North Shore Scuba

We’ve Got The Scoop On Scuba

Here at North Shore Explorers the ocean is unfamiliar territory for most of our customers. A lot of people come to us wanting to better explore the world that lies beneath the surface. To this we are quick to recommend scuba diving – a relaxing activity that is sure to make your underwater dreams a reality. All you need is a little bit of training to get started. Below are a few simple steps to take before you can get your scuba on.

Step 1: Determine whether you meet the physical prerequisites.

With ongoing modern improvements to medicine, training and dive equipment, scuba diving has become possible for people of all ages and sizes. Those with a basic level of physical fitness and who are comfortable in the water make prime candidates. Of course, there are a small amount of specific medical conditions that make scuba diving off limits, we recommend you see your physician if you are unsure as to whether you fit in this category or not.

Step 2: Get your gear.

Diving is made possible with scuba equipment. All scuba divers will need a set of properly fitting and well-maintained gear before taking on the deep blue. Most scuba packages are sold complete with both scuba gear and a beginner’s course – which leads us to Step 3.

Step 3: Choose a course that is right for you.

While diving naturally comes with some risks (like any sport, really), said risks can be left at a minimum when divers have learned how to properly use their gear and follow safety guidelines. Here at North Shore Explorers we provide an efficient dive theory lesson, followed by an explanation on how to use your equipment before heading out to an introductory level dive with a professional instructor. Once you master the skills we’ve taught, you will be introduced to all that North Shore’s underwater paradise has to offer.

Step 4: Ask questions.

There is no such thing as a “stupid” question when it comes to scuba diving. During and after your introductory dive you will have questions like “how do I prevent my mask from fogging?”, “how deep can I dive?”, “why does diving make me need to pee?”. These are all valid questions that we’ll be happy to answer. The more you know and the better prepared you are, the greater your diving experience will be.

Give our adventure center a call to book a scuba diving excursion. We can’t wait for you to see what Hawaii’s underwater paradise has to offer – you won’t believe your eyes!

DUKE KAHANAMOKU: SURFER OF THE CENTURY

Despite its overwhelming popularity, surfing – a sport native to the Hawaiian Islands – is relatively new to America (and the rest of the world). What kind of ocean enthusiasts would we be if we didn’t take some time to recognize, praise and thank the man that brought the sport of surfing alive.

Duke Kahanamoku – Hawaii’s first “Ambassador of Aloha”, “the human fish”, five-time Olympic medalist, etc. – was the first native Hawaiian to bring he`enalu (surfing) to the United States mainland. Duke was born in 1890 in Honolulu to low-ranking nobles who were in service to the monarchy. His family moved to Kalia, Waikiki when Duke was three and his obsession with the water blossomed. At the tender age of twenty-two Kahanamoku, the once naked kid who would swim through shark infested waters at the Honolulu Harbor in search of silver coins, earned a spot on his first American Olympic Swimming team – the only native Hawaiian present.

Called “The Duke” by mainland sportswriters, Kahanamoku used his athletic notoriety to bring to light the ancient art of surfing – a sport almost unheard of outside of the islands – to mainland American culture. As Duke explains in his autobiography, surfing leaves “you rewarded with a feeling of complete freedom and independence while rocketing across the face of a wave”. Kahanamoku provided surfing demonstrations, with the help of his 16-foot koa wood board sin fins, to both mainland coasts in hopes to bring popularity to the art. He never attained his goal of surfing as an Olympic event, however, by the 60’s surfing had become an important part of everyday American life – popularized by films like “Beach Blanket Bingo”, “Gidget” and the music group The Beach Boys.

Though never consumed by his fortune or fame, Duke was a natural born business man and began lending his name for a generous profit to both Hawaiian and American surfing teams, competitions and gear. Surfer magazine pronounced him as the “Surfer of the Century”.

Duke passed from a heart attack in 1968 and was mourned as the swimming and surfing champion of two cultures. It has been said that the native Hawaiians viewed Mr. Kahanamoku as a fulfilled prophecy once declared by King Kamehameha that “before the native Hawaiian race died out, one man would bring it fame.”

From all those that enjoy the island life and the surfing culture, let us say Mahalo Duke for blessing so many people with your many talents.

If you’d like to surf some of the same waves that Duke enjoyed contact us for an unforgettable experience.

North Shore Beaches

3 Ways The Ocean Boosts Your Well-being

Here at North Shore Explorers we consider the ocean an honorary member of our family. The ocean has a way of making people feel like relaxed and we can’t get enough. Many people will visit the beach to unwind, escape and engulf themselves in paradise.

Marine Biologist and NY Times Best Selling Author, Wallace Nichols, has conducted several studies on how the water (in our case the ocean) does the brain good. Nichols says, “we all naturally have a ‘blue mind’ which is a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment.”

