The gear needed in Hawaii is different from gear for other places. We don’t take jet skis out on the water, we take fins and other toys.

1. Fins

Fins are a MUST if you plan on going snorkeling or body surfing. I love fins. They really help you maneuver through the water easily and quickly, and are far more powerful than most people think. Fins essentially turn you into a fish, or a mermaid. They help by elongating your legs, giving you longer strides, and more powerful ones at that, because of their webbed “feet.” You’ll see a lot of girls wearing incredibly long fins while going diving in the north shore, they help you cover ground (or water) much faster. The north shore is popular for people diving for dolphins or sharks, so in these cases, if you don’t have a mask, you’ll want to maximize your time underwater. Fins are the way to go.

gear needed in Hawaii

Fins are necessary to travel faster in the water!
SwimFins 02 by Alexander Z. is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. Image may have been resized or cropped from original.

2.  Underwater mask

In addition to fins, an underwater mask is essential for snorkeling and deep diving. Goggles won’t cut it. This is because you’ll want a bigger viewing lense, and goggles are too small to offer this. Places like China Walls, the North Shore, and Hanauma Bay are all great locations to use an underwater mask. The water here is so clear, you’ll definitely want to take a look at what’s beneath you! But don’t get scared if you see something moving, it might just be a turtle, or a reef shark.

gear needed in Hawaii

Don’t break your mask like I did! . Image Copyright CyberCom, Inc.

3. Chinaman’s hat

The chinaman’s hat is a particular hat style that covers every angle of your face from the sun. It’s perfect for a long beach day out in the sun. You’ll want sun protection more than just sunscreen. Sun burns aren’t fun. The “chinaman’s hat” is also another signature icon for Hawaii. Mainland beach styles don’t include this hat on their lists. In fact, there’s even a small island off the north side of Kane’ohe Bay named “chinaman’s hat” because it’s shape literally looks like the hat. If you get a chance to see the island, you’ll see why the name is fitting.

4. Sunglasses

In a place that’s sunny for 365 days out of the year, you’ll need a good, cute pair of sunglasses. Ray Bans are pretty popular, the aviator style especially. I like to have a nice pair of sunglasses and a cheap pair that I’m alright with scratching. Beware of dropping your glasses in the sand at the beach, because sand can easily scratch a lot of things, especially those new sunglasses!

gear needed in Hawaii

Eye protection is important, kids. Image Copyright CyberCom, Inc.

5. Otterbox/lifeproof case

Like I mentioned earlier, sand can scratch a lot of things. The water from the ocean can also ruin a lot of things, like electronic devices, or more specifically, your phone. I like to have an otterbox or lifeproof case on my phone at all times when I go hiking or go to the beach. So in other words, my phone is always in its’ otterbox. I would hate to break my phone at the beach. That thing is worth way too much, and I’m sure you feel the same way. These kinds of phone cases can be pretty pricey, but they’re worth it.

These are just a few of our recommendations for the gear needed in Hawaii. At the end of the day, you’ll have to decide how much fun you want to have! Sometimes you can have fun even without any gear!