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Wake Maui

Wake Boarding is one of the most fun activities available on Maui. Wake Maui is the company that will "bring it on." This is like waterskiing, but you will be using a wakeboard instead. Or, you can think of it as using a snowboard on the slopes of the ocean. These tours are great, and can be taken with others or in a private group. The maximum number to be taken will be six passengers so it will always be small groups anyway with plenty of individualized attention. The best time to do this for most people is in the morning when the sea is like "glass" and there is very little wave action. However, some prefer the more bumpy "mogul action" of the wave terrain in the afternoons. The choice is up to you. Tours are available for sunset as well. A special tour only for teens is also available, which they all seem to really appreciate!

Interview with Ryan Hickey owner/operator of Wake Maui

Tom Barefoot: "Good morning this is Tom Barefoot from Tom Barefoot's Tours and we're doing a Facebook Live today with one of our vendors, and just a little background to this if you're not too familiar. Read Full Transcript

Video Transcript

Tom Barefoot: "Good morning this is Tom Barefoot from Tom Barefoot's Tours and we're doing a Facebook Live today with one of our vendors, and just a little background to this if you're not too familiar. We're a company that does all the different tours and activities in Hawaii. we've been doing this since 1975."

Tom Barefoot: "We have hundreds of different tours that we book, hundreds of vendors that we book throughout all of Hawaii, and were starting a little program where we're highlighting individual vendors. You get a little better idea of what they do rather than just going on our website which is www.tombarefoot.com."

Tom Barefoot: "Instead of just going there and seeing the written material we have, photographs, and some other things you might find. This is going to flush out a little bit more about the vendor actually does and just a little bit more into the intricacies of how they operate and give you a better idea of who you might be going with."

Tom Barefoot: "Today we are extremely lucky to have a gentleman named Ryan Hickey who is the owner of a company here on Maui called, Wake Maui. Good morning!"

Ryan Hickey: "Good morning Tom, how are you doing?"

Tom Barefoot: "We're doing okay, I hope. Looks like you're outside, you've got a banana tree behind you. Am I correct in assuming that you're in Napili?"

Ryan Hickey: "I am. The office was just a little too dirty and I thought outside would be the place to do it."

Tom Barefoot: "You're in the Hawaiian Napili sunshine zone, that's great. Another great day in Hawaii and you're close right there to where you actually do all your work from. Because you depart from Kaanapali, correct?"

Ryan Hickey: "Correct, we are loading from the beach right in front of Leilani and Hula Girl and all that."

Tom Barefoot: "Just to kind of like set the scene for what you do. Essentially what you've got is a full-on speedboat and I'll ask you some questions about that in a little bit later. That pulls right up on the beach in Kaanapali, it takes small groups of people, so you're like 6 people. You're the captain, you take people out and you do a number of things with them. One of the things, you do wakeboarding behind your speedboat, wake surfing, you also do private charters, snorkeling, whale watches. What am I missing here?"

Ryan Hickey: "Water skiing and tubing, when it isn't whale season we can break up the inner tubes."

Tom Barefoot: "When you say inner tube you're talking about, an inner tube that you just pull behind the boat and kids and stuff could probably jump on that and just kind of cruise for fun?"

Ryan Hickey: "Yeah. In fact, I have one client that are a family I should say, they run me out every year and mom and dad sitting about and have a glass of wine, and then the kids are on the tube and they "go two hours that way and two hours back", and mom and dad would get a little alone time and the kids are just screaming and having a great time in the back. It's a fun way to see a little of the island and everybody kind of gets their piece of pie."

Tom Barefoot: "You're really versatile kind of really what you do but like the 3 things like the water skiing, wakeboarding, and the wake surfing are kind of unique to what you do. Very few people in even Hawaii even in the other islands. Those are different, what are the differences between those three activities? How would you describe them?"

Ryan Hickey: "We spend most of our time doing the wake surfing it's kind of the new sliced bread, the better mousetrap of this sport that you'll going a little bit slower so the wipeouts are a little bit easier on the body, but it's still fun. It's freeing and you're walking on water. The boat is designed so it puts out big enough wake that is actually a surfable wave. Once you get good at it, you can actually let go of the rope and throw it back into the boat and surf your own private wave without worrying about coral reel for getting wiped out by the next set. Mom and Dad can be watching 8 feet away and laughing at all your facial expressions as you're in wiping out and stuff. It's fun."

Tom Barefoot: "The other two, the wake surfing and the skiing. Those are further behind the boat?"

Ryan Hickey: "Yes, that's right. Wakeboarding you're farther behind the boat and you're going faster and that's for not quite getting enough adrenaline from the wake surfing and we bump you up and it's faster, more radical in terms of being able to do inverted tricks and all that kind of stuff. But that's for if you want to get more radical and then water skiing, of course, is the old standby and I think it's a little bit trickier than the wakeboarding and you have 4 edges to control instead of just 2. But it's also a great way to do and to see the sunrise on Maui on a set of skis behind the boat."

Tom Barefoot: "I would guess it's more the older generations that do the water skiing instead of the surfing or the wakeboarding?"

Ryan Hickey: "Yes, as a general rule. I don't want to over generalize but yeah anybody that grew up through the 80s remembers the Juicy Fruit commercials with them all water skiing, and they aren't making many of those these days."