We’ve put together some of Nichols’ work to bring to you 3 ways the ocean boosts your well-being. Keep reading to learn more.

  1. The Ocean Relaxes Our Brain

The ocean stands as a sort of vacation for our mind; it gives it a break. For most of us, our days consist of technology coming at us in all directions. Our brains are also typically swamped with information from the outside world – everything we see, hear or touch works our mind.

Just like any muscle in your body needs to be rested after repetitive stress, so does our brain. The sight and sound of the water is much simpler for your brain to process than the city noises and tv screens we associate with on a day to day basis.

All in all, the ocean allows your brain to work less.

  1. The Ocean Inspires Us to be Better

The relaxing and introspective influence that the ocean has on your brain allows you to take a step back and experience a state of amazement. The vastness of the ocean also increases your feeling of reverence towards life and the beauty around you. This helps your brain to essentially switch gears from the perspective of “I” to “we”.

When we can separate ourselves from an egocentric attitude and join a more universal mindset we heighten our empathy and connection to others. Can you imagine for a second what the world would be like if everyone lived in a home with a view of the ocean? Dare I say world peace?!

  1. Exercise by the Ocean Proves Beneficial

It is no secret that exercise is a natural (and healthy) stress-reducer. Whether you’re in it or your toes are in the sand next to it, top that experience with an extra boost from the ocean. Dr. Nichols says that “exercising out in nature, especially by [the ocean, creates] a different environment for your brain than being inside a gym where there is loud music playing, tv screens, and loads of people.”

We feel so blessed to be able to share our love of the ocean and our passion for adventure with others. We encourage all who are able to experience the beauty that is Hawaii at least once in their life. Here at NSE we offer it all – surfing, scuba diving, kayaking, paddle boarding – the list goes on. Give us a call, let us help you make adventure happen!

North Shore Beach Guide: The Top 6 North Shore Beaches to Check Out on Oahu

The North Shore of Oahu is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. In a recent survey conducted by The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, about three and a half million visitors make their way to the North Shore at some point in their stay. Below is a list of our favorite beaches on the north side, we hope you have the chance to check them out!

Ali`i Beach Park has some of the best surfing waves on the North Shore and was dubbed “Ali’I Beach” in the early 1900’s. It’s surf break hovers over a shallow reef which provides clean, yet dangerous, conditions. There is a lifeguard on duty and public restrooms, which welcomes lots of families throughout the year.

Haleʻiwa Beach Park is definitely family-friendly. With a nice area to picnic and play, and a space to wade in the water, Hale`iwa Beach Park is long, safe and sandy. It sits close enough to Ali`i Beach to see seasoned surfers and big waves without binoculars and a nasty current.

Laniakea Beach, otherwise known as Turtle Beach, is a popular stopping place for tourists. There are no parking stalls designated for this beach, however most visitors park along the adjacent highway. If traveling with children, beware of the oncoming traffic. In recent years, the everyday crowd has grown, most often to see a glimpse of the handful of turtles that visit the beach daily.

Waimea Bay Beach Park is the most popular of North Shore breaks. During the winter the waves can reach thirty feet. If visiting the beach park during one of these swells, be sure to stay clear of the water, but take the time to enjoy the breathtaking, awe-inspiring site. Though there is a parking lot at Waimea, it is almost always full, be prepared to walk a little bit before setting up your beach gear.

Banzai, Pipeline is located directly across from Sunset Beach Elementary School. “Pipe”, as the locals call it, is the longest continuous stretch of wide beach on Oahu and is home to some of the best surfing in the world. Parking is limited and lifeguards are on site.

Sunset Beach, known for its beautiful Hawaiian sunsets, may be the most famous of the North Shore beaches. Pack some water, food and sunscreen and plan to stay for a while – you won’t regret it.

If you aren’t already in Hawai`i, we hope that you plan the time to pay us a visit. We may be a little biased here at North Shore Explorers, but we’re pretty sure the North Shore holds the most beautiful beaches on O`ahu. Whether you live on the island and need a little help navigating your way around or are coming in from the mainland and need a lot of help planning a vacation, give us a call! Let us help you explore, it’s what we do!

Aloha,

The North Shore Explorer Team

North Shore Transport

Here at North Shore Explorers we believe that figuring out your island transport needs shouldn’t cause headaches. While planning your vacation check transportation off your list by arranging airport pick-up and drop-off (a 60-90 minute drive!) with our close friends at North Shore Transport (NST), This affordable transportation option allows you to appreciate the beautiful scenery on your way to any number of locations or events. Whether you are going to a wedding at the Marriott, to a restaurant in Haleiwa, hiking in Waimea Valley, to the Polynesian Cultural Center, to the grocery store, or from North Shore to Airport, let North Shore Transport get you there comfortably and safely.

