A Ziplining Thrill Ride in Maui
Image by Colleen Seto
Every zipline presents a challenge like taking a running start or launching backward
Heading to Maui's warmer climes? Try taking in the island from above with a ziplining adventure with the company that started it all
"Wheeeee!" That about sums up what it feels like to zipline in Maui. Soaring above a lush tropical valley, I can't help but smile ear-to-ear the whole time. I already consider myself lucky to have visited Maui on a few occasions, but now here I am, seeing it from a bird's eye view. Spectacular!
I'm taking part in Skyline Eco-Adventures' Ka'anapali adventure, which comprises eight fantastic ziplines high above the valleys of Mount Kahalawai with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Ka'anapali resort.
I'm with a fun group of honeymooners, retirees living the good life, and buddies on vacation, and our guides John and Coco are not only skilled in launching us and keeping us from smashing into the platforms at the end of each zipline, but are also witty and entertaining.
Skyline Eco-Adventures guides John and Coco add expertise and entertainment to the ride (Image: Colleen Seto)
In fact, they add as much to the experience as the beautiful scenery and the ziplines themselves, telling us little-known facts about Maui and picking fresh guava for us to sample from the trees.
Skyline: A Pioneer of Zipline
Ziplining doesn't require any real skill except listening and, of course, having fun. The guides do all the work of attaching and detaching you from the zip. You just have to do as you're told.
As a pioneer of zipline (they opened the United States' first zipline near Maui's Haleakala National Park in 2002), Skyline has an unmatched safety record with more than one million safe customer zipline crossings. I wasn't nervous, but it always puts your mind at ease to know that your operator knows its stuff.
Once you're comfortable with the zipline, you can sit back and take in the incredible view (Image: Colleen Seto)
The first line is a short one; coined "the bunny zip," it lets you shake out any jitters while getting the feel of ziplining. It also lets you try turning yourself to look in different directions. Turn your hand one way, your body turns the opposite. Sounds simple, right? Not for me apparently. I think I came in backwards for almost every line. Good thing John and Coco were good at catching me, too!
Each line also presents a new challenge. We had to step off a flight of stairs, take a running start and launch backwards, depending on the length and slack of the line. But again, the guides tell you exactly what you need to do. And even if you don't follow directions well, they'll get you to the other end successfully.
Lunch with a View of West Maui
Midway through, we stop for a simple and tasty lunch overlooking a 1,000-ft valley steeped in plush vegetation amid the West Maui Mountains. We see the 30-foot "L" on the mountain above Lahaina, which John and Coco tell us stands for Lahainaluna High School. The L is maintained by the students of the school, and also marks the nearby gravesite of Hawaiian scholar David Malo, a member of the school’s inaugural class in 1831. Lahainaluna High School is actually the oldest high school west of the Rocky Mountains.
Panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean frame the scenery from above (Image: Colleen Seto)
After eating and taking a few photos, we descend upon the remaining few ziplines, which are the longest, and therefore, most fun. By this point, I'm so comfortable on the zip that I just sit back and take it all in. What a perfect place to be on top of the world. Mahalo, Maui!
Skyline's Ka'anapali tours run several times a week and you can check online for availability. An advance online booking rate of $134.95USD is also available.