Skyline Eco-Adventures: 4 Line Zip-n-Dip Tour

Skyline Eco-Adventures: Zip-n-Dip

Skyline Eco-Adventures: Zip-n-Dip

We had the honor of attending Skyline Eco Adventures’ inaugural Zip-n-Dip Tour and it was AMAZING. We were among the very first group to experience Maui’s newest activity up at Kahoma Ranch. It was nothing like I expected and better than I imagined. Now, you have to understand, I go on a lot of activities and sometimes they seem a little too familiar, like were are doing the same things over and over. Skyline Eco Adventures’ Zip-n-Dip was new, original, unique, and fun. I really enjoyed the experience.

When I first heard about going on a zipline and dropping into the water, I was a little unsure about how it all worked. Were we going to drop from one of those huge ziplines? How would we remove the safety harness? The ziplines are nowhere near the ocean. What kind of water were we going to be dropping into? Where would I put my glasses so I don’t lose them in the water?

I was happy to learn that Skyline Eco-Adventures had found answers to all of my questions and had created a really fun experience.

Check in at The Fairway Shops in Kaanapali

I walked through the doors of the Skyline Eco-Adventure store around 8:00am and was the first member of my group to arrive. I introduced myself to the representative behind the counter and, at his request, told him the last name my group was under. Since the rest of the party wasn’t here yet, he gave me three wristbands (to signify that we had opted to include the water or dip adventure) and asked me to let him know when everyone arrived so we could fill out the release form. This gave me a chance to browse the t-shirts and souvenirs. I liked some of the t-shirt designs and had my eye set on one of the souvenir glasses to add to my collection at home.

After a few more minutes of browsing, my friends arrived and we let the guy behind the counter know that we were all here. After we filled out and returned the release forms, we stood on the scale to make sure our weight was within the required parameters. For safety reasons, you need to be within a very specific weight zone (minimum weight 80 lbs and maximum weight of 260 lbs) to go on the zipline. Too little, and you would not be able to slide all the way down the line; too much, and you would not be able to travel safely. Happily, all of our individual weights were within the required range.

We still had a few minutes before it was time to leave. There was a lot to see in such a little time. When our driver arrived, we were all introduced to him and he led us to the shuttle van. Unlike hotel shuttle vans, this one has a slight film of Maui red dirt on it. To me, this was a good sign that the Skyline Eco-Adventure was going to be a lot of fun.

The nine of us boarded the shuttle van and our driver closed the doors. He walked around to the driver’s site and sat down to drive us to the Zip-n-Dip.

Riding the Bumpy Road to Kahoma Ranch

After settling into the van, our driver drove us down the Honoapiilani Highway in the direction of Lahaina Town. Our van driver shared a few stories about growing up and living on Maui and let us know he was available to answer any questions we might have. No one had any questions and we were all content to listen to his stories.

We turned left just after the Lahaina Cannery Mall and another left that took us to a well-travelled dirt road that extended upwards towards the West Maui Mountains. Just before we entered the gate, our driver stopped the van, put it in park, and engaged the four-wheel drive. To say that the road was bumpy would be an understatement. To say that the ride was very much like the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland would be much more accurate. Unlike the Indiana Jones ride, this ride was real and had much better views.

It was difficult to gauge how long we were on the dirt rode; my cell phone was stowed in my back pack. It seemed like we traveled on this dirt road for quite a while. The ride was rough; the views were incredible. By the time we arrived at the Zip-n-Dip, I was more than ready to get out of the van and step foot on stable ground.

Skyline Eco-Adventure’s The Zip and Dip

Skyline Eco-Adventures: Zip-n-Dip Platform

Skyline Eco-Adventures: Zip-n-Dip Platform

The van stopped in view of a platform with several steps and what looked like a small ‘ohana build on top of the platform. We exited the van and met some of the Skyline Eco-Adventure crew before we were led up the stairs. The ‘ohana turned out to be changing rooms for those of us who hadn’t worn our board shorts or swim suits. There were plenty of benches where we could sit down and take off our shoes before getting in the water for the Zip-n-Dip. Skyline Eco-Adventure had really thought things through when they were planning the details of this activity.

Our guides informed us that we had right around 45 minutes to enjoy the water. Some of us were ready for the water in no time and others of us seemed a little skeptical at first. I was not one of the skeptics. I was the second person to try the Zip-n-Dip and I was ready to go again as soon as I got out of the water.

The way the Zip-n-Dip worked was pretty simple. One person at a time would climb steps to the higher platform that was about half way as high as the high dive at the public pool. The Skyline Eco-Adventure crew member would hold the handle over your head so you could grip it easily. Once you had a good grip, you stepped off the platform over the water. When you were ready to get in the water, you let go of the handle and plunged into the water.

Two important things to remember:
#1. If you don’t let go right away, eventually the zipline stops and you would have to let go.
#2 If you let go earlier, you have a shorter swim to get back to the dock.

