Exploring Paradise Safely: Tips for Swimming on the Big Island’s Majestic Beaches

Hawaii Things to do Vacation Rentals

Man and child surfing

The Big Island of Hawaii is enchanting, with pristine beaches, azure waters, and abundant marine life awaiting your arrival. If you plan to visit the island this summer, you are in for a treat, as it is the best time to enjoy our beautiful beaches. The weather is perfect, and the waters are warmer and calmer, ideal for swimming, snorkeling, or just soaking in the ocean.

To ensure your beach experience remains unforgettable, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to help you stay safe while swimming on the Big Island’s breathtaking shores. So grab your sunscreen and get ready to dive into our top tips for a safe and enjoyable beach adventure!

Choose Lifeguarded Beaches or Stay Close to the Shore

When it comes to swimming, peace of mind is paramount. Opt for beaches that have dedicated lifeguards on duty. These trained professionals possess extensive knowledge of local conditions and can provide crucial information on water safety. Look for beaches like Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Kahaluu Beach Park, Magic Sands, and Kua Bay, which offer lifeguard services throughout the day. Their watchful eyes and swift actions can be lifesaving in case of an emergency.

That is not to say that you should stay away from any beach without a lifeguard – there are many worth visiting. However, when you do so, especially if you are not an experienced swimmer, stay close to the shore and avoid venturing into deep waters. Many pristine beaches, like our favorite Engine Beach, have shallow waters a few yards from the coast, but then the ocean floor suddenly drops into depth, so be aware of that.

The light turquoise color of the ocean indicates shallow waters with a sandy bottom, darker color means reef underneath, while a deep blue means deep waters.

Check Weather and Surf Conditions

Nature’s whims can significantly impact your beach experience. Before heading out, check the weather forecast and surf conditions. Keep an eye on the National Weather Service and local advisories to stay informed about any potential hazards. High surf advisories, strong currents, or stormy weather may warrant rescheduling your swim. Your safety should always precede any desire to venture into rough waters.

Swim with a Buddy

Exploring the Big Island’s beaches is better with a companion. It is best to swim with a buddy, as it enhances enjoyment and safety. Someone by your side can provide assistance if needed and ensure that help is readily available in an emergency. Plus, sharing magical moments amidst the island’s natural beauty is simply more delightful when experienced together.

Be Aware of Currents

The Big Island’s mesmerizing waters boast powerful and unpredictable currents. Educate yourself about the various types of currents, particularly rip currents, which can be hazardous even for strong swimmers. If you are uncertain about the conditions, consult the lifeguard on duty or approach friendly locals for advice. Remember, knowledge is key when it comes to navigating the currents safely.

Start in Shallow Water

If you are not an experienced swimmer or unfamiliar with the area, it is wise to begin your aquatic adventure in shallow water. By starting close to the shore, you can acclimatize to the ocean’s rhythm and gradually venture into deeper waters as you gain confidence. This approach lets you assess your comfort level and ensure a smoother transition to more challenging conditions.

Avoid Areas with Rocky Shores

While the Big Island’s coastline offers a myriad of stunning vistas, it is crucial to exercise caution near rocky shores. Waves crashing against rocks can create strong undertows, posing a danger to swimmers. Opt for sandy beaches that offer a safer environment for swimming. Avoiding rocky areas mitigates the risk of injuries and helps you focus on the sheer beauty of the island’s beaches.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

As you explore the Big Island’s beaches, basking in the glorious sunshine is inevitable. However, it is essential to safeguard your skin from the intense Hawaiian sun. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen generously and regularly, wear a wide-brimmed hat to shield your face and neck, and consider wearing a lightweight, long-sleeved rash guard to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Staying hydrated is equally important, so remember to drink plenty of water throughout your beach day.

Respect Marine Life

The Big Island’s coastal waters are teeming with diverse marine life, including sea turtles, colorful fish, and vibrant coral reefs. While getting closer for a better look is tempting, respecting the natural habitat and wildlife is crucial. Admire marine life from a safe distance and avoid touching or disturbing any creatures or delicate coral reefs. Not only does this protect the ecosystem, but it also ensures your safety, as some marine animals can exhibit defensive behaviors if they feel threatened. Remember, observing and appreciating from afar allows you to cherish the island’s marine wonders while keeping yourself and the environment safe.

Know Your Limits

Honesty with oneself is vital when it comes to water activities. Assess your swimming abilities and choose appropriate areas accordingly. If you’re not a strong swimmer, it’s best to stick to beaches where you can touch the bottom, or consider wearing a flotation device for added safety. Avoid venturing into deep waters or strong currents beyond your comfort level. By acknowledging your limits, you can enjoy the beach confidently and reduce the risk of accidents.

Stay Informed and Follow the Guidelines

Staying safe on the Big Island’s beaches requires ongoing awareness and adherence to guidelines. Stay updated with local news, signs, and instructions provided by lifeguards. Pay attention to warning flags and be mindful of any posted regulations. Familiarize yourself with emergency procedures and the location of the nearest lifeguard stations or emergency services. You can ensure a safer and more enjoyable beach experience by being well-informed and following the established guidelines.

Hapuna Beach

The Big Island’s beaches are a paradise waiting to be explored, and by prioritizing safety, you can fully immerse yourself in the wonders of this breathtaking destination. Whether swimming, snorkeling or simply basking in the sun, following these essential tips will help you make the most of your beach adventure while safeguarding your well-being. Remember to check weather and surf conditions, swim with a buddy, be aware of currents, start in shallow water, avoid rocky shores, protect yourself from the sun, respect marine life, know your limits, and stay informed. Embrace the beauty and tranquility of the Big Island’s beaches, knowing that your safety is our utmost priority.

At Kohala Coast Properties, Inc., we strive to create memorable experiences for our valued guests. If you seek luxury accommodations on the Big Island’s stunning Kohala Coast, we invite you to explore our portfolio of exceptional properties. Plan your dream vacation today, and let us be a part of your safe and unforgettable beach journey on the Big Island.

Get more from your vacation by booking 7 nights and get the 8th night free!

Mention the words “ENDLESS SUMMER” to our reservationist and receive this terrific value on most of our vacation villas!


To top