Ziplining Gaining Momentum on Maui

Danny Boren
Danny Boren
Lei & Hoku Gonzales
Lei & Hoku Gonzales

KA'ANAPALI, Maui (KHNL) --  If you think you've seen and done all there's to do in Hawaii, you might be wrong.  Thrill seekers have done surfing, skydiving, and parasailing, but a popular South American adrenaline-pumping adventure has reached our shores.

Safety straps, harnesses, and even helmets.   These folks are in for quite an adventure.

"Feeling good, ready to do this," said Hoku Gonzales, A Lahaina resident who decided to try ziplining with his wife.

"Nervous, very nervous," said his wife Lei with a nervous laughter.

They're going high above Ka'anapali. It's a place familiar to Hoku Gonzales.

"Through high school, riding dirt bike through the old cane fields and things like that," he said.  "So I figure, trying to fly through them instead."

Fly through the air, suspended on these high-tension wires.  This is ziplining.   But before we go flying, you've got to make sure everything's in place.

So once the safety checks are done and you're strapped in, you hold on for dear life, and away we go."

This Ka'anapali course opened up just a few months ago.  It has eight ziplines, taking customers over trees and even waterfalls.

Danny Boren is the president of Skyline Eco Adventures.  He and his dad Buck got the idea for the company after an unforgettable trip.

"I was traveling down Central America with my dad, and we saw these tours down in Costa Rica," said Boren.  "Thought it would be a great thing to bring back to Maui."

But it was a tough sell because ziplining had never been done in the U.S.

"So there wasn't much to point out," said Boren.  "We're just going and taking to people and say, 'Hey, we want to throw people off cliffs off your property,' and see what they think."

Haleakala Ranch went for it in 2002, and the company was born.

"It really started off slow," said Boren. "The first month, we took six people the whole month and now we're taking eight groups a day on our upcountry course."

And on the Ka'anaplai course, Hoku and Lei got to fly, high in the sky.

"Okay, what did you guys think?" asked KHNL.

"It was awesome," said Lei Gonzales.

"High, high. It gets high," said Hoku Gonzales.

But, are they brave enough to do it again?

"Definitely, definitely," said Lei Gonzales.

"Oh, yeah. I think they have another one in Haleakala, so I think that might be our next stop," said Hoku Gonzales.

"Yup. Most definitely," agreed Lei Gonzales.

A bunch of brave souls, going against the grain.  They took a dirt road less traveled, and that has made all the difference.

Skyline Eco Adventures prides itself on being eco-friendly and teaching its customers about the land, while helping in preservation efforts.  It was voted Hawaii eco-tour operator of the year by the Hawaii Eco-Tourism Association.  To learn more about Skyline, click the link on this page.