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Bouldering in Hawaii

Thinking about bouldering in Hawaii? Well, lucky for us – a new to New York and new to BKB climber has literally written the ultimate website guide to bouldering out on the Big Island. Meet Tyler.

Who are you and how did you get to Brooklyn?
My name is Tyler Williams, I just moved out here from the island of Oahu in Hawaii where I’ve lived for the last several years. I came out to Brooklyn to pursue career opportunities in software engineering and development.

Tyler, bouldering in Hawaii.
Tyler, bouldering in Hawaii.

What’s NYC like compared to Hawaii?
There are a lot of differences. NYC definitely doesn’t have the ready access to nature that Hawaii has, which I miss sorely. On Oahu particularly you can drive 10 minutes in any direction and be on a perfect coarse-sand beach, a stunning hike through the rainforest, or on the approach to a bouldering spot.

I have been having a blast in NYC though. I have never lived in a real city before so it has a lot of charm for me. Eventually I will learn how to best access the nearby nature/climbing.

Wai on Big Baby Buddha in Hawaii
Wai on Big Baby Buddha in Hawaii

How did you start climbing?
I started climbing just a couple of years ago after I got out of the Army. I needed a hobby to stay in shape and decided to give the only gym on Oahu a shot. Volcanic Rock Gym, at the time, was a small top-out bouldering wall and a cave attached to the side of a gymnastics studio. The community was small but very passionate and committed. That location is gone and now Volcanic has two locations on the island, I am lucky that I got to be around for the growth. From there I met the members of the community who climbed outside. They were gracious enough to let me tag along with them and flail while they developed the new spots. They became a real family for me.

waimea bay hawaii
Waimea Bay, from

Matt Lutey (@stonezonesurfclub), Justin Ridgely (@hiboulder), Nancy Ngyuen (@nanci_nator), Wai Yi Ng (@wai_yi_711), Hiro Watanabe(@hiroture), Nick Testa(@testasan), Joe Segel (@joeseegs), and Harry Larson (@tallestguyontheisland) — all very strong climbers — were aggressively developing new bouldering on Oahu while I was learning the basics and they took me under their collective wing.

After a couple of years Matt and I decided to start a blog to document the community as best we could. Bouldering Hawaii acts as a sort of guidebook and occasional community blog on Oahu bouldering development. There are also some pretty rad pictures there, and who doesn’t like that?

A sample boulder guide, from
A sample boulder guide, from


What do you do?
I am a junior software developer at a boutique software consultancy which specializes in mobile design and development. One the company’s founding partners is also a BKB member.

How has climbing impacted your life?
Climbing gave me a thread to hold onto for a long period. It brought me community, stability, a sense of accomplishment, and joy. It still does. I like it a lot.

What are your current projects, on and off the wall?
On the wall I am just trying to get into shape — I would like to be able to think of myself as a “strong climber” some day. I also want to expose myself to more real rock, with the exception of one weekend trip to Red Rocks I have only climbed on Hawaii’s basalt boulders and faces. Also, developing a community for myself here in NYC because for me that is an important part of climbing.
Off the wall I am trying to get my life in order. Make friends, excel at my work, find a new place to live after my time in my sublet runs out. The basics.


What are your recommendations for climbers going out to Hawaii?
Reach out to the community! I have never met a more open group of people more willing to let you be a part of their lives. They will take you out no matter who you are and treat you like a member of the family. They are really special people. Also, go to VRG and Waimea Bay.
Say hi to Tyler next time you’re around – and if you’re ever planning a trip to Hawaii, you know where to go. Spread the #bkblove.
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