Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides’ Hula Kai remains Hawaii Island’s newest snorkel and diving vessel. Now guests aboard the sleek Hydrofoil, known for its faster speeds and smooth ride, may add Stand-up Paddle Boarding, or “SUP,” to their ocean adventure.
“The Hula Kai already offers the ultimate in snorkel and dive adventures,” explains Fair Wind’s Director of Sales and Marketing Penn Henderson. “The option to learn Stand-up Paddle Boarding adds exponentially to the fun.”
SUP instruction and expert guided tours are led by accomplished professional surfer Jeff Silva for groups up to six. Silva has been a professional longboard surfer for nine years. Raised on the Big Island off the grid in the Hawaiian fishing village of Milolii, Silva is also an expert skin diver and overall waterman.
SUP, called Hoe he’e nalu in the Hawaiian language, is emerging as one of the fastest growing sports in the world but its roots remain firmly Hawaiian. It can be enjoyed by all ages and ability levels. SUP is relaxing, invigorating, provides a strong core workout, and it is a unique way to appreciate the rugged Kona coast, particularly aboard the Hula Kai which can access many of the coast’s remote and exotic destinations.
Hula Kai, a 55-foot Teknicraft power catamaran built in 2005, boasts an experienced lifeguard-certified crew, two staircases for easy water access, restrooms and fresh water showers, comfortable “theater-style” seating with arm and head rests, snorkel gear and instruction, floatation devices and now Stand-up Paddle Boarding. On the boat’s morning snorkel and dive cruise guests also enjoy continental breakfast, hot BBQ lunch and no-host bar.
Hula Kai’s morning cruise departs Keauhou Bay at 9:30 a.m. daily and returns at 2:30 pm. Minimum age requirement is seven years. Rate for the five-hour cruise is $165 plus tax. There is an additional fee of $31 for certified divers (equipment is extra) and a fee of $30 for one-half hour of Stand-up Paddleboard instruction. Learn more.