Brian Bradley paddle boarder

Tips for Buying a Paddle Board in Kona, Hawaii

buying a paddle board in Kona

Returning to shore in Keauhou Bay on a Lahui Kai paddle board.

Buying a paddle board in Kona, Hawaii, was a bit more involved than I initially imagined. The first thing I learned was a person should really demo the paddle board first. Don’t just pick the prettiest and least expensive paddle board in the store because you might regret it later. Everybody is different when it comes to paddle boarding. When I considered the fact that I’ve actually only gone paddle boarding 3 times in my life and the last time was 4 years ago in Bora Bora, I felt like I needed expert assistance. And not from some mouth breather.

My husband is what I often refer to as the voice of reason, so it’s good that he was in Hawaii to help me out. He is not a guy who enjoys paddle boarding. He tried once and decided it was not for him. Which I respect, even though I don’t want to. I want him to go paddle boarding with me and enjoy the freedom of sailing across the water free as a bird, but it’s not for him.

I mapped out a few shops in Kona, but decided instead to stop at a place near Costco that looked like a local store for buying a paddle board in Kona. They had the stand-up boards with cross bars like an elliptical. You hang on to the bars, which holds you upright on the board and paddle with your feet. Kind of like a stand-up boat. The guy who owned that shop directed us to Sue over at Polynesian Paddling Products. Sue, a beautiful slim woman with silver hair, referred me to Brian Bradley, who makes paddle boards.

buying a paddle board in Kona

Brian Bradley helped Elizabeth Weintraub get on her paddle board.

Brian is a tall, gray-haired, very attractive guy at 70+. I recall Sue telling me she was in her 70’s, too. Being 65 myself, I need people to admire who are older, and these two fit the bill. It’s hard to trust people under 50 nowadays.

Brian invited me to Keauhau Bay to try out a few paddle boards. The first board looked like a regular paddle board. Rounded tip and wide. I climbed aboard. Uh-oh, it took me several tries to stand. I did not feel stable. But once I got up, yes, a calm passed over me and I felt in command of the board. I paddled about but it seemed too wide and it rocked in the waves, almost clumsily.

buying a paddle board in Kona

Look straight ahead and focus are the keys to paddle boarding.

Next, Brian suggested the Lahui Kai, a touring paddle board, at 11 feet 6 inches. They don’t make this kind of board anymore. The new boards are 12 feet, 6 inches. But this particular board was for sale at Sue’s shop. It’s made from carbon fiber and weighs 23 pounds. It even has a riser handle to help with carrying the board. They make a cheaper version of this board in fiberglass, but I loved how easy the carbon fiber board is to carry. Let’s not forget I’m only 5 feet tall.

buying a paddle board in Kona

Elizabeth Weintraub paddle boards in Keauhou Bay near Kona.

Soon as I climbed aboard the Lahui Kai, I fell in love with the board. Your heart will tell you. It glided effortlessly. Stability plus. Made buying a paddle board in Kona so much easier. I could have wandered into any shop on Ali’i Drive and ended up with a completely unreasonable board that I would dislike within a few weeks. Instead, I trusted experience. To go with my purchase, I also splurged and bought a Puakea Carbon Fiber Catch 22 paddle that is fairly weightless and Brian custom adjusted the height for me.

In closing, let me say if you are interested in buying or selling a home in Sacramento, trust experience. Call Elizabeth Weintraub, your Sacramento Realtor and paddle board enthusiast, at 916.233.6759 and put more than 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. I’ll be back in Sacramento on February 1.

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