So I bet your first question is why is this beach called Electric beach. Well it’s because of the electric power plant that throws clean, warm water into the off shore waters. The fish love it and tend to flow to the area because of the warmer water.
The proper name for Electric Beach, though, is Kahe Point Beach Park and it’s located on the west side of Oahu along the Farrington Highway, or Route 93.
There are a lot of people who rave about snorkeling at Electric Beach because of the water clarity and the flocking fish to the warmer waters. That’s all true. However, I didn’t enjoy snorkeling there as much as most, I guess.
Reasons To Not Snorkel at Electric Beach (Kahe Point Beach Park)
- For one, I don’t like to work hard when I’m snorkeling. It’s a matter of relaxation and zen to me. The swim out to the outflow of the warm water and where the fish flock was not by any means “easy”. I mean, it’s doable but it is open water and there are no lifeguards. I consider myself a decent swimmer but I worked much too hard getting to location.
- Secondly, all though it is open water with plenty of space, the area around the outflow gets crowded. When I went out there, there were a couple of guys spear fishing and I actually got my snorkel tube stuck on one of their buoy and marker lines. I felt a little embarrassed and less than 100% safe in the area.
- Lastly, once out at the spot where everyone wants to go…it’s kind of deep and unless you’re constantly diving down and coming back up for air…then diving done again all of the fish are pretty far away. Snorkeling Electric Beach isn’t great for photo taking which is something that I’m in to.
While the area is beautiful and the beach park is awesome, I just wouldn’t recommend Electric Beach to the beginner snorkeler. I went once and it was pretty cool but I don’t think that I’ll ever go back. Like I said (and call me lazy if you want) it’s just that I don’t want to work hard to snorkel. I want to relax and take photos.
Good Stuff About Snorkeling Electric Beach
Just so that you know I’m not totally hating on Electric Beach here are some things about the spot:
Since it is more open and deeper than some of the other snorkeling spots on Oahu and in Hawaii that I recommend, there are some things that you’re more likely to see there. Spinner dolphins and Eagle rays are often spotted in the area.
Another good thing about snorkeling Electric Beach is that there are quite a few tours that run in the area where you can take a boat out to the location and snorkel right off of the boat.
Final Analysis: Great for scuba and intermediate to well-experienced snorkelers. However, snorkeling Electric Beach is not the most relaxing of times and if it’s choppy and the surf is high then it can be downright dangerous.
General Tips for Snorkeling in Hawaii
Snorkeling in Hawaii is a dream. I mean, you’re on a series of Islands. Where else could there be better snorkeling? Hawaii has some of the nicest beaches and coral formations in the world. The Pacific Ocean around the Hawaiian Islands provides everything that is needed to make your snorkeling adventure in Hawaii awesome!
1. Have the Right Gear
For the best snorkeling experience you’re going to need (at a minimum) a snorkel mask, a snorkel tube and some flippers. Making sure that they fit right is important too.
Flippers that are too big come off and ones that are too small will hurt your feet. If you’re snorkel mask doesn’t fit right you could wind up with a whole slew of problems like water or fog in the mask.No need to get fancy-a basic set up is all that you need.
2. Practice with Your Gear
Snorkeling may look easy, but it actually can be tricky to some people-especially if they’ve never snorkeled before. Take some time in the shallow waters of where your Hawaii snorkeling location is and practice for a bit.
3. Pay Attention to Warning Signs
Depending on where you’re snorkeling there may be some dangerous situations that you need to pay to places that are popular snorkel spots in Hawaii at first. Always snorkel with a buddy and never do so at night. Snorkeling in Hawaii can get dangerous if you’re not careful.
Snorkeling in Hawaii: The Tops Spots
Oahu: Sharks Cove, Hanauma Bay, Electric Beach and Lanikai Beach
Big Island, Hawaii: Kealekua Bay, Kahaluu Beach Park
Maui: Molokini Crater, Honolua Bay, Kapalua Bay
So, which Island has the best snorkeling in Hawaii? Well, I’m partial to all of them. I think Molokini Crater, Kealekua Bay and Sharks Cove are the top three spots in Hawaii. Of course, there are places that supposedly offer super snorkeling on Kauai and Lanai that I’ve not gotten to…yet!