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  • Writer's pictureByron Kay @konafreediver

10 Reasons Why The Best Freediving is in Hawaii

Updated: Mar 18, 2023

Are you a freediver that is considering vacationing in Hawaii? Hawaii and specifically the Big Island has some of the best freediving in the world. Find out why the freediving is so good here and how you can take advantage of this world-class freediving detination.

One of the most rugged off-the-beaten path freediving spots on the Big Island is great, but you don't have to go very far to experience some amazing freediving goodness.

Reasons to Freedive in Hawaii

The Big Island paradise of Hawaii has many awesome attributes. Not only does the Big Island have amenities like nice roads, shopping, and services, but it also possesses some of the most awesome outdoor experiences in the world. Here are some of the reasons why Kona, Hawaii is the best place to be a freediver in the United States, and perhaps the world.

1. Community

The Big Island is home to many resident freedivers. Many of the current and past US national record holders reside here. Their training benefits immensely from the year-round easy access Kona provides them. They meet regularly to freedive and train in our calm clear waters. Some of the world's best freedivers live in Kona like FII's Martin Stepanek. This 13 time world record holder prefers Kona as his home after diving all over the world picking Kona as his home base.

2. Wildlife

Want to see some really big animals out in the ocean? Kona is THE place for large animal encounters. See manta rays, dolphins, pelagic fish or pilot whales on the regular. You may even have the opportunity to spot sperm whales,

killer whales, humpback whales, tiger sharks, whale sharks and more! Because of the extreme drop to depth off the Kona coast we have the opportunity to see a huge variety of different pelagic animals--and dive deep! It is one of the few places in the world where swimming with pilot whales is commonplace. To see more, check out our Open Ocean Safari trip

swimming with whales and dolphins in hawaii

Photo By Jeff Milisen - Pilot Whales with @konafreediver

3. Dive Access

Many dive sites in Kona are easily reachable by shore. Just a short walk over lava rock and a hop right into the water. Some of the best freedive training spots are easily accessible from shore. In addition to the easy to reach spots, our boat has access to over 40 reef diving sites within 20 minutes of the harbor.

4. Depth

With a 5-10 minute swim from shore you can easily reach depths of 30 - 60 meters. In some areas, swim a bit further to get even deeper water, or take a boat a couple of minutes out for nearly unlimited depth. The bottom is there, but you won't see it!

5. Beautiful Reefs

Kona's reefs are covered in all kinds of interesting marine life. Schools of fish aggregate for safety among the corals. Coronets hunt for their prey. Devil scorpions and Frogfish lay motionless in hopes of getting an easy meal. Not to mention the octopus, endemic reef fish, rays, and turtles.

6. Topside Beauty

Visit the active lava flow at the volcano or Waipio Valley for some otherworldly views. From astounding hikes to adventurous activities, the Big Island has more to offer than you can fit in one trip!

7. Current

The current here can pick up when diving some of the points but is usually very calm to non-existent in bays. This makes line diving and training from shore pretty easy.

8. Visibility

Our visibility ranges from 60ft on a mediocre day to 100ft+ on the best days with an average of around 60-80ft or 18-25m

9. Travel Access

United States citizens can travel to Kona without needing a passport. Aside from that, flying direct to the Big Island of Hawaii is easy from many worldwide destinations.

10. People

Kona is a small town with small town character. You will run into many of the people you know while out and about. People are very friendly often having a conversation at the checkout line at the store. The ocean is important to the locals. This means you will see them out and about in the water. Caring fro the ocean is a big part of the culture which means there is very little trash to be found.


About the Author

Byron Kay is a freediving instructor and the founder of Kona Freedivers and owner of Kona Honu Divers as well as Kona Snorkel Trips. They stand out as Hawaii's top rated and most reviewed businesses among their peers having a perfect 5 star rating on google. To learn more about Byron and his latest goings on visit his bio page.

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