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.
Walls of hard concrete line the perimeter of CrossFit Ewa Beach’s 6,000-square-foot facility, symbolizing the strength and endurance that exercisers strive to achieve as they sculpt their muscles with barbells, kettlebells, and pull-up bars. Here, seasoned trainers espouse functional training techniques that augment everyday movements such as pushing, squatting, and lifting with exercises inspired by Olympic sports such as gymnastics and full-contact badminton. Head trainer Noel Famy, a Level 2 CrossFit instructor and former Marine, transforms groups of strangers into teammates who motivate one another through moments of intimidation and fatigue. Most workouts last less than 40 minutes and can be tailored to a variety of ages and fitness levels. Famy also propels clients toward their goals during personal-training sessions filled with custom-built workouts and nutritional consultations. His nutritional advice revolves around Whole9’s version of the Paleo Diet, a nutrition regimen based on Stone Age humans’ diet of wild plants and fried velociraptor eggs.
Barbers Point Flight School's instructors are airline pilots who share a common goal: to help their students and tour groups discover the joys of flight. Propellers roaring, their Cessna aircraft soar above Oahu during demo flights, which mark the first step toward FAA certification. Students can also enroll in personalized training courses covering subjects such as turbine engines and long-range navigation.
As the third largest Hawaiian Island, Oahu provides a sprawling backdrop for the flight school's tours and lessons. Passengers can look out over the towering cityscapes of Honolulu and the winding coastlines of Mamala Bay before returning safely back to Earth. Back on the ground, Barbers Point Flight School visitors can explore the onsite NAS museum sprinkled with decommissioned fighter jets and fossilized airline meals.
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.
Marksmen weave in and out of buildings clustered on Kapolei Airsoft's barricade- and obstacle-littered fields, an expansive urban terrain that accommodates up to two indoor and outdoor bouts at a time. Under the watchful eye of trained field officials, participants clad in face protection commence contests that simulate military scenarios, urban combat, and armed square dancing. Before firing off 6mm BBs fashioned from ABS plastic at opposing teams, players run through safety instructions at pre-game briefings. Visitors can join new rounds of combat––lasting until midnight every Friday and Saturday––during walk-on contests, via membership outings, or through one of Kapolei Airsoft's party packages.
The staff at Sea & Board Sports Hawaii honors its island ancestry by using only Hawaiian-designed boards, which they can customize for those desiring a one-of-a-kind deck pad. Handy board mechanics tend to tarnished planks as sea-faring adventurers browse the store’s voluminous selection of accessories, which ranges from paddles and leashes to athletic-grade peg legs. Proud locals bring their love and knowledge of Oahu’s shorelines to Sea & Board’s lessons, during which students learn balance and paddling techniques as spinner dolphins, sea turtles, and whales lazily drift beneath the ocean’s crystalline waves.