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Eco Skyline Adventures Akaka Falls Zip - unsafe??

Seattle, Washington
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Eco Skyline Adventures Akaka Falls Zip - unsafe??

Hello,

It might really be too late to ask this, as I'm already on the Island of Hawaii and in the midst of our vacation, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway.

My husband REALLY wants to go zip-lining. I couldn't care less, but I refused to when we visited Maui last, so I feel I need to compromise this time around. I am terrified of heights, and in general, just terrified of zip-lining.

I've been keeping this to myself however, to try to be on board with the decision (I really owe him this one as I usually dictate a lot of our activities on vacations). The ziplining with Eco Adventures in Akaka Falls (not technically over Akaka Falls I already know) is already booked.

So honestly, I am just really looking to know - is it safe? I've seen some concerns raised on these forums, and I am starting to freak out. Any insight at all here? Should I back out last minute and risk marital discord?

Thanks!

Chicagoland
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1. Re: Eco Skyline Adventures Akaka Falls Zip - unsafe??

Last I knew none of these ventures has frequent -- if any -- inspection once they are constructed. There are permits, etc. during construction, but I doubt there's ongoing supervision. I know it's in the owner's best interest to avoid problems and scare away customers, but the same is true of ... well, cruise ships comes to mind! (I hope you'll hear from the island's DE's soon.)

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Eco Skyline Adventures Akaka Falls Zip - unsafe??

When I asked about ziplining in Hawaii a few months ago I was told that the ziplines are unregulated (meaning there are no regulations concerning regular safety inspections) and that there had been a very unfortunate accident on one of them. I then googled and found an engineering report that suggested that the soil on the island may not have sufficient strength to hold the towers.

Although lots of people zipline on the islands every day safely, I decided not to do it since it is not something unique to the islands and I was concerned about safety. Here's the thread:

tripadvisor.com/…48195345

Oahu, Hawaii
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3. Re: Eco Skyline Adventures Akaka Falls Zip - unsafe??

Aloha,

I can't believe they built a zipline over Akaka Falls

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jthL0ZVXxD4

Aloha

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Eco Skyline Adventures Akaka Falls Zip - unsafe??

Its not technically over Akaka Falls as I mentioned earlier. Just called that as its somewhat nearby.

Thank for everyones' responses so far. I'm kind of freaking out about it, had no idea things were so unregulated.....

Chicagoland
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5. Re: Eco Skyline Adventures Akaka Falls Zip - unsafe??

To add a little perspective, a friend owned a very large pest control service in Chicago, which meant that he saw a lot of restaurant kitchens all over the city, many of them high end. He would only eat at three -- but hundreds of thousands of people ate in all those other places without thinking twice about it.

Big Island, Hawaii
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6. Re: Eco Skyline Adventures Akaka Falls Zip - unsafe??

The issue with the ziplines here is that the ones built on the Hamakua side have very unstable soil, which caused the accident and death a couple of years ago. If he's insisting on a zipline I'd go with Kohala Zipline. I've done that one and it wasn't the most impressive zipline I've ever been on it but it was ok. Most people who have done both actually seem to prefer the Kohala Zip.

Kohalazipline.com

There's a fairly new one in South Kona too that I've heard good things about.

http://www.konazip.com/

La Mirada...
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7. Re: Eco Skyline Adventures Akaka Falls Zip - unsafe??

I have no opinion about this zip line, I've only done the one down Fremont St in Vegas, but I will tell you, DO NOT hold the strap the way the guy in Jet's video did. If you land hard, you'll bust a lip or break your nose with your own hands.....hold down lower.

Why don't you just let your hubby go alone? Marital harmony does not mean doing Everything together. I speak from over 39 years experience ;-)

Is this thing visible from the viewing area at Akaka Falls?

3Chihuahuas

Island of Hawaii...
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8. Re: Eco Skyline Adventures Akaka Falls Zip - unsafe??

We were just talking about the ziplines in our area at a small meeting last night. Someone who did not think highly of the zipline that failed (before it failed) volunteered that the Akaka zip is super safety conscious.

The unsafe soil condition is not everywhere. I hope they have tested for it since the report came out. The zipline that failed due to powdery soil did so very soon after it opened, so my hope is that the soil problem would show itself quickly or is not a factor.

Someone did post in the forum that they found the Akaka zip less than entertaining, too many fields.

Big Island Eco Adventures owns both the the BICA zip in North Kohala, and this new Kona zip. The Kona zip has an emphasis on native species and education on that.

I donʻt know the Akaka people, but the woman who told me about their safety lives in Pepeʻekeo and had heard good things about their safety.

I have to say that the people who run both the Kohala ziplines are very nice. Hawaiʻi Forest & Trail that does Kohala Canopy Adventure is a very eco-conscious company offering a number of quality tours.

The folks at BIEA are a small company that I believe is family run, local folks, and the person I have talked to is really friendly, sweet, and professional too. They could certainly use some support, after they took over Lukeʻs Place/Kohala Village Inn and fixed it all up, and then a big fiasco that had zero to do with them (the sins of the former owner tainted it), and they had to take a big loss and walk away. I wish them the best in their new headquarters.

I wasnʻt crazy about the idea of ziplines coming to this island, but Iʻve come around, and the fact that these are good companies makes a difference to me in supporting their endeavor.

Re the Akaka Falls name, I was horrified when I first hear, thinking someone had put cables over the iconic waterfall, was relieved to hear it is only nearby and on private land (which makes sense). Their office is as you come into Honomu, right as you jog left to go on the main street.

Edited: 5:58 pm, June 19, 2013
Seattle, Washington
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9. Re: Eco Skyline Adventures Akaka Falls Zip - unsafe??

Thanks again to everyone for your replies! I went ahead and went through with the zipline tour today (sorry again for the last minute posting originally....I was up late last night after my husband fell asleep and I just kind of went into panic mode), and I must say I had an absolute blast and felt entirely safe and taken care of during the process. Yes, the first few lines are really tame, but I actually REALLY needed that in order to gain confidence and feel okay.

It's probably not for everyone, but all in all, I felt very comfortable. Our guides were really very nice.

I just wanted to mention that I've been extremely conscientious on this trip to be respectful of the culture here and the residents' feelings towards certain activities, such as ziplining. I wanted to say that if this was actually across Akaka Falls I would have never participated in it.

This is mostly off-topic, but I just wanted to say thank you to all the regular posters on the Island of Hawaii forum as your advice and perspective has been invaluable and helped me to see the Island in a way that many tourists probably don't get to enjoy. What a beautiful & amazing place this is. Perhaps I'll post a trip report! :)

Big Island, Hawaii
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10. Re: Eco Skyline Adventures Akaka Falls Zip - unsafe??

Very glad you had a good time, and yes, please do post a TR when you have some time! :-)