By Kent Coules, Publisher
Adventure is in Jim Owen’s blood. Prior to opening Coral Crater Adventure Park in Kapolei in 2017, he spent a good portion of his life practicing what he now preaches to guests. “At 17, I spent a year in Thailand as a Rotary Youth Exchange student, living in a monastery for a month. I wore a plain cotton robe, never spoke and meditated from dawn to dusk.”
After attending Hawai‘i Pacific University for a time, the adventure bug bit again. Owen spent an entire year traveling the world, visiting 10 European countries, riding camels in the Thar Desert in India, even hiking to the base camp of Mount Everest in Nepal.
So it comes as no surprise that Owen would build this unique adventure park that provides guests with the thrills of ziplining, ATV driving, a 60-foot tall adventure tower and even a Zombie Apocalypse Rescue Mission.
“Coral Crater exemplifies our philosophy that life should be fun,” says Owen. “You can have a blast just by trying activities that you don’t normally do.”
I ask Owen what activities get the best reviews. “Surprisingly, that would be our Adventure Tower challenges. We’ve learned that nearly everyone is physically capable of conquering their insecurities. The difference for some people is getting over their fears, which is easier with family and friends encouraging them.”
Some of those challenges include crossing wobbly wooden bridges, gliding on a surfboard mounted on a rail, and climbing a 50-foot wall before free-falling back to solid ground. “People leave with a strong sense of having accomplished something; that they overcame a fear. We think that’s why the Adventure Tower gets such amazing feedback.”
In addition to hosting many tourists, the Adventure Tower is popular for local group outings and team building exercises.
The fun doesn’t end there, however. Coral Crater also has six zip lines over a 60-foot deep crater, created by the Navy in the 1940s to dig up coral used to build runways at Barber’s Point Naval Air Station. The zip lines rise as high as 70 feet and range in length from 300-900 feet. Thrill seekers can reach speeds as high as 35 miles per hour.
The Zombie Apocalypse Rescue Mission is a laser tag like experience. “The scenario is a virus is transforming all of O‘ahu into zombies,” says Owen. “Rogue militants have imprisoned the doctor who has developed the antidote for the virus. Participants are assigned to an elite squad to rescue the doctor from Camp Zombie.”
The camp looks like a real camp, with a guard station, barracks, a hospital and laboratory. “What’s cool is the weapons are replicas of M4 tactical laser guns,” adds Owen. “They’re not plastic neon toys, they’re constructed from real M4 bodies. They’re full weight and have 30 percent of the recoil of actual M4s, so you’ll feel that when you’re shooting zombies.”
Coral Crater’s newest offerings combine all the experiences of the adventure park with complimentary outings to balance guests’ day. “We recently partnered with Ocean Joy Cruises on a snorkel outing. After our guests are hot and dusty from the Adventure Tower and ATV-ing, they can cool off and relax in the ocean on a first-class boat.”
Other combinations include Chief’s Luau and horseback riding. All of the packages can be checked out at coralcrater.com.
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