It can be a bit of a challenge when vacationing with kids to find activities to keep young minds and bodies occupied with activities that aren’t, well, “lame.” Indeed, even resident parents in Hawaii are often pressed for ideas to keep their kids constructively stimulated during out-of-school days. Fortunately for local and visitor parents alike, each of Hawaii’s major islands have seen fit in recent years to build skate parks to provide safe environments for young skateboarders and rollerbladers to have fun.
For any visiting family that is checking luggage on their flight to Hawaii, it’s really quite easy to pack a skateboard and helmet for the trip (public skateparks in Hawaii require helmets). There are skate shops on every island, too, should you be in the market for a board, shoes, or skate accessories for the skaters(s) in your family. An hour at a skatepark, between trips to the beach, museums, hikes, and other Hawaii landmarks can stoke even the most ardently sullen adolescent or teen.
Most Hawaii skateparks are located in areas that near popular vacation destinations. Visitors may be surprised to learn, for instance, that even the remote Road to Hana on Maui leads to a well-designed concrete haven for skaters young and old.
On Oahu, the Kamiloiki Skatepark is only a five-minute drive from Hanauma Bay, one of the most popular visitor attractions on the island. The Banzai Skatepark is just a couple of hundred yards from possibly the most famous surf break in the world, the Banzai Pipeline. And there are a handful of other parks around the island.
The Big Island is home to several skateparks as well, with ramps and runs in the major towns of Hilo and Kona, and as far afield as Honokaa and Volcano. On Kauai, skateparks in Waimea, Kapaa, and Kilauea are not far from world famous destinations. And the people of Maui in particular have been quite progressive in providing skateparks for resident and visitor children, with parks in Lahaina, Kahului, and Kihei.
For young skateboarders, their ride is an emblem of freedom and the skatepark is a place to make friends and be part of a larger, worldwide community. There is a thriving skate community in Hawaii, a wholesome, family-oriented scene that defies the “skate punk” image of the past and embraces an aloha spirit of community service and fellowship. And it’s easy for even visiting kids and their families to be a part of.
For a list of Hawaii skateparks and links to related community organizations on each island, visit www.concretedisciples.com.