Endless rows of machines, friendly staff, and two locations give the no-frills sweat shop a comforting neighborhood feel. Expect to find eligible, state-of-the-art machines, intensive and expert fitness coaching, and a bevy of classes such as yoga, power sculpt, abs and flexibility, and cardio hip-hop.
Designed to recreate Hawaii's native volcanic rock and its thrilling climbs, a multitude of climbing surfaces erupt throughout Volcanic Rock Gym's 3,000 square feet. From 16 feet in the air, a large top-out boulder hangs over an expanse of traversing walls, campus boards, and safety mats. Traditionalists can scale a vertical wall with the reassurance of a physical anchor on the top-rope routes, and rebellious climbers and mountain-goat impersonators can attempt the crack-climbing walls and bouldering façades. In addition, curious spelunkers can explore the bouldering cave, negotiating its ceiling holds and stubborn bats to emerge back in the gym from a massive overhang. Climbing routes change every month to present new climbing challenges and dissuade cheaters from memorizing all the foothold nibs before testing their climbing prowess.
Aqua Zone Scuba Diving & Snorkeling Center owner and captain Devon Merrifield and his team of certified instructors and staff share a deep love for Honolulu's sprawling, clear coastal waters. Each member of the nine-person crew sought Hawaii's warm waters after garnering experience along faraway shores in places such as Oregon, Thailand, and Kansas. Today, the sprightly team shares its passion for the sea via snorkeling and scuba-diving tours, cruises along the reef or to shipwreck sites, and onsite or in-pool diving training. Throughout each excursion, Aqua Zone's staff remain committed to sea turtle conservation, informing customers of the endangered creatures' lifestyle, behavior, and ecosystem. Staff members also sanitize each of the dive center's silicone dry snorkels and masks, as well as prescription masks, after each use, leaving divers worry-free so they can focus on ventures such as braiding an octopus's tentacles.
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.
Acupuncturist and Chinese medical herbalist Shelly Denny treats patients at two locations, where she unpacks her needles and the skills she honed at Southwest Acupuncture College. Her education, coupled with time spent helping stroke victims recover during clinical internships and externships in rehabilitation hospitals, all inform her practice, where she specializes in issues such as pain management and injury recovery as well as insomnia and women's health. Her specific style of acupuncture draws from Japanese techniques for a gentler procedure. Her treatments, however, are not limited to acupuncture and herbalism; Shelly also performs moxibustion and reiki.
Honolulu’s azure beaches and lush mountain ranges beckon eyes downward as passengers team up with a commercially rated and FAA-certified pilot to cut through the air on glider tours offered year-round. Seated snugly in a bubble-topped glider plane, passengers and pilots survey panoramic views from up to 3,000 feet above the island's famously scenic North Shore. Surfers wave from the surging whitecaps far below and, on clear days, one can view distant landmarks such as the Kaena Point satellite-tracking station, the volcanic tuff cone known as Diamond Head, and the lava dam that stands between Honolulu and certain destruction. Known for their aerobatic prowess, pilots sometimes offer upside-down views of these and other sights as they guide their gliders through a series of loops and turns. A team of technicians tends to gliders and tow planes as soon as they land, ensuring that each remains safe and ready for the next flight.
An offshoot of Roberts Hawaii, which began giving tours of Kauai and other Hawaiian islands in 1941, Hawaiian Ocean Thrills sends a variety of watercraft splashing along the sandy shoreline of Waikiki Beach. Visitors navigate the crystalline waters aboard humming jet skis, gliding banana sleds, or skipping bumper tubes. Guests can also experience the big blue at a distance in a parasail that soars over the waves and affords views of the Oahu skyline. They also swim, snorkel, and lounge on the beach, taking a break from the water to munch a sandwich or salad lunch and make sure their toes don’t turn permanently pruney.