50 states in 30 days

Planes, trains and jet packs

The lads create a stir in Honolulu, Hawaii

By Wild Sky Media 04/01/2013 12:12

Days in US: 1

States visited: 1

Number of times mistaken for Australians: 2

Modes of transport: 6 (plane; car; bus; boat; jet pack; surfboard)

It’s day one of our breakneck tour around the United States, and by my reckoning we’ve already clocked up five different modes of transport. 

It’s the fifth one in particular that’s creating a stir around me - both in the ocean itself and on a number of passing boats. 

This is Hawaii, the first of our 50 States, and I’ve found the perfect way to decimate any lingering jetlag after our long flight over from London: the Jetlev R200

Jonathan rises out of the Hawaiian water strapped into a Jet Lev. 

Built as an homage to the jet pack that Sean Connery’s 007 flies in the opening sequence of Goldfinger, the JetLev is propelled skywards by two powerful water jets. It’s superb fun to fly once you get the hang of the steering, but I do have to grapple with my fair share of ...ahem... Skyfall first.  At least the water’s nice and warm. And soft to land in. 

After parking the JetLev and checking into our hotel - The Outrigger Waikiki Beach -  (www.outriggerwaikikihotel.com), we make the short drive west out of Honolulu to Barber’s Point for a surf lesson.


Hawaiian Fire (www.hawaiianfire.com), one of the island’s biggest surf schools, run two classes a day from this sheltered, idyllic beach and can boast alumni - former ‘members of the board’ if you will - ranging from Mena Suvari to the mighty Chuck Norris. 

Jonathan gets some instruction from the Hawaiian Fire Surf School.

Either the teaching is extremely good or the Jetlev has imbued me with some serious balance and confidence, because I’m up and riding on my first wave, and spend two happy hours repeating the feat in the sunshine. (It probably has a lot to do with the fact that none of the waves here get much over  four foot too!)   

An old VW Camper parked up in Haleiwa on the Hawaii's North Shore.

Later, we drive up to Oahu’s famous North Shore to see some “proper” waves hammering the coast near Haleiwa like heavy artillery. The waves here are so big that even vastly experienced surfers have to be ‘towed in‘ with jet skis to ride them. Yet another mode of transport for the day? I think I’ve ridden my luck enough. It’s time to fly onto our second state, California...
The sun sets over the famous big waves of Hawaii's North Shore.

Do it Yourself

An introductory jet packing experience in Hawaii with Seabreeze Watersports starts from £110pp. A group surf lesson with the Hawaii Fire Surf School costs £67pp.

You can follow our adventure  - and win a holiday of your own to the US - every day in January at www.AA.com/UnitedStatesofAdventure 

04/01/2013 22:55
It was not Goldfinger it was Thunderball. Why would anyone want to travel all that way and not have the time to explore the places. Its pointless, and the greenies will hate you for your jaunt.
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About the bloggers
  • Jonathan Thompson, Mark ChilversJonathan and Mark

    Jonathan Thompson and photographer Mark Chilvers have travelled to all seven continents together, producing travel features for national newspapers and magazines over the last decade.

    Their multi-award winning stories have seen them visit more than 40 countries, with assignments ranging from Cosmonaut training school in Russia to the elephant polo world cup in Thailand; jet pack testing in Florida to ice climbing in Antarctica.
    Over the month of January 2013, the fearless duo will be touring all 50 States of America: against the clock and in search of adventure.  
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