Founded with the goal of curating unique island adventures that promote up-close encounters with local wildlife, Island Water Sports Hawaii facilitates humans’ return to nature with intimate tours and activities. Working out of the Hawaii Kai Marina, Island Water Sports’ passionate staff of boat captains ferries guests out into Maunalua Bay to partake in aquatic adventures including snorkeling. The company’s signature eco-friendly submarine scooters secure riders' heads in clear, bubble-like helmets that draw on the principles of diving bells to safely seal air inside and keep faces dry, comfortable, and breathing easily throughout underwater tours. On boat tours, the balmy sea air tussles the manes of Island Watersports’ skippers as they point out awe-inspiring vistas and wildlife such as humpback whales that migrate to Hawaii from Alaska to nurse, mate, and take their sundresses out of storage.
With more than 22 years of experience as a professional surfer and parasailer, Greg Longnecker knows how to master unruly waves and harness coastal winds. He shares his adrenaline-charged experiences with clients with the aid of USCG-certified crews at X-Treme Parasail. They lead many of their ocean voyages aboard the Honolulu Screamer, a vibrant water-propelled jet boat powered by twin C-12 engines.
The vessel cuts through coastal waves at up to 40 miles per hour as musical beats pump from its 20-speaker sound system, just below the decibel range of Poseidon's hearing. Greg and his captains alternatively provide tours up the Waikiki coastline, as well as jet-ski training and parasailing tours, which can send customers soaring up to 850 feet above the water's surface. On most excursions, participants may lay their eyes on Diamond Head and the Ko'olau Mountains, or turn seaward to gloat obnoxiously at green sea turtles and spinner dolphins.
When it comes to spearfishing, Westside Dive and Tackle founder Kris Tyler considers using scuba tanks as cheating. So when he suits up to spearfish, the seasoned outdoorsman plunges 20 feet below the water’s surface, holds his breath in the stillness, and waits: “You become a part of the reef or rock, and you wait for the perfect situation—for the one fish that might give you that really good shot.” A self-described “water baby,” Kris has been swimming and fishing in Hawaii and Florida since childhood. Most of all, he loves the way spearfishing enables him to connect with the underwater universe and partake in a tradition Hawaiians have enriched for generations.
In addition to his spearfishing expeditions, Mr. Tyler totes explorers to his favorite sunken wrecks and lava caverns off the coast of Oahu on scuba-diving charters, and equips them to chart their own expeditions or challenge blowfish to staring contests during scuba-diving certification.
North Shore Shark Adventures gets divers up close with sharks and other wildlife during oceanic and underwater tours. For those who prefer to see the sharks from afar, two-hour tours take in the landscape and other oceanic animals including dolphins, Hawaiian green sea turtles, and humpback whales. Those who want a closer look can dive in a secure metal cage, plunging beneath the waves to swim alongside the sharks.