Why Choose Outfitters Kauai When You Visit Hawaii?
With Outfitters Kauai, you get the best Kauai adventures and admission to the most exclusive parts of Kauai. We have access to remote areas of Wailua River, a state park with very limited access. On the Hule’ia River, we are the only group that has permission to use the surrounding private lands of Kipu Ranch, which gives you special privileges to leave your kayak or SUP and hike the jungle trails through a valley to secluded pools and waterfalls.
Our tours include more than thrills. All of Outfitters Kauai’s guides are experts in local ecology, natural history, culture and legends of Kauai. You’ll learn about the island while enjoying its adventurous side, and get tips on the best places to dine and special places not to miss during your visit.
Rick grew up in Wisconsin in an old farmhouse at the end of a long gravel road, on a big lake with a corn field across the road. As a boy he loved to play on the water in the summers sailing and canoeing, and enjoyed winter sports like skiing, skating, and iceboating. He became a lineman as a young man and was able to fulfill his boyhood dream of being an every-day skier in the Rocky Mountains by working on the road during summers climbing poles, and skiing everyday all winter. When he was offered a line job on Kauai in 1982 he jumped at the chance to live near the ocean and learn about Hawaii watersports.
Julie is a Northern California girl who grew up waterskiing, riding motorcycles, and snowmobiling. She graduated from Chico State University with a degree in Recreational Therapy, and moved to Kauai, also in ’82, to be with friends and windsurf. She worked as a social worker and became the Director of the Kauai Shelter for Family Violence Victims. She and Rick were fixed up by a mutual friend on a blind date and soon were having fabulous times together in the early days of windsurfing, kayaking, and mountain biking on Kauai. As they discovered new places to go and new things to do, they started to dream about sharing their wonderful experiences with island visitors, and decided to see if they could make a go of it.
They wanted to do it right, and began to pursue acquiring governmental permits to operate guided tours on Kauai, and in 1988, received the first permit in the State of Hawaii to run guided sea kayak tours from State facilities. They opened Outfitters Kauai, in Poipu, in the fall of that year, and in the ensuing years have had a great time developing fun new things to do and making people’s vacation dreams come true. Outfitters Kauai was also an initial permitted operator of guided kayak tours of Wailua River State Park and Na Pali Coast, which is a 15-mile wilderness coastline on Kauai’s North Shore. Waimea Canyon Bicycle Downhill tours were started up in ’94. In 1999 Outfitters negotiated land and water use agreements to enable an innovative guided kayaking tour on Hule’ia River that allows participants to paddle downwind through a National Wildlife Refuge location that was a backdrop to the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. The tour group hikes to waterfalls located at the famous Kipu Ranch, and returns to their private dock by an exotic doubled- hulled motorized Hawaiian canoe.
Rick’s past work as a pole climbing lineman and his cable handling skills came in handy when, in 2001, he was inspired by a National Geographic article about canopy tours in Costa Rica, and began to pursue and construct Kauai’s first zipline alongside a Kipu Ranch site used in the filming of the movie Jurassic Park. It was opened for business in 2003. Since then, Outfitters has continued to innovate, bringing together more ziplines, waterfalls, canopy walkways, treehouses, rappelling, suspension bridges, and even waterzips for the enjoyment of their guests. After over 25 years, Outfitters Kauai is still doing new things all the time, and still making people’s vacation dreams come true.
The Havilands reside at a garden home in Oma’o, just outside the Poipu resort area, with their two dogs and cat. Their daughter Nalani, who came along in 1990, is a Kauai High and Chapman University graduate where she played 4 years of volleyball. She has worked as an EMT in Southern California, and presently is attending graduate school at Barry University in the USVI, studying to become a Physician Assistant. And they still go kayaking together every chance they get.
Cesare Lucente developed a love for travel and adventure at a young age when he began spending high school summers away from his hometown Kansas City, Missouri to work for a family friend in Belize City, Belize. After obtaining a BA in Sociology from Regis University in Denver he set out on several years of working vacations spent hiking, skiing and rock climbing around the western United States and Central America before heading back to Kansas City to help run the family restaurant. Here he met his future wife of part Hawaiian descent and was introduced to Kauai on a trip to meet her family. After seeing the beauty of Kauai the couple packed their bags and took up permanent residence on the island in 2001.
