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“Severe injuries possible even if in good health” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Blue Water Rafting

Blue Water Rafting
PO Box 1865, Kihei, Maui, HI 96753
808-879-7238
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Ranked #13 of 83 activities in Kihei
Type: Tours, Water sports
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction Details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Severe injuries possible even if in good health”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013 via mobile

Be very careful of Blue Water Rafting or similar services, particularly if you sit in the front of one of their boats. My girlfriend wound up in a back brace with a fractured vertebrae, and another woman also suffered a painful back injury. I think you can see that I have written a lot for tripadvisor.com, and usually post pretty favorable reviews. This is the least favorable I have posted in my 50-plus reviews. On our trip with Blue Water Rafting on the morning of 31 July, my girlfriend and another woman, both early-/mid-50s, suffered simultaneous back injuries while crossing surf at speed. My lady will take 4-6 weeks to heal, according to doctors at Maui Medical. My girlfriend has no history of back injury and, to my knowledge, neither did the other lady. My girlfriend was taken via ambulance to the hospital. She suffered a painful fracture to one of her vertebrae (T12), and endured incredible pain until medicated on the ambulance. The other lady also went to hospital, transported by her family. Fortunately, her injuries were less severe. Both ladies were seated near the front of the boat. We understood that the ride is rougher up front, but had no idea that, in jumping swells estimated at 4-5 feet high, one could be pounded so severely. (The swells seemed larger to me, but BWR said the Coast Guard reported that range. I have no independent verification.) Landing between swells felt to us like hitting concrete. BOTH LADIES basically fell to the deck in extreme pain after one such drop. (That was the last swell the boat broached.) The crew called base for ambulance, etc., and returned us to Kihei boat launch. Just a heads up that a healthy back is no guarantee you will return safely from one of these trips. That was our experience, anyway. BTW, everyone received a refund, or so I was told. We and the other injured family received refunds.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The most amazing day”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

My best friend and I went on the Kanaio Coast tour and Molokini snorkeling trip in January. It was the highlight of our trip. Even my friend, who lives on the Big Island, said it was the best snorkeling she's ever seen. Brad and TJ were so welcoming, fun and knowledgeable. I really enjoyed learning about the history of the island with regards to Haleakala's various flows. Brad knew a lot about the various lava formations, like how temperature and other conditions during cooling determine the type of rock which is formed. And, he knew what almost every rock/cliff looked like ie: Fred Flintstone, Shrek! Brad said day we went was exceptionally calm, so we got to go at least a mile farther down the coast than they usually get to go. It was really fun.

Molokini was just the most amazing thing. The crater was outstanding snorkeling and fish-seeing. There are so many, in fact, that they don't bother to get out of your way when you swim up! The crater itself is beautiful, too. The backside, however, is where it's at! The water is so deep I was nervous to get in being that deep water is one of my few big fears. But, it's such a beautiful blue water with rolling swells...it's too good to miss. In fact, I ended up being the last one back on the boat...I didn't even know we were leaving! The fish on that side are much bigger, too! It is just an other-worldly experience. It was so very special to be able to go to these places, but, especially with my best friend of 16 years, on an already special trip and with an incredibly knowledgeable and truly fun crew as Brad and TJ. The photo of my friend and I as the boat was leaving to head back to Kihei is probably my favorite pic of us ever. I think I've told everyone I know about this day since I've come home.

As far as I understand, Blue Water is one of the only companies that takes snorkelers to the backside. They also go farther down the Kanaio Coast than most. So, when you go with them, you are seeing a rare and special side of a place that's already extremely rare and special. It's a very unique and transformative experience. To make it even better, it was the height of whale season. We must have stopped 6-7 times en route in order to watch whales and or spinner dolphins come right up to the boat. I stuck my underwater camera over the edge of the boat and got some really cool close-up shots of dolphins swimming along side of us and a Humpback whale surfacing then diving back down. It was just a magical day. Next time I'm on Maui, I will be going out with Blue Water again. Definitely take some dramamine. I don't usually get sick very easily, but, we were out for a long time. The floating in one spot parts started to make me a little queasy.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Not for the squeamish!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

If no one in your party has a tendency to get sea-sick or motion sickness, this may very well be the best Maui event you can spend money on! Big horsepower engines on a 20 or 30 foot raft and hold on to the rope alongside of your pontoon seat. Let the crazy kids sit up front where the wind and the spray say "Aloha!" -- and you and the Mrs. sit comfortably (sort of) right next to the captain. The trip is wonderful, exciting and beauteous as you stop to get a history of the South Maui rocks and cliffs and later to snorkel with turtles (sometimes dolphins )and in the wintertime maybe a humpback whale or two. This will be the topic of conversation foremost on your "Maui memories" to share with friends and family on the mainland! (ask for Captain Joe Neubauer and reserve early ).

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kihei, Hawaii
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Crew (Seth & Eli) and an exciting time - as usual”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

We’ve lived in Maui for 10 years and Blue Water Rafting is always a winner and a treat. Eli & Seth took great care of us. Cool, funny guys, and Captain Seth knows his stuff. We've done most all excursions offered by Blue Water Rafting and have never been disappointed.

If you're staying is South Maui (Wailea, Makena, Kihei) this is the excursion to take as it leaves from the convenient Kihei Boat Ramp. Our captain had to navigate some difficult waters on our last visit, and his knowledge of the areas and concern for our safety was apparent. Don’t get me wrong... when conditions allowed he took us on a wet & wild “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride!” And as always, the snorkel locations were great. If exciting is on your Maui “things to do list”, you can't miss with these folks.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kihei, Hawaii, United States
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Exciting Blue Water Rafting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Best way to watch the humpback whales ... great adventure! You are so close to the whales, which could pop up at any moment. Seeing these majestic mammals, is so captivating. Dolphins, manarays, flying flish are just icing to the cake. I would recommend this adventure/tour to anyone. You are able to swim, however ADA is not advised as it is a strenuous adventure.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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