Let’s talk about “Kauai Style at the beach”. When this post first popped into my head, I thought it was primarily going to be about clothing… as in Kauai clothing style. Then I realized rather quickly that Kauai Style at the beach encompasses a lot more than just clothes.
But ok let’s start with the clothes. Or lack thereof!
Kauai Style at the beach
Okay, so the Kauai beach look is this: wear as little as possible while showing off various important parts of one’s body… even if you are not skinny, don’t have a 6 pack and even if you have a beer gut!
Seriously though, let’s start with the girls. The ‘de rigeur’ look for girls is clearly the Brazilian bikini, which I have always thought is a/ uncomfortable and b/ why bother? but it seems that this is what to wear if you want to look cool, or rather if you want to blend in on Kauai. Naturally the top part of the bikini is equally tiny and I have noticed that even more generously endowed ladies still wear the Braziian bikini.
I remember when my youngest daughter who is something of a fashion affionado came home excidedly waving a tiny bikini at me “I got this for $10 at the thrift store and it’s a **** worth $120!!!!” $120 ? for a tiny piece of clothing not much bigger than … um uh…
I don’t see the Hawaiian ladies wearing it though as they generally prefer much stronger and larger attire. I love to see the local families on the beach barbecuing up fish they caught or chicken thry have brought with them.
So what goes with the teeny bikini? Sarongs of course… Colorful, adaptable, useful sarongs that you can throw around your waist as a skirt, or around your entire body, or use as a wrap, or use to lie on. Everyone has a sarong. And there are such amazing colors and designs available everywhere now. Kauai is definitely a place where you need more than one sarong!
So the shades are important. In more ways than one
How about the bag?
Larger the better. Colorful, except if you carry an African basket which in recent years has become the hip thing to carry anywhere – to the grocery store, to the beach and of course backpacks. But cool ones.
For the guys
So on Kauai, the guys wear long shorts to the knee. It appears longer the better. I often wonder about this as follows: It’s fine for the Hawaiians and those who are naturally of darker shade… but for the white guys… they end up with a big line and a lot of white skin under that thing. Kind of unattractive really! Just saying.
Shorts need to be in various Hawaiian prints or color and if you want to be even more cool with Hawaiian Native designs.. Honu (Turtle) or Manu (Shark) or Whale.
You have to have your shades and for a cover up it’s usually a zip up hoodie – useful for the wind when you are up early or late surfing the best waves.
Tattoos are de rigueur for the guys. It’s hard to pick a guy out of the crowd who doesn’t have a tatoo on a Kauai beach… oh yes, usually those are the tourists! (sorry guys!) .
There are none. Definitely not on the beach and even walking around town there’s a lot of bare feet on Kauai. Feet do better with no shoes, according to recent investigations into “Earthing”. Anyway, you have to wriggle your feet in the sand right?
Well ok, flip flops. That’s what you wear around town… but you leave them in the car when you get to the beach….or on the beach stuck in the sand like this… so you can find them again right?
Now, there’s so many flip flops to choose from… most people in Hawaii wear “Locals” .. yes that’s the brand and then of course there’s Havanas…. posh or upscale flip flops that are supposedly more comfortable than other more”streetwise” shoes. Hmmm
So guys have to have tattoos it appears to be cool on Kauai. The coolest girls also have tattoos.
The Hawaiian Kanakas (That’s blood Hawaiians) have tattoos which are representations of ancient Hawaiian words; they have very specific meaning and are worn with great pride. Note: It is not cool for Western guys to obtain these Hawaiian motifs …. rather disrespectful in fact.
For the rest of the guys, it’s anything goes. Sometimes it’s anything goes over your entire body, but leg tattoos and arm tattoos appear to be the most popular. They are all over the beach and cafes.
For the girls, it’s usually quite delicate motifs either on the … ahem…. ‘okole” or just above there above the bikini line, or on the leg, ankle, shoulder, neck or arm. I rather like a lot of these and if I was a lot younger, I think I’d get one. A Dragonfly perhaps.
Okay so for the girls… long but tied up in a ponytail, braided or just left wild. For the guys, either long and tied in a topknot or tail or it seems shaved as close as you can. Well there are in between styles, but you get the idea.
Oh and the Kauai Hair Flip… cute and FUN!
This has to be a truck. Preferably a 4 x 4 with cab and bed in the back. Then you can go Polihale as well as off road in some other cool places. Also it carries the surfboard, beach gear, change of clothes, etc etc etc etc….. it carries a lot of stuff. But bro, it’s what you gotta have on Kauai to be cool in the auto. That or …okay a 4 runner but then it has to be “island” . you know?
A bit rusted, a bit old, a bit worn, a bit slept in .. a bit .. Don’t forget the stickers : Local or other…. lots of Honus on the back of cars… or sides of cars. Kauai Style!
The Surf Board
So you know, the rule here is it’s way cooler to have one than not. Seriously. Surf boards look cool on the roof of your car, sticking out the back of your truck and YOU look way cooler carrying a surf board than without. It’s Tamba (local kine). Tamba is the Surf Shop on Kauai .. Andy Irons used to get his boards and gear there and they are who I would recommend for renting surf gear and looking cool too. Ohana style. Or maybe Al Merrick or RVCA or Quicksilver . and Da Kine. for gear too. . Well there’s the boards, but then you have to have the right gear… and you see more Tamba and “Da Kine” stuff than anything else. Shaka too. Interesting that both these companies have very local Hawaiian names. Who knows what they both mean? (More later!) Anyway, thing is, you gonna be cool on the beach with a surf board and surf gear. Shaka.
Grinds on the beach
So this ranges from take outs from the Fish Market, Poke Bowls and Saimin to healthy stuff from the Farmer’s markets, Healthy Hut, Papaya;s and Big Save (wherever you are on the island). Kauai Juice Co for freshly squeezed juices and nut milks every day. You’ll find lots of locals barbecuing up the fresh fish they just caught on the beach (better than any take out or cafe). It’s wonderful to watch the kids with their nets catching the tiny Oamas at Anini … they are the size of anchovies I suppose and the locals fry them up… scrummy and then the big fish are for the whole family. Local fruits and salads from the farmers markets are good too to make your own picnic. If you are really wanting to be local, some fresh Coco juice. You’ll find fresh Cocos at the farmers markets and also guys selling them along the road. Fresh Coco juice is not only delicious but also very nutricious! Then you get to eat the meat of the Coco too… yum. I Love to get them from someone local who actually shimmies up a Palm Tree… like this guy:
I was camping at Anini one time and was woken up at 6am by some locals harvesting cocos from one of the trees right near me. That’s truly cool…. harvesting a coco at the beach. It’s the Kauai way. Kauai Style at the beach!