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“Nice excursions, not so great guides”
Review of Kona Boys

Kona Boys
Ranked #3 of 5 Tours in Kealakekua
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Kona's original, award winning kayak shop, serving the Big Island and specializing in Kealakekua Bay since 1995. We are a small, laid back, island style surf, kayak, and paddle board shop located on the Big Island's Kona Coast above Kealakekua Bay. Helping locals and visitors alike enjoy Hawaii's waters and providing gear for island life.
Reviewed April 4, 2018 via mobile

We had 2 different excursions with Kona Boys - kayaking/snorkel at Captain Hook and canoeing.

The tour starts at the Kona Boys shop where you sign waivers, pay, get fins, and directions to the kayak launching location. While we were shown detailed posters for directions to the start location, the paper directions handed out were NOT as detailed. They should have just handed out the EXACT SAME directions as shown on the posters. As a result, we were a little confused as to exactly where to go.

While dry bags ARE provided, they are very small. So you really can’t bring much more than a towel and your snorkeling gear. Getting into the kayak is a little kludgy, as you have to lower yourself down into the kayak from a high concrete bank. Be very CAREFUL if you have any physical challenges.

The kayaking tour itself was fun. There were a total of 6 kayaks (5 patrons + 1 for the guides). We kayaked for about an hour to get to the snorkel location - Captain Cook. We arrived early so it was not crowded for the first 30 minutes, which was nice. The most challenging part of the snorkeling excursion was getting INTO the water. You had to jump off a concrete ledge about 4 feet before you hit the water. Again, it’s challenging for those with physical challenges.

The snorkeling itself was AWESOME! The water is warm and very clear. The sea life is plenty! The reef is HUGE at Captain Cook, so plenty of marine life live there. We even saw a small 4’ white tipped shark! It was shy so it swam away quickly. It was beautiful! We saw an array of fish, including puffer fish and pipe fish. Snorkeling conditions were great until NUMEROUS boats showed up about 30 minutes after we were in the water then the snorkeling got really crowded. We pretty much couldn’t swim 10 feet without running into into other snorkelers.

While the snorkeling was decent (4⭐️), the customer service was HORRIBLE. (1⭐️) Our guides were Dillon and Roman. We were ALL supposed to get a lunch. When reserving the excursion, I told them that we needed a vegetarian lunch, along with 2 gluten free dairy free lunches. While the gluten free dairy free lunches were provided, there was ONE vegetarian lunch that was brought. And when my daughter asked to have it, Dillon said it was HIS! So in the end my daughter ended up WITHOUT A LUNCH! I shared my salad with her and my husband shared his bread and cheese with her. Poor customer service! Do they really think it’s okay to take the lunch of a paying patron??

Second excursion, CANOEING.
We also took an hour private canoeing excursion. We launched from the Kona Boys shack. Our guide, Kristen, was great! She gave us great canoeing tips and guided us to a group of boats that were surrounding a school of dolphins playing in the water. We were able to watch dolphins swim and play in their natural environment! My kids got out of the canoe and were able to swim for a bit. This excursion was only an hour long so we were only able to go out about a mile. My rating for the canoeing excursion is 5⭐️

So bottom line, taking everything into consideration, Kona Boys gets 3⭐️ totsl

Thank Jeanne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed April 3, 2018

Awesome snorkeling. Yummy lunch. If you're on the fence, GO FOR IT! Joe is a great guide--patient, funny and thoughtful in every way. He positioned us for smooth landings, wiped sunglasses clean before returning them, sprayed down our masks (multiple times) so our snorkeling was clear. Again, GO FOR IT!

Thank binfoemail5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 31, 2018

We did the kayak tour with Joe and Jason, and they were great! It was an easy kayak, and the snorkeling was awesome! We hoped to see dolphins and struck out at that, but overall very much recommended.

Thank Dnwdoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 28, 2018

I reserved a miracle morning kayaking/snorkeling trip with the Kona boys this past Monday. The organization was very professional. They were highly sensitive to safety issues and made sure everyone at all skill levels was comfortable. What impressed me the most was their sensitivity to the protection of the natural world. The gear was in great shape, the kayaking was just enough to make us enjoy it, and the snorkeling was out of this world good. they also accommodate for special food requests. Dillon and Roman were amazing guides, very approachable and happy people. I am so glad I took this adventure with them, can recommend to anyone

Thank Michelle F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed March 22, 2018

Did morning Kayak and snorkel. It was the first time I did kayaking. I was exhausted when I was returning from Captain Cook monument Area, then Will tied his boat and mine and asssted to safely arrive to the dock. I could be crying and felt miserable in the middle of ocean if he didn’t save me.... Great customer service, watching spinning dolphin in front of me, delicious sandwich, beautiful fish and corals... I was so comfortable thought the whole tour because of Will’s help. I really appreciate all of his hard work.

Thank Mi J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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