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Inflatable rings and rafts are fun in the pool but the ocean in Hawaii allows for really big toys! People rent peddle-craft with giant yellow wheels to cruise around the shoreline. Some float on large inflatable rafts, others use rings that look like the floaties kids use in the pool but are much larger.
Last Sunday afternoon, I spent some time people-watching on Waikiki Beach. Because the waves were fairly small, there weren’t a lot of surfers. On good surf mornings, I’ve seen people on surf boards lined up, taking turns on the waves. It looks like a surf traffic-jam some days. But the absence of waves doesn’t mean there is nothing to do in the water.
Adults were allowing their inner child some play-time, a recess from daily duties and concerns. These rings are for rent on Waikiki Beach, along side more serious items like surf boards. They’re a fun and relaxing way to play in the waves that doesn’t require any special instruction or athletic ability. The ocean toys are a way to enjoy the water that is a middle ground between sport and sunbathing.
This particular area of Waikiki Beach is at the end of the Beach Walk. It is behind a row of hotels, accessed through alley-like passages from the street to the beach. They are clearly marked “public beach access.” There are public shower faucets near those alleys to rinse the sand from your feet as you leave the beach, and there are picnic benches for a quick lunch or snack.
It is one of the busier sections of the beach, but in part that is because it provides many services. Along with stands for renting beach equipment, you can buy tickets for activities. This is where we bought tickets for a catamaran ride on our first visit. A shave-ice stand allows you to conveniently try a unique Hawaii treat. Restaurants and bars also look directly out on the beach, in case you want to enjoy the view but not the sand.
If you want seclusion, this is not the spot for you. But you cannot beat the convenience!