The trick, I discovered, is to find the perfect distance that allowed you a long enough ride over the water and a short enough swim back to the dock. Everyone’s ideal zipline travel distance was different. I liked dropping sooner and swimming less.

In addition to the Zip-n-Dip zipline, the swimming area included a sunbathing platform, SUP boards, life vests, and safety ladders. As I mentioned earlier, Skyline Eco-Aventure put a lot of thought into the planning of this adventure. I could easily have stayed here all day and just relaxed and enjoyed the water. As it was, I made a mental note to ask if they would consider hosting my son’s birthday party next year.

As our 45 minutes began to wane, the crew members led us back to the changing platform so we could towel off and put our shorts and shoes back on for the next part of the adventure.

Three More Ziplines

After we dried off and put our closed-toed shoes back on, it was time to get ready for more ziplining. The Skyline Eco-Adventure crew had helmets and safety gear ready for us. With the help of the crew, we stepped into the harnesses, secured them and donned our helmets.

We were offered the opportunity to stow our backpacks and personal belongings into a bin so we wouldn’t have to carry them with us on the zipline. As always, Skyline Eco-Adventure thought of everything to make the experience hassle-free. We were also given carabiners to attach our water bottles to our harnesses in case we got thirsty while on the zipline course.

Once everyone was set and our backpacks were stored in the bin, we posed for some pictures and were ready to go. The pictures, we were told, would be available for purchase after the adventure. I thought they would be a nice way to remember the day.

Our guides let us down the stairs and along the dirt trail to our first real zipline. It was the tandem zipline that you could share with a friend. What that means is there are two ziplines that run parallel to each other. If you reach out far enough, you can hold hands with the other person. If you have a GoPro, you can take an incredible close-up video of your friend on the zipline. If you don’t have a GoPro, I would recommend renting one.

Before we were allowed to go down the zipline for the first time, our guides explained the process to us and included all the necessary safety instructions. Nothing complicated; mostly common sense. Follow the instructions and you’ll be fine.

When it was my turn to go, I made the conscious decision to focus on the view of the water as I traversed the zipline instead of the platform where I was headed. I knew the crew members would catch me and I was hoping to really experience my surroundings. Boy was I glad I did it. The view was incredible! If you can, I highly recommend you make every effort to look around as you go down the ziplines. It was difficult to not focus on where I was going, but it was definitely worth the effort.

Once we were all on the other side of the zipline, our guides congratulated us on completing our first zipline and led us down the dirt path to the next one. The next one, as it turned out, what an incredibly long zipline with an incredible view of the Maui Coast, Pacific Ocean, and the Island of Lanai. I was really doing to keep my eyes open on this one.

This zipline was an individual line and we were instructed on how to shift position while on the zipline to make sure we came in straight. Not that the crew wouldn’t catch us if we weren’t; it was just that the view was better if we kept ourselves facing front. I don’t remember how far the distance was from one end of the zipline to the other, but we must have been able to build up some speed because when I got to the other end, I hit pretty hard. They have a braking system and the crew member slowed us down.

Our final zipline was much shorter than the really long one and we traveled at a much slower speed. There was plenty of time to look around and soak up the beautiful surroundings.

After our last zipline, I felt a little disappointed that it was over because I wanted to keep going. I still had a little “zip” left in me. The ziplines were exciting and fun and I wanted to experience more of them.

The Ride Back to Ka’anapali

After returning our helmets and safety gear, it was time to get back into the shuttle van and head back to town. The ride down the mountain was just as bumpy and fun and the ride up and the view was better because we could see the ocean for much more of the time. After only a few minutes, however, another van was coming up the same single lane dirt road and we had to back up a few hundred feet to the nearest turn off in order to allow the other van to pass. They were going up and we were going down, so they had the right of way. After that it was smooth riding all the way down.

After being up at the ziplines, it was a bit of a culture shock to be back in town. Lahaina seemed so big compared to Kahoma Ranch. And I only realized how peaceful and quiet it had been up there after I had a chance to notice how noisy it was in Lahaina by comparison.

As we drove by Ka’anapali Parkway, our driver announced that the Ka’anaplai Grill would offer us a 20% discount on our food if we brought our new Skyline Eco-Adventures water bottles with us when we ate there. I made a mental note of that for next time.

We pulled into the parking lot of the Fairway Shops back to the place where our adventure began. There were complimentary beverages waiting for us. It was our chance to order pictures of our trip, pick up souvenir shirts, and plan our next zip line trip.

I can’t wait to come back.

Next time, I’m bringing the kids.

Skyline Eco-Adventures
12 Kiopa’a St., Suite 202
Pukalani, HI 96768
(Please note that this is not a tour location)

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About Maury Hoffman |Things to Do on Maui | Restaurant and Activity Reviews

Senior Editor of 808 Reviews and freelance travel writer, Maury Hoffman lives on Maui with his familiy, iPad, iPhone, and other gadgets. His writing proficiency is directly related to the quality of his morning coffee. He prefers Peet's Coffee, but also enjoys Living Java.

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