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Let the adrenaline flow on your Hawaiian holiday

A Hawaiian holiday means sandy white beaches, shady palm trees and clear blue waters. A trip to these beautiful islands is all about rest and relaxation - at least, it usually is. If your idea of some invigorating time off involves adrenaline more than it involves sunbathing and massages, then Hawaii is perfect for you too.

From jumping off planes to encounters with some of nature's most efficient predators, Hawaii is an adrenaline junkie's dream. Even those that don't necessarily classify themselves as thrill-seekers may find that one of these activities will make for a memorable holiday experience, a good story and some personal development. A study from the University of Wollongong even found that those who participated in extreme sports displayed more courage and humility in their personal lives.

Whether you're looking to grow as a person or you just want to jump off something for the adrenaline rush, you'll be able to do it with these five activities in Hawaii.

Surfing

Probably the sport most associated with Hawaii, surfing is a fantastic holiday activity, particularly as it means you get to experience Hawaii's beautiful waters. While surfing is usually associated with a relaxed, laid back lifestyle, the sport itself is anything but. Giving your core and upper body a thorough workout, surfing pits you against the ocean, one of nature's greatest forces, and lets you come out on top.

Beginners can enjoy some excellent surf lessons at a secluded spot with Kai Sallas' Pro Surf School in Hawaii, just opposite the very popular Waikiki Beach. However, those looking for something a little more challenging will find that these beautiful islands have plenty in the way of extreme surfing.

According to Go Hawaii, the state is the birthplace of big wave surfing. In the 1950s, people started surfing the enormous winter waves on Makaha on the West Shore and Waimea Bay on the North Shore. Nowadays, big wave surfing is incredibly popular. If this sounds like something you're interested in, plan a trip between November and February - this is when you'll get the biggest waves!

Fishing

Did you think fishing was all about relaxing on the water with your feet up? If so, you are sorely mistaken. Sure, there are plenty of opportunities for laid back angling at the jetty, as you enjoy the warm weather and a cold beer. But what we're talking about is extreme fishing, the kind that will have your heart pounding and leave adrenaline flooding your veins as you speed through waters, struggling with a large tuna.

For a truly thrilling fishing experience, book a charter with Hawaii Deep Sea Fishing. Get in touch online or stop by their offices in Honolulu while you're there. Several varieties of marlin, tuna and snapper are available at varying times of the year. Whenever you choose to go, you're guaranteed an adventure you'll never forget.

Shark diving

Need we say more? Although sharks are some of the ocean's most misunderstood creatures, there's no need to explain why an encounter with one will have the adrenaline pumping in no time. Book a cage dive with a company such as Hawaii Shark Encounters to meet these animals in their natural world.

The tours take place on the North Shore of Oahu, where you and your group will be taken out to the open ocean. You will be lowered into the water inside a cage with poly glass windows, which separates you from the sharks. Through a snorkel mask, you'll be able to observe several Galapagos and Sandbar sharks swimming about. Because sharks are naturally curious animals, they usually come right up to the cage, leaving you face to face with one of the world's most deadly predators.

Sharks are a vital part of Hawaii's ecosystem, and indeed, the ecosystems of the world. However, overfishing and habitat pollution has greatly reduced their chances of surviving in the wild.

This is another reason that a shark dive with Hawaii Shark Encounters is such a good idea - they're also deeply committed to protecting and preserving shark survival. Not only will taking part in a cage dive be fun for you, it will also be supporting conservation efforts dedicated to increasing the survival chances of these magnificent ocean dwellers.

Skydiving

What could be more extreme than jumping off a plane with only a parachute to guide you back down to safety? Skydiving is one of the most extreme activities there is. The best part is that skydiving is exciting whether you're doing it for the first or the hundredth time. Book an excursion with one of Hawaii's skydiving companies, such as Pacific Skydiving or Skydive Hawaii.

If it's your first skydive, you will be strapped to a much more experienced partner. This is the person who will do everything, including jumping off the plane, so you don't have to worry about your nerves getting the better of you. After the jump, you'll free fall for what will be the most exhilarating minute of your life. Then your partner will deploy the parachute and you'll leisurely float back down to earth. You practically do nothing - just enjoy the ride down!