- No lifeguards
- Reef break
- Sandy beach
- Beginner swimmers/surfers okay
- Bathroom and outdoor showers
- Volleyball courts
- Close to hotels, restaurants, and shops
A short drive South of the Tamba Surf Shop is a small sheltered surf spot called Kalapaki Bay. Located between the Lihue Airport and Nawiliwili Harbor, this bay is the the first beach you can see when flying into Kaua'i.
Kalapaki is a great spot for beginner surfers year round. The main break is out on the reef on far right or left side when out in the line up. The reef gets more shallow the closer you get to the wall. When the waves are pumping, you can surf the inside and even body surf the shore break. I would recommend a long board for this surf spot as it is a bit of a paddle or a boogie board for the inside. There are no life guards on duty, so watch the waves and maybe talk to a more experienced looking surfer out in the water. Kalapaki is one of the most friendly surf spots on the island.
There are 3 main areas to park at the bay. The small beach access parking lot at the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club is very limited but convenient if you plan on dining at one of the many restaurants within walking distance.
The upper parking above the hotels has a great cliffside lookout and offers the perfect vantage point to check the surf. The rough dirt parking lot on the far west end of the bay is the more local area of Kalapaki. If you choose to park on this side, drive very slow and smile at the locals enjoying their pau hana beverages. This last area is also where you will find the public restrooms and the best outdoor shower. If you park this side, you may have to cross the small river mouth to get to the beach.
Beach front dining and an ABC store steps away from the shore make this a spot you could spend the whole day at. It is very relaxed and there are lots of picnic tables, and shaded, well manicured grassy areas for taking in the sights. There are several permanent volley ball courts on the beach for public use. There is also good people watching here.