Answering a want ad for a bicycle/kayak guide position landed Cesare at Outfitters Kauai where he found his true calling. Taking guests on adventure tours around the amazing island of Kauai seemed a job too good to be true. His tales of past rock climbing adventures caught the ear of owner Rick Haviland who asked him to help develop a zipline tour program. Their diverse experiences with rope and cable management along with a mutual passion for adventure and innovation produced a unique and exciting product. Over the years the two have collaborated on many more tour development projects and created amazing adventures for their guests to enjoy. Cesare has moved from Quality Assurance Manager to Operations Manager to his current role as General Manager.
Peg grew up on a small farm in the Bay Area east of San Francisco. She moved to Kauai in 1988. Her love for the outdoors and the ocean led her to a career in scuba diving and water sports. She became a sales rep for one of the leading scuba manufacturers and traveled all the Hawaiian Islands. Although she spent time on all the islands, her home has been on Kauai.
As Sales manager for the company, it is her job to make promises everyone else has to keep. The staff and guides at Outfitters Kauai never let her down. She enjoys helping people on vacation find fun and adventure. Outfitters Kauai is the perfect company for finding both.
Aaron Black still remembers a conversation with a close friend that changed his life. Living on Long Island in the hectic rush of New York life, his buddy pushed him to pursue his dreams and passion for surf and travel by asking him a simple question: why not? His friend made him realize that life was too short not to be living the life of your dreams. Since that moment, Aaron has traveled the globe to Ireland, Holland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Morocco, and Puerto Rico. He graduated from the University of North Florida with a BA in Spanish and a minor in Anthropology and has taught surfing worldwide while he searched the globe for the best waves. He met his wife, Noosh, and have traveled and lived in New Zealand, Spain and Costa Rica and also operated a surf and adventure tour operation in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. In 2009, they landed on Kauai and immediately knew they found their home in paradise.
Aaron and his wife both started working at Outfitters Kauai within a few months of each other in 2010 as Tour Guides. The opportunity to share epic adventures and the Hawaiian culture and history with guests was literally a dream come true. They quickly fell in love with the island of Kauai and the adventurous ohana at Outfitters Kauai. Aaron also served as a Zip Guide Trainer and became involved with the maintenance of the zipline course. Over the years, he has had extensive hands on experience in maintaining and installing ziplines, equipment maintenance and the implementation of safety systems and protocol. This past year, he has moved to the position of Course Manager on Kipu Ranch and focuses on guest safety and ensures the zipline course is the safest and most enjoyable experience possible. When he’s not hanging from ziplines or trees, Aaron spends his free time with his wife and daughter and explores all the beauty and adventure of Kauai from mauka to makai.
Muppy has lived on Kaua’i since 2009. She grew up in Northern Utah, in a small town at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. As a child and young adult she participated in many outdoor activities and loved camping, river rafting, and hiking throughout all of her home state and surrounding areas. As an adult, she began rock-climbing in the canyons surrounding her hometown and discovered her passion for adventure and adrenaline. Later on she began a career in assisting adults with disabilities, and worked in a group home for many years. After visiting the islands and coming on tour with Outfitters Kauai, she decided she wanted to move and apply to work for this amazing company and to be one of the guides showing people the beauty of the island.
After arriving on island and getting settled, she applied for her dream job: being a tour guide with Outfitters Kauai. When offered the position she was excited to join such an incredible group of coworkers, and was beyond happy. Six years later, she is still as happy as the day she was hired. Muppy gets to show people the beauty of her home, and experience their happiness first hand. She loves working with people and being outdoors, so there couldn’t be a better career option for her. The joy she sees in people on our adventures here at Outfitters Kauai is the same joy she experiences by being a part of our team.
Dominick grew up on Kauai and is an avid, true waterman. His passion is surfing but he enjoys all water sports. As a child he went through Hurricane Iwa in 1982. If that wasn’t enough, as a young adult he endured the ordeal of Hurricane Iniki in 1992. After helping his family and friends fix up their homes, he developed a skill for building. He is an experienced carpenter and has been involved in all phases of construction for over 20 years.
As the Maintenance Supervisor for Outfitters Kauai, Dominick is responsible for preventative maintenance of all equipment. His main objective is keeping our customers safe. He spends the majority of his workday ensuring that equipment is running properly so tours can run smoothly. Some of his responsibilities are maintaining our tractors and boats. When ziplines are built Dominick teams up with owner Rick Haviland, Cesare Lucente, and a few hard working Outfitter’s employees. Together they have built ziplines on Kipu Ranch, making our customer’s vacation dreams come true.