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Outdoor Adventures

Desk jockeys, put down that dry cleaning and get inspired by your friends and neighbors. They make the most of Hawaii's giant backyard—and they want to show us how.


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Photo by Sergio Goes

Stoke Up Your Stroke


Swimming laps can get a little dull, so why not add some excitement to your workout with unyielding currents and, possibly, sharks? Maui is home to a number of open-ocean swim races, but one of the most popular is the Maui Channel Swim between Lanai and Kaanapali, the only interisland swim race in Hawaii. Most swimmers compete in a six-person team; the truly hardcore complete the 9.5-mile swim solo. Not tired yet? Stick around for the popular 2.4-mile Maui Aumakua Swim off Makena. The two races are held yearly on Saturday and Monday of Labor Day weekend. For information, visit www.mauichannelswim.com.

Photo courtesy of Skyline Eco Adventures


Put it on the Line


Strap in, snap on and step off the edge—soaring across a gulch, the only thing between you and the treetops are your shoes. Skyline Eco Adventures offers two zipline tours: a five-line course on Haleakala Ranch, and an eight-line course in the mountains above Kaanapali. Taking that leap of faith off a cliff might get your heart racing, but a sturdy harness, gear and wire will get you to the other side. Tours include talks on the natural history of the area; the Haleakala course includes a short hike; Kaanapali features an off-road drive and lunch. 808-878-8400, www.skylinehawaii.com.


While Hawaii's waters are warm at the surface, spearfishermen dive to colder, deeper areas, making a wesuit a comfortable option. This is Kurt Chambers with a kahala he just caught diving at the Sea Tiger wreck in Waikiki.

Photo by Sergio Goes

Spear a Fish


“There are great places to spearfish all around Oahu— I choose a location based on wind and surf conditions,” says local spearfisher Kurt Chambers. (Chambers documents his adventures at  www.freedivephoto.com.) The sport is intense, with divers going 20 to 100 feet down, all on breath-hold. Chambers dispatches his prey and moves it onto a kayak, so that it’s out of the water. “I’ve seen many sharks, even big tiger sharks, but they’ve never been aggressive to me. They want your fish. Some divers will defend their catch, sometimes you have to give it up.” 

Basic equipment includes a mask, snorkel and fins; a wetsuit and weight belt; and a spear gun or three-prong (a handheld spear launcher). As resources, Chambers suggests Hawaii Skin Diver magazine and its Web site. “They have a forum on there that is a good source of local diving information,” he says, as well as stores Hana Paa Hawaii and Maui Sporting Goods. 


For information on a free class on July 25 about dive safety and shallow water blackout issues, visit http://www.hawaiiskindiver.com.

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Honolulu Magazine May 2018
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