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.
The water churns along the length of The Treasure Seeker, as the 83-foot galleon slices its way out of storybook pages and into the waters of Waikiki. Crewed by a team of salty dogs, the ship specializes in pirate-themed cruises, with other boats sometimes appearing to do water-cannon battle. Passengers man the enormous squirt guns to help fend off these foes.
The crew of The Treasure Seeker also conducts more adult-oriented excursions, including evening cruises that adopt a club-like feel complete with flashing lights, music, and BYOB adult beverages. Still clad in their pirate garb, the crew leads a bit of themed skullduggery or joins in a dance or two. After de-boarding and becoming a landlubber once more, revelers can visit The Groove Hawaii for go-karting, pizza, and other pirate-free fun.
On Pedal Bike Tours' guided Hidden Honolulu tour, Waikiki isn't the main attraction—instead, bikers depart from Waikiki to adventure down hidden paths with no car traffic, check out local beaches, and even pedal past the Royal Palace. The team also offers a North Shore tour, with a customizable length that ranges from 2.5–15 miles, and general rentals, which allow bikers to explore the area sans guide.
Humdinger Sportfishing's resident skipper, Jeff Fay, brings more than 40 years of deep-sea-fishing experience aboard his 37-foot fishing vessel. Passengers command the boat's supply of sturdy Penn International rods and reels, which can withstand the prodigious strength of tuna, blue marlin, and seahorses riding land horses. A proponent of conservationism and catch-and-release fishing, Jeff lets fishers take home their hard-fought nautical prizes but confers extra environmental brownie points on those who tag and release their catches, which helps to preserve populations and aids local research efforts.
Explore coastal caves and rock formations. Walk past active lava flows and tubes. Paddle through schools of tropical fish against the underwater landscape of a reef. These outdoor adventures make up the daily commute for the five guides who helm Hawaii Pack and Paddle. In addition to belonging to the same family, these guides—each certified lifeguards trained in first aid and CPR—share a passion for the untamed splendor of Hawaii's outdoors. It's a passion they bestow upon others during 10 organized tours that challenge participants to kayak, snorkel, and embark on day or night hikes.
As a fully-insured kayak and snorkel-tour company, Hawaii Pack and Paddle sometimes leads forays into little-seen areas, such as the rugged Keauhou Bay or the cave where high-school senior Tiffany keeps her diary. Some tours lead adventurers through the lava flows and jungles of Volcanoes National Park, along the shore of Punaluu Black Sand Beach, or past the waterfalls and ridges of Waipi'o. Other tours focus on special topics such as spear-fishing and underwater geological exploration. Alternatively, multi-day tours may blend several outdoor activities or include overnight camping. On each excursion, guides elucidate facts about the local ecosystem and its ties to Hawaii's cultural history, and they often train participants in one of their favorite skills: marine-life identification.