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A Board With a View

IJfke Ridgley | January 6, 2021 | Lifestyle Travel & Recreation Play

Ready for the ultimate socially distant ocean adventure? The village of Puako on Hawai‘i Island’s famed Kohala Coast may be small, but it is home to one of the largest coral reefs in the state. And there is no better way to see the reef than with LightSUP Hawaii, a unique stand-up paddleboarding outfitter that runs tours daily from Puako’s picturesque shores.


Husband-and-wife team Raymond Schmidt and Kelly Nedved lead small, intimate groups for sunrise and sunset paddles for a memorable and authentic experience. What makes these tours so special is their patented board, which was designed by Raymond and his daughter, Bella, to have an expansive front viewing window and LED lights. Pods of dolphins and turtles at their cleaning stations frequently pass underneath your feet during the sunrise session, while the reef becomes a magical lit-up universe during the sunset tour. They have also recently paired up with Ali‘i Adventures, south of Kona, to offer their NightLight board for rent to paddle to the manta rays at night. Talk about a view! 657.5796,

Tags: adventure

Photography by: photo courtesy of LightSUP Hawaii