Green flags set tires squealing inside Podium Raceway Hawaii's 44,000-square-foot facility as up to 12 drivers jockey the emission-free electric karts for a podium finish. Two straightaways send floored pedals toward top speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, and four hairpin turns test karts’ handling and drivers’ ability to steer with their ponytails. Drivers can take to the track during individual races, professionally taught clinics, or as part of a league that doles out prizes to its speediest participants.
Enchanted by a walking tour of Manhattan he took in 2007, the Honolulu Star Bulletin reports, Casey Hewes decided that his hometown of Honolulu deserved a similar guided trek focused on its rich history and culture. After recruiting former police officer and fellow lifelong history buff Richard Wong, Hewes opened Ohana Walking Tours one year later. Richard meets patrons beneath the Aliiolani Hale archway—situated right behind the King Kamehameha statue—and leads a two-hour jaunt past such attractions and landmarks as the Iolani Palace and the mayor's office. Guests also visit numerous Hawaiian firsts, including the state's first church, police station, and pizzeria, which was formed by a cooling volcano full of ham and pineapple. Throughout the tour, Richard connects rich anecdotes about Honolulu's past with their relevance to contemporary issues affecting the city today.
A birthday girl surrounded by her best friends dances to her favorite song and moves across a glittering black-granite floor to grab a drink at the bar. Overhead, mirrored ceilings reflect the light of fiber-optic stars. A dancing pole invites flashy dance moves or flashier firefighter imitations. The driver turns around to let everyone know they're about to park. What looks and feels like the VIP section of a nightclub is actually the inside of an Oahu Party Bus. The company's fleet of fully equipped vehicles chauffeurs groups of up to 40 people across the island in style, making stops at scenic locations such as Kualoa Ranch or The Valley of the Temples. Drivers can deliver guests to favorite bars or simply cruise for a one-of-a-kind night on the road. Guests can blast their own music over the bus's sound system, play DVDs on flat-screen TVs, or sing karaoke songs to court applause from passing cars.
Big Wave Dave Surf Co.'s staff of experienced wave riders hits the shores of Waikiki Beach for private and small-group lessons in surfing, standup paddleboarding, and outrigger canoeing. Each instructor's résumé boasts at least 10 years of teaching experience, an extensive knowledge of first aid, and at least one semester as Poseidon's college intern. During classes, first-time surfers learn the basics on land before heading into the warm waters to hang their first 10, whereas advanced riders barrel out into the waves atop fiberglass and epoxy boards. Outrigger canoes recall ancient Hawaiians' exploration of Oahu's colorful reefs, and standup paddleboards combine an intense workout with clear views of the pristine waters below. The shop also offers daily and long-term rentals of equipment, with complimentary delivery and pickup from local hotels.
Frank Uehara watched as his neighbor, who had just returned from Japan, showed him a new piece of gear—an airsoft gun powered by springs and gas. Frank was intrigued as he held the pellet gun, and began to practice the sport. But as airsoft grew over the next 30 years and Frank continued to pursue it, he came to realize that many airsoft fields were unwieldy for first-time players and saw his chance to change that. At Action Pursuit Hawaii's outdoor field, he provides an easy introduction for first-time airsoft players while also welcoming competitors of all skill levels into challenging play. The facility’s safety officials remain on hand to oversee players who blast pellets at competitors and exchange witty Shakespearean taunts from behind the field’s giant tilted plastic columns and plywood barricades.