Aloha, fellow water adventurers!
I’ve just returned from another unforgettable trip to Maui with my boyfriend, and let me tell you – the stand-up paddleboarding spots we discovered are absolutely incredible. Don’t you just love it when you find that perfect spot for your favorite activity? Well, I’m here to share with you the hidden gems we found so that your next Maui adventure will be a blast!
True story: We spent countless hours exploring Kihei, Kapalua Bay, Maliko, Napali bay (and more), enjoying their amazing sights while our feet met those crystal clear waters. As if that wasn’t enough, we encountered green turtles, sea lions, eagle rays – even dolphins and whales on one special occasion! Are you as excited as I am yet?
Now let me assure you; our paddleboarding experiences have been nothing short of extraordinary. So trust me when I say that these recommendations have been thoroughly tested and enjoyed by yours truly (and my boyfriend!). You’re definitely in good hands.
Warning: After trying these spots out for yourself, every other stand-up paddleboarding experience might pale in comparison!
So dive into this treasure trove of knowledge and get ready to explore beautiful beaches teeming with marine life while riding some fabulous waves along the way – all handpicked by someone who’s experienced it firsthand.
Let’s get paddling already!
#1 Makena Turtle Town Eco Adventure in Maui – The best option in Maui
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)
Address: Makena Landing Park, 5083 Makena Rd, Kihei, HI 96753
This great trip takes you from Makena towards Turtle Town and is your best chance to see many majestic green turtles in their natural habitat. (You’ll see them sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying the beach in play!) It’s a small group tour, so you will have plenty of support and instruction from an experienced guide. The trip also includes snorkeling.
Our group had 6 participants, and they only go up to 8. We were provided delicious fresh snacks and bottled water. The guide is a professional lifeguard with CPR and first aid training, which was a huge plus for me. (I felt more at ease!) They provided top-of-the-line kayaks, life jackets, and snorkeling equipment.
Our trip started at 7 am, which I loved because it allowed us to move around and explore before the tourists came out. Everything was calm and beautiful. Asides from the sea turtles, we also saw some manta rays (first time ever!) and during snorkeling some coral, eel, and even an octopus! Not to mention tons of colorful and exotic fish.
This is my favorite paddle board tour in Maui because:
- It’s a great combination of up paddle boarding and snorkeling in several gorgeous locations.
- It’s a perfect (and best) opportunity to see green turtles, octopuses, manta rays, colorful tropical fish, and more underwater marine life.
- The guide is a professional lifeguard with CPR and first aid training focused on safety.
- The groups are small, and the activity can be enjoyed by couples or families.
#2 Private Stand up Paddle Boarding Tour in Maui
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)
Address: 5180 Makena Rd, Kihei, HI 96753
This tour is perfect for all levels, including those trying the activity for the first time, or families with children. It’s a private tour along the Kihei coastline where you get to admire the pristine and crystal-clear waters in Makena Bay. There is also an opportunity to see abundant marine life, rugged lava cliffs, beaches, and majestic panoramic views.
An introductory paddle is given at the beginning and everyone quickly gets the hang of it. Since it’s a private tour the attention is focused on us, and the instruction is complete and comprehensive. They provide all the equipment needed including life jackets and stand-up paddle equipment.
I loved this experience because it was fun-loving, and relaxing and we had plenty of time to admire everything. The highlight was that we received a digital photo package with amazing pictures of our experience. Much better than we could have captured on our own.
Other highlights included the little critters and fish in the water that were fun to observe. Not to mention impeccable views of the Haleakala summit, Molokini Crater, Pu`u Olai, and the South Maui shores. This is an activity with zero crowds and far away from crowded tourist spots. They even have showers and changing rooms available, so it’s easy to continue your day without going back to the hotel.
Private Stand-up Paddle Boarding Tour in Maui operated by Maui Stand Up Paddle Adventures is a top pick because:
- They will provide you with comprehensive and individualized attention throughout the trip.
- The spots they guide you to are rich with marine life, colorful fish, and crystal clear, calm waters.
- Changing rooms, showers, life vests, and paddle gear are provided by the tour guide who is friendly, safety oriented, and helpful.
- This is an activity suitable for all levels including children. But as a private lesson, is a great couples activity also.
#3 Lahaina Paddle
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)
Address: 505 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761 (“Shops at 505” in the back left corner across from Goofy Foot Surf School and Betty’s Beach Cafe)
If your goal is to see as much marine life as possible, you will thoroughly enjoy this paddle tour. This one is done in a kayak but is well worth being on the list anyway. The group sizes are limited to a maximum of eight people, and when we did the tour there were only six of us. So lots of personalized guidance and attention are provided by the guide. Throughout the tour, the guide provides a lot of great narratives about the area, animals, and more.
Our guide was funny and informative which really added to the whole experience. We enjoyed paddling off the coast of Lahaina and saw some great animals including colorful fish and coral, green turtles, a couple of eagle rays, and best of all dolphins. I’m sure depending on the season, seals, sea lions, and whales can be seen too.
