Kona shore diving Q's

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Lopez116

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I've searched a lot, but still have some unanswered questions:

1. Am I missing anything my strictly shore diving in Kona? (This is my first trip there. I plan on doing the manta dive by boat, but that might be it as far as boat diving)

2. Can I get away with full foot fins? (I much prefer my freediving-style fins, but I know there are rocky entries. Can I wear crocs or some other footwear most of the way to the water and then leave them on shore to use my full foot fins?)

3. Is there a reliable way to check conditions to find out where the best place to dive will be while I'm there? (online, call dive shop, etc?)

Thanks!
 

scjoe

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Access to some of the sites is going to be pretty rocky. I think you will find that at a place like Puako you would want hard soled booties. Take a look at Shorediving.com. It has info on a lot of sites on the Big Island.

Some people grumble that the boats drop them off in places close to shore (like just outside the harbor), but there are sites heading south out of Kona that can only be reached by boat, unless you are a cliff diver. Its a different world of lava tubes and canyons. Also, when you get north past Puako, I think you may be better off boat diving. I'd mix it up if I were you, but confirm where the boats are going.

There probably is an online way to check conditions, but for shore diving, I've just driven to the site or looked out the window. If surf is up where you are staying, it is probably going to be up where the dive site is too.
 

Hinalo

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+1 on booties. Shorediving the big island involves walking out over the reef in many places, urchins, not good.

Stormsurf.com has a swell model that is very good for anticipating swell height and direction.

I do recommend doing a charter, especially the long range ones that go to red hill south or kua bay north and sites in between. South has dramatic lava tubes and big structure. Kohala is a much older area and had its own unique features.
 

MaxBottomtime

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There are a few sites like Alua Beach that require hard shoes to get to the sand but the entry there is as easy as it gets. It's a bit secluded and nobody ever messed with my shoes while I was diving. There are also a couple of sandy beaches that you can park at and simply walk in the water.
 

geoff w

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If you want to do the deep water night time pelagic magic dive, you're certainly not going to do that from shore. I finally convinced my wife to do it last time we were on the big island, but when we got out there it was too rough to safely get in and out of the boat. They refunded our money. We still want to do the dive. Several shops do the dive, but Jack's seems to have the copyright on the name. Pelagic Magic Black Water Night Dive | Jack's Diving Locker | Jack's Diving Locker
 

nippurmagnum

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For what it's worth, I did my first trip to Kona last year, and all my dives were shore dives except for the manta dive and the pelagic dive. Shore diving was great, provided you don't mind trundling your tanks over lava fields, which definitely involves some physical exertion. But I saw eagle rays, tiger sharks, turtles at cleaning stations, and lots of other cool stuff right from shore. If money is a consideration for you (as it is for me), then I say absolutely go shore diving. And absolutely use booties. I had to make a couple of improvised exits and I was very glad to have the foot protection.
 

garrytuba

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Big Island, Hawaii
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I've searched a lot, but still have some unanswered questions:

1. Am I missing anything my strictly shore diving in Kona? (This is my first trip there. I plan on doing the manta dive by boat, but that might be it as far as boat diving)

2. Can I get away with full foot fins? (I much prefer my freediving-style fins, but I know there are rocky entries. Can I wear crocs or some other footwear most of the way to the water and then leave them on shore to use my full foot fins?)

3. Is there a reliable way to check conditions to find out where the best place to dive will be while I'm there? (online, call dive shop, etc?)

Thanks!
We take out folks from our sugar cottage all the time at sugar-inc.com. The only dive from a boat you don't want to miss is the manta night dive. Big Island Divers is recommended or Honu Divers. We go from Miloli'i up to Kei-ei for shore dives. If you check in at surfline.com Kona regional you can see the size of the surf.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

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