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Angel Therapists and Gluten-Free Tattoos: 6 Bullshit Oahu, Hawaii Activities to Avoid at All Costs

From rappelling down the face of a waterfall, to swimming alongside a school of dolphins, Hawaii isn’t exactly at a loss for kick ass entertainment.

But, on the other side of the spectrum lurks a boatload of island activities so pedestrian and inane that it’s a wonder the architects behind them haven’t been given the boot by Pele. (Here’s a secret: Money can and does buy you love—just ask The Donald.)

Hate to point out the obz—sorry, suckah’, but sign up for an interisland cruise and you kinda deserve being stranded in Kahului.

But, in the spirit of Aloha, here are 6 Hawaiian activities to dodge like a tongue kiss from Aunt Betty:

Submarine Rides

Dipping under the gleaming surface of the ocean, pretending you’re a spy in some Bruckheimer film, exploring all that spectacular marine life without having to get your face wet (let alone blow through a plastic snorkel tube that’s been French kissed by every Tom, Dick and Harry)—sounds awfully tempting, doesn’t it?

Leave this adventure in your imagination, homeboy, because this is one tourist trap that will literally leave you confined.

Instead, imagine this: waiting in line with hordes of dimple-legged Midwesterners in Nike Dri-Fit, listening to some half-baked surfer go through 45 minutes of “on-board instructions,” plopping your ass into a hard plastic seat and then descending a few feet underwater to watch a nondescript yellow fish amble by—seen, of course, through a piece of murky glass with hung over mouth breathers beside you.

Young woman ig snorkeling in tropical lagoon

Save those Benjamins for a real ocean escapade, by booking a snorkeling trip that’s actually legit. You know, the ones where the equipment is new, the crew is hot, the drinks are cold and the air is anything but stale.

Angel Therapy

From finding true love to detoxifying your blood, snagging your dream gig to losing those last ten pounds, angel therapists pledge to take your life from sad and dreary to downright smashing.

Helmed by Doreen Virtue—who, ahem, lives on Maui, dangles herself in pink crystals and swishy skirts and turns anyone into a medium for a nominal fee of $2500—angel therapy is best described as a New Age movement that preys on the same chumps who bought into Sketchers Shape-Ups and believe ketchup is a vegetable.

Often found in the bohemian parts of the major islands, angel therapists—otherwise known as Crystal Healers, Color Puncturers and Aura Shamans—are little more than pudgy, middle-aged women with wet-brain eyes and cute little decks of cards with pictures of winged people on them.

Spending time with them is like a creepy old lady version of Magic, the Gathering.

In other words, should you choose to sit in a cramped cottage chock-full of incense and cat hair and listen to a woman offer you vague pronouncements on life while reading your chakras, then be our guest—this ain’t a free country for nothing.

Problem is? These sessions, fortified with music with whistling whales and the requisite Tao Te Ching-reading yogi on the lanai, come with a serious price tag and often engender little more than exasperation.

Interested in seeing some real angels? Hit up Rumfire. Some of the babes here look like they just stepped off the Victoria’s Secret runway. And, while they won’t be able to predict your future, they might just affect a night or two.

Gluten-Free Tattoos

Tramp stamps and beach vacations go together, like tequila and lime, but if you’re gonna go ink, please do it like a wannabe rock star, won’t ya?

By that, I mean slam back some Absinthe until you can hardly see and stumble into a tattoo parlor behind a 7-11 where Hepatitis sure as hell beats the alternative (AIDS).

Then, choose your last lover’s first initial and have it inscribed on your panty line. Jerk halfway through it and I’ll buy you drinks for a lifetime.

And while I’m totally down with organic bacon cheeseburgers and hemp milk—I swear the latter will get you high—we cannot be friends, if you’re the kind of person who Googles gluten-free tattoos and then heads to a studio stone cold sober to get one. (Who the fuck are you?)

Rock Climbing

Not like I’m biased or anything, but rock climbing is one of the finest sports to go mainstream, since Duke Kahanamoku popularized surfing.

That being said, some things—like skinny jeans, Bon Iver, snowboards and the Kardashians—are best saved for the mainland. And, frankly, they should stay there.

Case in point: go rock climbing on Maui and you’ll be offered little more than a 25-foot pinnacle that takes two minutes to ascend and costs you $9.

Plus, the venue is full of children, and I honestly can’t think of a worse way to spend part of your hard-earned vacation.

If you’re gonna climb a walk wall, then CLIMB A ROCK WALL!

Save those fancy foot moves for a real indoor climbing wall. Volcanic Rock Gym in Kailua offers routes that range from easy-peasy to V-10s—and they’ve got bouldering walls to boot.


Adult Woman Wearing Waterproof Equipment Descending A Waterfall


In theory, it sounds rad: get suspended twenty-plus feet in the air, while the purdy blue sea beckons beneath you and your friends wave to you from the beach.

In reality, this is a supposedly fun thing that you’ll never do again because, yes, it is that ridiculous.

Eight minutes long and $80 a pop, parasailing is akin to having a long, expensive yawn, while staring at the ocean from the balcony of your hotel room.

However, if you REALLY want to parasail, head over to, where at least you’ll get a serious amount of time in the air.

And, if you want some real exhilaration:

Try rappelling down a waterfall. You can get dirty, get wet, slip and slide, all with protection—like safe sex after a 3 hour hike.

I guess that could be its own bullshit Hawaiian activity, but at least it won’t cost you a dime. (Or, dear lord, I hope not.)

SUP Lessons

Every surfer worth a ding on his board dies a little, every time he hears someone mention a SUP “lesson.”

Unless, of course, said surfer is strapped for cash and teaching this bullshit himself. In which case, help a brutha out and sign up the whole fam.

Thing is, there’s not a whole lot to learn here. There’s a board. It’s large. It floats! There’s a paddle involved, and unless you’ve never doggie-splashed in the water before, it’s cake to use them, trusting that you possess at least some semblance of muscle.

The only value of this tourist trap is the knowledge that the instructors offer on waves and timing. And, if you’re paying for that, then you might as well man the fuck up and take a real surfing lesson.

So, there you have it.  All vacation destinations have their share of BS tourist traps, like the timeshare gauntlet you have to survive at the airport in Cancun.  But, you are now on notice.  Let that annoying neighbor, Bob, who can’t stop talking about the MLM he joined (so you join, too, I guess?) discover these BS activities. 

Then, pretend to enjoy the night’s festivities when he invites you over to see all of his selfies, knowing full well that he’s an idiot, especially when he waxes poetically about the angel therapist who changed his life.  Jackass.



  • Brian K

    Brian K has been a writer and publisher for 10+ years and has worked for LiveYourAloha as a freelance author and content manager for several of them. There's not much about Hawaii he can't tell you about!