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.