Tom Barefoot: "You've got 6 people that you can take on, right? You've got a group of people that are like, "let's go out and have some fun" and then you have the capability is that correct? Somebody could do wake surfing, somebody could do water skiing, somebody could do wake surfing, the wakeboarding, all the three things you could just kind of mix and match?"

Ryan Hickey: "We have more toys square foot on that boat then I think anybody else in the State. We have at anytime 4-5 wake boards, 3 wake surfboards, a couple set of skis, we even have a reef surfer tubes, snorkel gear. What I kind of specialize in is 'What do you want to do today, and I'm loaded for bear'. I'm ready to meet those needs, and we go out and have a good time."

Tom Barefoot: "You can handle those kinds of extreme watersports I called them, in the relation to other watersports that we do on Maui and other islands. But the one thing that I wasn't really aware of until recently is that you actually are capable of just going out with private charters. We have a lot of people that are interested in just doing stuff, going out to be with their family or just their small group and going somewhere perhaps to snorkel and even cruise the coastline or do different things. We have people telling me if this is possible. Do you spread ashes is that ever going to come about?"

Ryan Hickey: "Absolutely. We do all of those things. We do many memorials and it's kind of an intimate affair where we can take your considerations into mind when we decide where and what to do. Whereas some of the larger vessels are subject to the whole group's decision. Where I am saying it's snorkeling, you want to see the turtles, I got a spot for that. You wanna see white tip reef sharks, I've got a spot for that. If you want to let a family members go in beautiful serene surroundings, we can provide a beautiful place where we provide the GPS location, we do a little nautical tribute to letting them go, and provide music and whatever you want."

Tom Barefoot: "It sounds like you kind of like produce this on the fly?"

Ryan Hickey: "They're all well-tested spots and just being on the water on my boat for the past 11 years, I think I got a pretty good idea where's going to be good today."

Tom Barefoot: "You're leaving from Kaanapali beach. I just want to get kind of the parameters of where you could probably go and let me guess, you could go up to the Honolua Bay on certain days, you could go to Lanai, across the channel. You could probably go down to Olowalu and kind of south beyond Lahaina. Is that the radius that you operate in?"

Ryan Hickey: "Yeah, so we'll make it down to Coral Gardens every once in awhile, but West Maui is the most pleasant water I should say. I don't want to be again to try and generalize too much, but being behind the West Maui mountains provides a nice calm lake Pacific for us to play in. Once you get farther north than Honolua bay or farther south in the Maalaea, I don't know if anybody has been through in Maalaea in the afternoon, but it's windy. It's great for sailing, it's not great for motoring and so we kind of stay in between those two. Trips over to Lanai on certain days are fantastic as well."

Tom Barefoot: "Let's move on to some other areas here. Weather conditions, morning or afternoon? What do you suggest?"

Ryan Hickey: "Almost all the vendors here on Maui will tell you that morning time is the right time if you're going to be out in the water. As the day goes on the land heats up. Warm air rises create more breeze and we say that Maui breathes every morning, she's kind of in between breaths and then in the afternoon she breathes out, and in the evening she calms right back down. If you want conditions which are usually everybody's goal when they're on the water they wanted to be relaxed."

Tom Barefoot: "I like your analogy. I never heard it spoken like that or described the Maui breathing. I know that you've mentioned this, but I don't know the backstory on it. You've said that you've done this in a number of years with different people, but you've said that you actually have taken some movie stars and some royalty with you? Who were they, who did you take?"

Ryan Hickey: "Yeah. I would prefer to leave them a little anonymous but we've had A-listers and royalty. I've been checked out by security a number of times and it's fun just to see get people out of their little bubble, because you see these guys who normally don't have a minute to themselves and when you get them out on the water away from all the paparazi and everything, people are just people. It's great. We've got the NFL stars out there who are normally the king of their domain and athletic prowess, and then they come out with me and go 'You know what? I want to look goofy for a minute. Let me try this Squirly board and fall in that way, I'm not doing it in front of everyone on the beach.' They're having fun with their kids. It's a really fun way to see people open up and start to really like them. A basic level where they don't have all the distractions."

Tom Barefoot: "You seem like a fun person to be with in general and they seem to want to just relax and open up with you, and that's kind of cool. One of the things that I've read your bio is that you actually graduate with the degree in philosophy from college, is that correct?"

Ryan Hickey: "I think a classical education really helps out in a day to day fashion out here..."

Tom Barefoot: "I think in overall it's worked out really well for you, it's kind of brought in some element of peacefulness to your demeanor and you kind of settle people down. I could see that right away, so people are very comfortable with you and I'm quite sure they enjoy the trips no matter which one they're taking."

Tom Barefoot: "I guess we'll wrap this up. Ryan, thank you very much for appearing with us and letting people know just more about what we've got going with Wake Maui."

Ryan Hickey: "There's one more thing, guys if you're going to book with me. Book early in the morning and book early on your trip. That way if there's some sort of weather concern and I think there's going to be a better day later in the week. We can make the very most of your time on the water."

Tom Barefoot: "Thank you very much, Ryan. I appreciate you coming along with this on our broadcast this morning."

Tom Barefoot: "That was Ryan Hickey and I'm really glad to be able to hear a little about him and understand what it is that he does so we get a little bit more in depth and you'll be able to understand so you can enjoy your trip and plan for it a little bit better."

Tom Barefoot: "This is just one of a number of other Facebook Live videos that we'll be doing. With our vendors and try to get to know more about us. You could find us of course at www.tombarefoot.com."

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