Can it get any better? Yes it can. Each time you book a ride to the north shore with NST they give you a $25 credit towards a rental at Hele Huli Adventure Center located at Turtle Bay Resort. You know how much all of us here at North Shore Explorers love adventure and experiencing the beauty of the Hawaii, so if there’s one reason we love NST, this is it!

North Shore Transport is also the official transportation provider for patrons of Turtle Bay Resort’s Surfer [the bar]. Book a ride with confidence that your vehicle, driver and experience meet the highest standards of quality.

As if stress-free island transport, free rentals and excellence wasn’t enough – NST offers chartered vehicles. With this affordable option, you pay for a vehicle and a driver to take you (up to 11 passengers) anywhere, at any time for however long you choose. Personalize your drive with comforting add-ons like snacks, beverages, beach gear, you name it and they make it happen!

North Shore Transport is awesome. We trust our friends at NST to taking the stress of transportation out of your vacation. To see their complete list of services, prices, and to book a ride, visit their website www.NorthShoreTransport.com. The best part? You can even use their services to visit us at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Call North Shore Transport to set up your convenient North Shore ride, and give us a call or visit our Adventure Tours page to arrange your lunar legends lagoon tour with us here at the PCC. We can’t wait to see you!

Aloha,

The North Shore Explorers Team

Lucky We Live Hawaii

“Lucky We Live Hawaii” is a saying you see often in the Aloha State. You may spot it on hats, tshirts, bumper stickers and surfboards. Some would even say the local phrase epitomizes the seize the day lifestyle of Hawaii and the idea that life is meant to be relished, not squandered. Hawaii residents are hardly impressed by your salary or the size of your home. Instead, they’re more concerned with how you live, and it’s one of the many elements that makes our humble cluster of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean one of the least stressed, most happy states in the United States. In Hawaii, the quality of life is measured by taking your child out for his first surf session, catching the set of the day at your favorite surf spot or beating your best time to the top of Koko Head Crater to make it for the sunrise.

Below are five examples of how the people of Hawaii embrace the Aloha lifestyle – grabbing life by the seashells and truly living for the moments that take their breath away:

Stay In Touch with Nature. It is well-known that fresh air and sunlight are beneficial, but knowing that we must also make conscious efforts to be apart of nature is hard to do when living in urban communities. In a recent study written in the Bioscience, journal people who live near areas that encourage recreation are less likely to experience depression, stress and anxiety — and Hawaii is overflowing with recreational opportunities. It is truly a place where it is impossible to step out your front door without wanting to embrace and indulge in the beauty that Hawaii has to offer.

Seek Adventure. We know chronic stress can be a bad thing, research has even found it to be related to a higher risk of dying from stroke; however, not all stress is alike. In the midst of immediate stress, the body’s adrenaline hormone is what takes over, helping us to take action. According to Men’s Health Magazine, “activities that are physically and mentally stressful help your body react better to stress in everyday life.” While some may say swimming with sharks is dangerous, we think it’s the perfect avenue to get your adrenaline kicking (after you take all the necessary safety precautions, of course!).

Seek Silence. In a world where technology has become a sixth sense, it’s sometimes difficult to find alone time; but, silence and solitude allows us to relax and renew our minds, which in turn aids us into being more productive. Additionally, some experts at Psychology Today claim that carving out some time alone may actually improve your relationships with others by helping you discover yourself!

Place Family First. For most people, the challenge of balancing work and family often turns into an ultimatum and sometimes forces family members to make impossible choices. In Hawaii, however, the concept of Ohana holds a sacred place – encouraging those who live an “aloha” lifestyle to place their families above all and to always give their family the highest of priorities.

Understand and Embrace Your Place. It can be easy to not stop and smell the roses in life. The simplicity of life on the islands paired with the never ending scenic landscape compels its residents to often take a step back to enjoy the distance from the rest of the world.

However you choose to live the Aloha spirit, we welcome you to join our ohana down in the North Shore of Oahu.  We promise to show you the best of the island all while embracing the beauty that surrounds us.  We’ll catch you on the North Side \m/

Aloha,

The North Shore Explorers Team

Take A Hike

The North Shore of O’ahu is home to over 90 scenic hiking trails that run the spectrum from quick and easy to long and arduous. No matter the time, place or weather, there are certain items essential for any hike. All the items listed below can easily fit in a light back pack.

-Good shoes. You’ll want comfortable, closed toe, tight fitting shoes with a decent grip (soles are in good condition). Depending on the hike and your experience, you may want anything from tennis shoes to waterproof hiking boots. Good shoes will help reduce risks of falling and toe-related injuries.

