Oahu endears itself to both visitors and locals with its truly breathtaking scenery. The Ko'olau Mountain Range slopes across the island with rolling green hills and steep peaks that overlook Kailua Bay. Off the sandy shore, the ocean plays host to an array of aquatic wildlife, such as sea turtles, dolphins, exotic fish, and kayakers. The last of these creatures comes from Twogood Kayaks, whose trained naturalists lead tours through the area's brilliant turquoise waters and offshore islets filled with natural coves and 12 species of seabirds.
In addition to garnering a reputation for making and selling some of the swiftest kayaks over the past 30 years, the staffers also train the next generation of competitors during camps and clinics.
One hundred feet beneath the surface of Maunalua Bay, the Corsair⎯a World War II airplane—rests on a sandy floor. Its massive shell and magnetism for schools of soldier fish lures deep-sea explorers to the site every year. As divers propel themselves alongside the plane's wing and fuselage, they get an up-close look at the wreck's current residents, which range from colorful goatfish to reclusive moray eels.
With more than 30 years of experience, the scuba instructors at Waikiki Diving Center lead daily dives for certified divers to submerged sites such as the Cosair wreck. Earning a five-star Instructor Development Center designation from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the center's team coordinates parties of 12–14 people and takes them out on one of two customized dive boats—The Submariner or Snoopy V—for adventures ranging from snuggling sea turtles to earning PADI open-water certifications. To enhance visitors' experiences, Waikiki Diving Center's crew arranges complimentary shuttle service to and from Waikiki hotels.
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.
Hidden beneath the waters surrounding Oahu, swirling masses of green sea turtles, eels, eagle rays, octopuses, and fish weave in and out of the coral reef. Ocean Legends equips visitors with the scuba training and knowledge that they need to not only slip beneath the waves, but also responsibly explore these marine ecosystems. In addition to offering all levels of diver-certification courses and advanced rebreather training, the guides and instructors also lead regular outings for groups seeking recreational scuba experiences. These trips leave throughout the day to view the nearby reefs and lava tubes, follow the shoreline, or explore the wrecked ships, planes, or Atlantean submarines lying on the ocean floor.
By giving guests an up-close view Hawaii's intricate ecosystems, Ocean Legends also hopes to inspire a greater sense of environmental awareness and a passion for conservation. Featuring more than 7,000 species of aquatic life, the island's waters teem with the sort of biodiversity that Ocean Legends wishes to simultaneously witness, share, and protect. Guides teach groups how to minimize their impact upon various habitats while still exploring everything that those habitats have to offer.
On his webpage, iDcard CEO Shawn Dohmen explains that his title stands for "Cheap Executive Officer"?a joke that references his fondness for finding deals on everything from restaurant tabs to golf games. Shawn's knack for saving money spawned the idea for his company, which provides discounts on goods and services from hundreds of businesses in Hawaii and elsewhere. It was his desire to save trees, however, which led to the iDcard. Instead of carting around a cumbersome coupon book in a baby stroller, customers redeem their deals by handing their iDcards to the many merchants that accept them.
Participating businesses in the iDcard network include restaurants, hotels, gyms, nightclubs, and pet groomers. Customers can show their card to sponsors over multiple visits, and receive the same discounted massage or meal each time. A downloadable phone app even alerts them to valid sponsors nearby, allowing them to easily locate opportunities for savings.
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.