If the rush is worth the risk of tainting your record with a criminal offence, then you can reach some serious heights in Oahu.
The Dead Man's Catwalk
Unobstructed by designated tourist lookout points and iPads being thrusted out in every direction, this 180 degree view leaves you to it.The unrelenting wind and lurch in your stomach as you crawl forward are definite impediments but nothing compared to battling the barricade of a selfie-brigade. Declared the ‘Dead Man’s Catwalk’ by some dude with spray paint, the concrete plank is a half hour-ish trek through private property. The area is surrounded by a number of active civil defence and Federal Aviation Administration towers making it restricted to public access. Just scale a barb-wired fence hanging over a decent drop to the ocean below, crack a Coconut Porter, and enjoy the view.
Ask around. You'll find it.
Need to get higher to really feel it? Oahu is the perfect place to get your fix. Flying 120 mph 12,000-14,000 ft. up should do it. Trust me, you’ll feel high. If you want to knock skydiving off of your bucket list (add skydiving to your bucket list), go to Hawaii.
Travellers tip: Do not mow a burrito pre-flight to calm your nerves
And once you stop scream-bawling and CTFO, it’s an incredible way to take in an unparalleled view.
Mahalo for the view Skydive Hawaii
And obviously, if you’re looking to get lifted, Maui is a must. Not only can you get higher than a kite, you can get higher than the clouds at the Haleakalā Summit. The East Maui (dormant) Volcano is a shield volcano making up over 75% of the island. The remaining western portion of the island is formed by another volcano, Mauna Kahalawai (aka the West Maui Mountains). Park yourself on the tallest peak of Haleakalā ("house of the sun") on the Puʻu ʻUlaʻula (“Red Hill”) and you’ll be perched 3,055 m (10,023 ft.) above sea level.
Catching sunrise or sunset up here is a must. You can hike or you can roll down the top and cruise your way up.
Travellers tip: Option B
There’s a lot going on in Maui at sea level too. There is not a road trip on this earth that stacks up against the Road to Hāna. The Hāna Highway is 104 km (64 miles) of road winding and weaving 620 times over 59 bridges. Pack up the Mustang or Jeep (the only two considerable modes of transportation touring the island save for boosted pickup trucks loaded with Pit bulls) and cruise to Hāna, about 84 km (52 miles) down. Not only does the drive itself gives up some very neat neature to take in, but the stops along the way are what really award this journey its rep.
Hāna lookin' hella' good
The renowned road begins in Pāʻia, pronounced like the Spanish rice dish, on the northern coast of the island. Side note: Pāʻia (Pāʻia deserves a larger than customary side note) is a picturesque surfer-town emanating a contagious aura of contentment. Nestled along some of Maui’s most pristine beaches, this humble seaside town maintains a happy coexistence among long-time residents (soon to include myself ft. avocado farm) and those attracted by the globally acclaimed wind-surfing. Stay a while (as long as you can) at the Aloha Surf Hostel (I'm fairly certain it's mandatory for all small business titles to begin with 'Aloha') and meet some of the best personalities you’ll cross paths with (i.e. a perpetually shoeless/shirtless heavily-bearded individual who spends his days star-fishing in waterfall pools and disappears for long periods of time, returning to announce that he’s found a “great place to spend the night” in the jungle. Zero Fs).
Aloha from Aloha Surf Hostel
But back to Hāna. The epic stops along the way have you entering into a seemingly entirely new hemisphere every time you pull over. Which is quite plausible given that our tiny Maui hosts most of the microclimates found on our not-so-tiny Earth; in half a day you can drive from desert to rainforest to alpine and back again.
Dips at Twin Falls (around mile marker 2)
And just outside of Hāna is Waiʻanapanapa (say that 3 times fast) Black Sand Beach. This stop was very cool to say the least. Waiʻanapanapa translates to “glistening fresh water”, referring to the fresh water streams and sparkling pools. The black sand beach, made up of small, smooth lava pebbles, is set among lava tubes, anchialine pools, and mesic forests.
And no, I haven’t forgotten that Hawaii is the destination hot-spot for surfing. Oahu's North Shore, surfing mecca of the world, is famed for its “7 mile miracle” (7 miles of surf-able coast) and its stage for the World Surf League competitions. Comps like the Billabong Pipe Masters and the Volcom Pipe Pro are hosted every winter on the North Shore’s Banzai Pipeline beach. “Pipe” is notorious for its huge waves, reaching up to 12 terrifying ft., which break nice and close to shore. A sharp reef forms massive curls of waves that surfers can tube ride. Have some free time this upcoming December? If not, make some. The North Shore is where you want to be. Get here.
Maui also holds its fair share of world-class surf turf. Pros hit the waves at Honolua Bay and Hookipa Beach near our little Pāʻia during the winter months. East of Hookipa is Maui’s most esteemed big-wave spot: Peahi, also known as Jaws. For all my amateur-hour surfers, pull over anywhere along Lahaina town and give it a go/give up and JC.
Wanna surf/JC? Go to Hawaii
JCing North Shore SUP edition
So that’s my screenshot of Hawaii. These islands seem to infinitely give and I recommend to go and infinitely take. With the side of the highway on your way to Foodland looking like this:
... you're just wasting time doing anything but booking your flight. If I haven't sold you, I don't know... go to Ibiza. You can rave all night.
Oh and a word to the wise: