New and Improved

Outfitters Kauai keep up with the competition

By: Marty Wentzel

As zipline tours grow in popularity, one Kauai firm has improved its existing facilities to keep a leg up on the competition.

In December 2003, Outfitters Kauai introduced a single 275-foot-long zipline, located on Kipu Ranch at the base of the 3,000-foot Haupu Mountain Range.

“When we further explored the stream above our site, we found a beautiful, narrow slot canyon winding its way down to our existing zipline, bridges and treehouse,” said Outfitters Kauai owner Rick Haviland. “The canyon was terribly overgrown with exotic, invasive, non-native plants and vines that obscured it from view and made it difficult to negotiate. As we started removing the invading plants, we discovered a strikingly beautiful canyon and waterway, including two waterfalls.”

Haviland’s team has been revegetating the area with pan-Pacific plants ever since.

During its recent course expansion, Outfitters Kauai has incorporated extra elements into the guest challenges, including three new ziplines, a canopy walk and a bridge that dips and winds its way through a majestic banyan tree grove. Clients can experience the improved set-up during the Kipu Falls Zipline Trek.

As Outfitters Kauai designed the new course, it called on elements of canyoneering to help clients negotiate the terrain.

“Canyoneering is an exciting sport common in Europe but somewhat new to America,” said Haviland. “Specialized equipment is used to traverse a canyon. In our case, the equipment includes lines, ropes and elevated walkways and bridges.”

The new Kipu Falls Zipline Trek encourages clients to test out unfamiliar techniques while enjoying the beauty of a previously unseen location.

As on other zipline adventures in Hawaii, Outfitters Kauai’s clients are dressed in mountain-climbing harnesses and helmets. Two guides oversee the action as participants start at the top of the course and work their way down. One of the pleasures of the improved course is a side-by-side zip, so clients can fly through the air at 30 mph, 50 feet above the ground, next to a friend or family member.

“It’s double the pleasure, double the fun,” said Haviland.

The second half of the three-hour tour remains the same as before: a short hike through the jungle to Kipu Falls, a little pocket of Eden where clients can swim and jump off a rope swing, complete with Tarzan-like yells.


The three-hour Kipu Falls Zipline Trek is offered twice daily. Clients check-in at Outfitters Kauai’s Poipu headquarters at 8 a.m. or 1 p.m.
Tour rates, commissionable to travel agents, are $99 per adult and $80 per child ages 7-14. Guides provide cold bottled water, cookies and juice. Clients must weigh less than 275 pounds to fit into the zipline safety harness, and the minimum age requirement is 7 years.

Outfitters Kauai
Poipu Plaza
2827A Poipu Rd.
Poipu Beach, HI 96756