The tour also provides fresh and delicious snacks and water for everyone. I appreciated this because it meant I had less to carry with me. Just make sure to slather on tons of sunscreen and wear head protection. Regardless of your level, if you are like me, this experience will be calming and give you a sence of zen, as you glide through the open waters.
Don’t skip the Lahaina Paddle tour because:
- The groups are small and there is a lot of guidance and the excellent information provided by the guide, both about the area and marine life.
- You will have the opportunity to see a vast amount of sea life including colorful fish and coral, green turtles, eagle rays, and possibly dolphins, seals, sea lions, and whales (depending on the season).
- They provide excellent equipment, and life vests and are focused on safety. They even provide snacks and water.
- The activity is suitable for all skill levels and there is a lesson to get started.
#4 Maui: Makena Bay Stand-Up Paddle Tour
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)
Address: Makena Landing, 5180 Makena Alanui, Kihei, HI 96753
Another great experience in stand-up paddle boarding was this tour provided by South Pacific Kayaks Maui. This trip is totally customizable so feel free to discuss with your guide what you want to see across Makena Bay. If you are not sure, that’s fine too because they are experienced and will give you excellent suggestions to maximize marine life sightings.
The tour is limited to eight people but on our trip, there were five of us. The day was beautiful and the water was completely clear and glistening. It provided a calm and serene feeling because it was so peaceful and away from other people.
We did this tour in the winter, so we spotted many whales flapping their tails and fins in the water. They felt so close to us that it was the highlight of my trip. We also saw some large green turtles, manta rays, and tropical reef fish. Our guide did not rush us and we got to enjoy the activity at our own pace. (The water was so warm I even made a few fun jumps!)
The views from the water are impeccable on this tour. You have the opportunity to see panoramic views of the coastline, beaches, cliffs, and what seems like the endless ocean. We took some one-of-a-kind pictures that I will treasure for a long time.
All the necessary equipment is provided so just bring a smile and sun protection. They provide stand-up paddleboards and paddles, Life vests (required to wear), and even refreshments, including water and juice.
Maui: Makena Bay Stand-Up Paddle Tour is an excellent choice for everyone because:
- The trip is a small group outing and is customizable, so let your tour guide know ahead of what you wish to see.
- The guide is knowledgeable and provides quality information about the culture, history, and marine life of the area.
- They know where to take you to make sure you see green turtles, manta rays, and tropical reef fish. In winter months you can even spot whales.
- There are stunning panoramic views from calm spots away from tourists.
- The activity is suitable for most levels and families.
#5 Maui: Beginner-Level Private Stand-Up Paddleboarding Lesson
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)
Address: Makena Landing Parking Lot, Makena Rd, Kihei, HI 96753
If you are looking for a private stand-up paddleboarding lesson with opportunities to learn and see exotic marine life, this is your pick. Your lesson will last for about two hours, and you will get to experience a journey through Turtle Town. This was the first tour we did in Maui, and it left an amazing impression on me. Mostly because the instructor was high quality and brought fun and excitement to the lesson.
What stuck in my mind was how the instructor built up our confidence and pushed us ferally fast to explore. I felt safe the entire time. Asides from seeing some fun marine life including turtles and an octopus, I was struck by the view of Haleakala Crater from the ocean. There are not many opportunities to see this sight in a calm and quiet atmosphere. It was humbling.
Our instructor brought all the necessary equipment. We were provided with fresh fruit snacks and water, towels, on-the-water photography (loved it!), and of course paddleboards and life vests. No need to bring anything more, just make sure to protect yourself from the sun (my boyfriend got a nice sunburn on our trip!!)
Maui: Beginner-Level Private Stand-Up Paddleboarding Lesson is a quality choice for beginners because:
- The instruction is personalized with great attention to safety and building your confidence.
- You get to have the lesson by Turtle Town and enjoy the sight of marine life including lounging and swimming green turtles, and colorful fish, and I even saw a good size octopus.
- They provide you with an awesome photograph of your lesson as a souvenir.
- It’s a unique opportunity to enjoy a snack from the water while enjoying the majestic view of Haleakala Crater from the ocean.
Conclusion on the best stand-up Paddleboarding in Maui
Not everyone is lucky enough to experience the stunning beauty Maui offers. From naturally beautiful beaches, jungles, waterfalls, and marine life, it could be called a paradise on earth.
While visiting, beginners should try, and pros should enjoy all the stand-up paddle boarding the island offers.
Whether you enjoy a small group outing into the crystal clear waters or are looking for some excitement in a beginner lesson, this article offers the best of the best.
So immerse yourself in the tropical views, marine life, and crowd-free endless ocean whenever you get the chance.
I promise each one of these tours will meet and exceed your expectations.
If you enjoyed my review, please share it with your friends, so that I can continue to bring you honest and quality content.
Enjoy your trip!
Last Updated on April 30, 2023 by Brigitte