(Editor’s note: Kapoho Kine Adventures Anthony DeLellis may not agree with everything I write, but for the last several years he has shown unwavering advertising support for this publication. He also hasn’t turned down any request to support for any community organization I volunteer for, including the Mainstreet Pahoa Association with our annual Pahoa Holiday Parade and the newly formed Pahoa Booster Club and our quest to establish a football program for high schoolers. I felt like it was about time I ventured out on one of his company’s tours. Recently I opted to take a friend ziplining.)
By Tiffany Edwards Hunt
Ziplining, to me, is a very adventurous form of therapy. When my friend and I recently ventured with a van load of tourists up to a 600-acre property to go ziplining through Kapoho Kine Adventures’ Zipline Through Paradise tour, I tried to imagine what the experience would be like. A roller coaster ride? Not even. The best way to describe it is to recall two other thrilling experiences I’ve had in my life: Rappelling down a cliffside on an Outward Bound course and riding at top speed in a Corvette with a race car driver. It’s a combination of both, and, with those experiences and with ziplining, I can tell you I worked through a lot of fears and anxieties I didn’t quite fully realize I had.
For the Kapoho Kine Adventures tour, we had really great staff. They could have been on their best behavior, but I think they are naturally as cool and as skilled as they appeared to be. From check in to check out I was pleased. I cannot really say I have a favorite. Our van driver Sloan was really humorous and filled with aloha. Alex, Cory and Cat, the staff who accompanied us ziplining, were all quite impressive. I marveled at how they worked with each of us, assured us, and entertained us. I just kept imagining how this is their job day in and day out, and how there can be no tolerance for slackers.
My God, where we were was unbelievable. Eight courses along Honolii River! The last one I called The Big Daddy Of Them All, the half mile long one, just totally blew my mind. I could not believe how long it went and how picturesque it was, waterfalls and all!
Initially, when I stood up on the plank looking down at the ground a couple of stories down, I got pretty anxious and felt like chickening out. But I pushed myself, with the help of my cheerleading friend, who was also pushing herself. After a few zips, I guess you’d call them, I started to get a feel for the experience and that initial anxiety dissipated.
A visitor from Miami on my tour noted how safe were with the double cables and pulleys — that truly was assuring. He told me that is why he and his visiting Kona for an opthalmology related conference decided on Kapoho Kine Adventures in particular.
It was so interesting, hanging out with visitors too. Day in and day out, I’m not really in a position to interact with all the people who choose Hawaii Island for their vacations. On our ziplining tour, we had a couple 70-year-old women on the tour who were particularly inspirational. They didn’t know each other but they both, coincidentally, drove over with their husbands from the Waikoloa Marriott, were here on the island celebrating 50 years of marriage, and their husbands had wimped out on accompanying them ziplining. Kindred spirits, wouldn’t you say? Turns out, one of them was ex CIA. I found out wait too late to get any juicy details about her adventurous job! But my friend and I instantly bonded with those women, a family from New Mexico, a couple from North Carolina, and the Floridians here for the opthalmology conference. We called ourselves Team Awesome. There was one guy in particular named Lynn who was quite the heckler. The staff said they have hosted Gwenyth Paltrow, Chris Martin and members of Coldplay, along with other celebrities over the years. But Lynn was particularly special in a Duck Dynasty sort of way. He was a truck driver from New Mexico with a big old pot belly. My friend wasn’t amused by him referring to his wife and sister as “dummy,” but I wasn’t as sensitive as her to his redneck style. To me, he was a character that made me laughed, and laughing help to allay my anxieties. Will I zipline again, you ask? Most certainly. My next ziplining therapy session is in March, celebrating another friend’s birthday. If you want to go, “like” Kapoho Kine Adventures on Facebook and catch on of their occasional buy one get one free specials. Kama’aina pay $145 for a tour.