Best Shore Diving Big Island
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Shore Diving Big Island & the top Big Island Dive Sites along the Kona Coast

Shore diving the Big Island can be hard if you don't know where to go. Kona is known for its rough lava covered beaches and coastline. Occasionally divers will attempt to dive from shore with mixed results. To save you time and hassle we cover top Big Island shore dive sites, where to go when to go, and what you will see at some of our better shore dive sites. Please keep in mind that based on conditions some of these dive sites will be difficult if not dangerous to dive. Please check conditions (below) before attempting to dive.



*Kona Shore Divers is an affiliate of Kona Honu Divers. The products and services offered are provided by Kona Shore Divers.

Come by the shop to pick up Tanks and Gear. To see our high quality rental offerings visit our Rentals Page

Top Big Island Shore Diving & Dive Sites

 

North

- Puako

- Kua Bay

- Mahukona

In Kona Town

- Mile Marker 4

- Old Airport

- Kailua Pier

South

- 2 Step

Puako

Kua Bay

Old Airport


Mile Marker 4 (coming soon)

Come by the shop to pick up Tanks and Gear. To see our high quality rental offerings visit our Rentals Page


 Shore Dive Site Swell Height Recommendations

During the Summer most of these sites will be accessable. Summertime will often have a south swell that is less common in winter. During the winter we typically get larger more consistent swell. Our recommendation is to avoid Kua Bay and Mile Marker 4 during the winter months. All of the dive sites listed here are affected to one degree or another by north through south swells from the western direction. Swells from the Northeast through southeast will have little to no effect on shore entry on the Kailua-Kona Coast because of the protection provided by the Big Island.

Mahukona - Faces North
  • Affected by: West through Northwest swells.
  • Look for: 4 feet or less
Puako - Faces North
  • Affected by: West through North swells.
  • Look for: 3 feet or less
Kua Bay - Faces West *Typically not diveable during the winter*
  • Affected by: southwest through north swells
  • Look for 3 feet and less
Old Airport - Faces South
  • Affected by: south through northwest swells
  • Look for 2 feet or less
Kailua Pier - Faces South
  • Affected by: South through West Swells
  • Look for 3 feet or less
Mile Marker 4 - Faces West
  • Affected by: Southwest through Northwest Swells
  • Look for 2 feet or less
2 Step (Honaunau) - Faces west
  • Affected by: west and southwest swells
  • Look for 3 feet and less


Swell Map

(In Meters)

What is Shore Diving in Kona Like?


The Big Island has tons of great diving along the vast majority of its coast. This is all accessible by boat, but most is not easily accessible from shore. There are a few select sites that have both a combination of easy to moderately easy entry and good diving. This page is intended to guide you toward selecting the safest and best shore diving sites on the big island of Hawaii. You may ask, why don't you have any sites listed on the east side? Mainly the answer is the best diving is on the west side of the Big Island. There are a few sites on the east side that are suitable for diving however conditions are often not as nice. There are other sites not listed here but most are not suitable for most people due to the need to trespass or the difficult entry at the site. The lava ledges make for slippery propositions when attempting to enter by shore. Often times it is hard to see what you may be stepping on so sturdy boots are a highly recommended piece of safety equipment to help protect from sea urchins and other sharp critters. It's also important to have a buddy that is capable and comfortable diving from shore. Have they dove from shore before? Have they been trained to dive from shore? Consider taking a rescue course. Rescue divers are trained to assess site conditions, preparedness, buddy's abilities, and to handle emergencies should they arise. Some sites are less popular and so may not have help nearby. We have taken care to select sites that will more often have help nearby. It is also recommended you have a phone, first aid kit, and O2 available in case of an accident. Some shore diving sites may not have parking available or other considerations like public showers. For more details and information watch the videos provided or come by the shop. We'd be happy to talk story about the shore diving options available. Some located less than a 5 minute drive from the shop. Each of the staff here at the shop has our own favorite dive site. We also have dive field guides and maps here for reference.

Reasons to shore dive versus boat dive


Seasickness is probably the number one reason people will choose to shore dive rather than boat dive. When diving from shore the only possibility for seasickness is when you are diving! Most people will get seasick while surface swimming before their dive. Be prepared with medication.

Another reason is pace. Renting a set of shore diving gear and diving on your own time allows you to do as many dives at your preferred time as you like. You can sleep in, rent 2 tanks and go anytime untill the next day. Or you can do one dive, or 5 dives, it's up to you!

Cost is another consideration. Renting a full set of gear can be less than going from a boat. However, a boat offers so much more that a shore dive will not. At Kona Honu Divers we offer a full set of rental gear set up and ready to put on your back for less than the cost of a shore set. Boat diving with Kona Honu Divers includes things like a free welcome offer, free nitrox/air, snacks, drinks, a camera rinse bucket, safety stop line, on-board medical equipment, valet dive service (you won't have to lift gear), and a dive guide to show you all the hard to spot critters. A dive boat can pick dive sites that are well sheltered from swell that shore dive sites may not offer. For convenience a boat is tough to beat!

Shore diving allows you to go wherever you want if the swell is good enough to get in. If you really want to dive a specific site diving from shore gives you that option. Come by the shop to rent some of our high quality scuba and snorkel gear.