time I pass by Kahana bay it is windy with a side on wind but no sailors. It looks like it would be a great place to learn. Spyder, whats up? Is the location too remote?

The water looked deep enough and the reef outside protected the bay from any major shore break. I saw some kiters at Laie beach park so I know the area can be sailed. It is definately a better place to teach than Kailua.

Which brings me to another observation. They really dont seem to be too interested in promoting windsurfing by the way they teach at Kailua. It seems the instructors just figure the people are tourists so there is litlle motivation to really teach. A few minutes on the beach on a board in the sand, then put the students on a board in the waves, hold the board until they are standing up, turn them loose and yell instructions from shoulder deep water where the students cant here the instructor at all. Then the instructor launches the next student until all 5 or 6 have been blown a couple of hundred yards down the beach by side on winds. Then walk back up the beach and repeat. The real horor occured when I was there and the wind switched to side off. It took the instructor at least 30 minutes to figure out the wind had switched and his students were not going to be blown to the near shore, but out into the middle of the bay. By the time he rigged up and chased down all five I figure they had at least a 1 mile walk each. I dont figure any of them will be windsurfing again real soon.

Coachg
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spyder



Joined: 24 Sep 1996
Posts: 2790
Location: oahu

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:09 pm    Post subject: RE: Kahana Bay Reply with quote

hey coach!

I had the same questions when I first got here. I think I know the answers now. But still a bit of a mystery to me to this day.

First of all, think lazy, something here, in the water, or the air, makes people lazy. motivation is *not* a key vocabulary word.

Second of all, localism. Kailua is suited for watersports because there is a population of people here that do that sort of thing. Not in Laie, and most of the island. Locals tend to surf, and thats it, they dont windsurf or kitesurf, except for very few. Its expensive and is not rooted in their culture, whereas surfing is.

Also those who venture out to kite or sail in the other areas will face opposition due to already established activities such as surfing, fishing, and family BBQs. They dont really want a mob of windsurfers or kiters taking up their space. I dont blame them.

Take Waimanalo for example, it is very similar to Kailua Bay, and has the same (if not stronger) wind patterns. It is uncrowded and beautiful. However, no one that lives in Waimanalo kites or windsurfs (atleast not to my knowledge), it is a locals town and while they wont attack you for trying, they wont support you either. You might also get into trouble with various unsavory elements that hang out around there that like to break into cars and such..or beat their pitbulls. Most of them dont take too kindly to rich haole invaders. I dont blame them either, but I wish it wasnt that way. Its a long history of problems.

A few do manage to enjoy these areas, but only very few. Most windsurfers will stick to Kailua, Diamond Head, or Moks.

People do windsurf and kite at Malekahana Bch park, but the breakins have been bad over the years and hence discourage them from parking there. Hukilau bch (adjacent) banned kiters a few years ago due to abuse.

As for Kahana bay, I think the wind is too swirly and weird in there to be useful for watersports. You probably can go off Crouching Lion, but I think its shallow and sharky.

A cool place is Barbers Point on the other side. Not many people go there cuz its out of the way (hint lazy).

So to answer your question, if you grab gear in Kailua (or bring your own) you can find obscure spots to windsurf and kite, but (a) you will be by yourself, (b) may stir up the locals. However, you just might have a great time and find your secret spot.

Strangely the windsurfing business has decayed hugely over the years here. Where there used to be 7 windsurfing retail stores (circa 1989), there are really only 2 struggling ones.

As for instruction, there is only 1 company that can give a good windsurf lesson, the other 2 take advantage of the tourists IMHO.

Kite lessons too are sort of a joke.

Although people do learn here and manage to graduate to advanced kiters and windsurfers despite the lack of good instruction.

In a word of defense to the companies that are here, its not really their fault, at fault is the Kailua Neighborhood Board, City & County and State that continues to put downward pressure to squash commercial activities at the beachpark. In essence, they dont want it going on. They want to limit tourism, in fear of it becoming another Waikiki. Since none of these government entities can work together, there is no plan, no organization, and no support for watersports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing. Instead they are looked down upon as a nuisance.

This is the deep seated issue here that is the real reason why commercial instruction is poor, and why the businesses are in shambles. It could be great, but it is not wanted by the majority.
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 1979

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:11 pm    Post subject: RE: Kahana Bay Reply with quote

Thanks Spyder. I think you left out one sport though. The locals, at least most in my family, also do the outrigger racing. It looks like they get preferred treatment at Kailua where my dad used to race. Most of my family is indifferent to my windsurfing.

Im very familiar with Waimanalo. My grandparents lived there before they passed away a few years ago. It seems most of the beaches are empty mid week though, and I have no problems with the locals as everyone mistakes me for one. Tourists are always asking me for directions. My family calls me the dark cousin from the mainland. So next time I will rent gear from Naish and take it with me.

But it makes sense to me now why there is no windsurfing or kiting along the east coast. You would never get the permits to teach, or the insurance. Thanks for the explanation.

Coachg
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spyder



Joined: 24 Sep 1996
Posts: 2790
Location: oahu

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:32 pm    Post subject: RE: Kahana Bay Reply with quote

Sounds like you are well aquainted then with the scene here.

yep...thats true the outrigger canoes....which *is* supported, being a hawaiian sport, as is surfing, and fishing.

But I guess I left out that, since it is primarily canoe clubs that are out there, not the average person.

I would say surfing (aside from fishing) is the dominant water activity for locals.

Then there are those that have one-mans (usually the richer folks), but due to cost and hassle, its a fairly small population.

Yes the lack of permits, and insurance issues prevent any of these sorts of businesses from flourishing.
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