-Water bottle. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – humans need water to survive. Heat stroke and exhaustion are almost directly related to lack of water. The last thing you want to do on the side of a mountain is pass out. When dehydrated, the best-case scenario is dizziness, worst case scenario is death. We cannot stress this enough.

-Sunscreen and insect repellant. The two most annoying things in the world might just be sunburns and mosquito bites. Hawai’i is home to lots of sun and loads of bugs, keep your skin protected.

-Travel size first aid kit/whistle/light. Better safe than sorry. We hope you don’t need any of these things while on a hike in Hawai’i, but all are very inexpensive and easy to fit in a back pack.

 -Snacks. You can bring as little or as much as you want, but I think we can all agree that it’s hard to enjoy a scenic vista when your stomach is growling. Energy bars also offer an extra boost for the hike back. 

-Camera. Though this is not an essential item, Hawai’i’s hikes offer views you will always want to remember.

We feel so grateful to call this island home and are always looking for ways to inspire a spirit of adventure and exploration in the hearts of those who come to visit.  We welcome you to visit us on the North Shore of Oahu and see how we can enhance your adventure in paradise! We look forward to exploring with you!

Aloha,

The North Shore Explorers Ohana

Oahu Biking

Hawaii Business Magazine: Pedal Power

We were recently featured in Hawaii Business Magazine’s article entitled Pedal Power.  In summary, the article talks about the fact that there are more bicyclists on Oahu roads then ever before.  The article further discusses the biking options now available on Oahu and how the demand for biking has helped to grow many local businesses.  An excerpt of the article is below:

Thirty-four miles away, in Kahuku, Brett Lee has had similar success. Lee is the owner of Hele Huli Adventure Center at the Turtle Bay Resort. The one-stop center offers bike, moped, Segway and snorkel rentals as well as guided tours.

“Bike rentals have rocketed up to the No. 2 spot in overall revenue for my company,” says Lee, who started Hele Huli in 2009. He estimates that 500 to 600 people, most of them hotel guests, rent bikes from the center each month.

To meet demand, the resort opened a 3-mile mountain-bike trail in 2015, and plans to add three more miles. “There exists 12 miles of multi-purpose trails already, but it’s much more appealing to people when there’s a specific trail system for bikes only,” says Lee, adding that the center has also hosted racing events for kamaaina.

Lee says he also gets visitors, nearly daily, who rent his bikes to ride off-campus for lunch at one of Kahuku’s famous shrimp trucks, or to visit the North Shore’s renowned surf breaks. “Bikes allow them to make that trek and explore (the North Shore) in more intimate fashion,” he says. “Unlike in a car, you can take in all the sounds, smells. Your senses are more stimulated.”

To read the full article, please click on the following link:  http://www.hawaiibusiness.com/pedal-power/

Aloha,

North Shore Explorers

Stand Up Paddle Surfing: Then & Now

If you’ve noticed heavier crowds through Sunset Beach on Oahu’s North Shore it’s more than likely due to the 2017 World Tour Opener, Sunset Beach Pro, for Stand Up Paddle Surfing. The APP (Association of PaddleSurf Professionals) World Tour delivers live and post-produced coverage from the very best in the world battling it out year-round for Professional Paddle Surfing & Racing World Championship Titles across premier networks worldwide.

The Sunset Beach Pro opened February 11th and ended on February 24th. The contest featured Men, Women and Youth divisions. Consisting of both trials (open entry) and main event, with the top four trialists advancing to the main even in both Men and Women divisions.

Although SUP has more recently become an organized sport, stand up paddling in some form or another, has been around for thousands of years. Ancient cultures from South America to Africa used boards, canoes, and other watercraft propelled with a long stick to travel, fish and even ride waves. And while stand up paddling may have developed in various places around the world, the modern surfing tradition has undeniable Hawaiian ancestry. In the 1940s surf instructors in Waikiki, like Duke Kahanamoku, Leroy and Bobby AhChoy, would take paddles and stand on their boards to get a better view of the surfers in the water and incoming swells. From time to time they would surf the waves themselves using the paddle to steer the board.

Overtime the respect and popularity for SUP has grown tremendously. The sport has been found to provide a great core workout, as well as increased visibility both above and into the water, making it 2009’s single fastest growing part of paddle sports in North America.

The slower traffic through Sunset Beach may be less than desirable in these next few weeks, but take some time to appreciate the fast-growing sport for what it is. Park on the side of the road to watch a heat or two, you’ll be amazed at what the professionals do. If their skill sparks a SUP interest in you, be sure to stop by one of our three North Shore Explorers locations to get your hands (and feet) on one today.

Aloha,

North Shore Explorers