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The first age group and masters swim teams in Kona were started by KONA Aquatics. The masters team is still the only one in West Hawaii Island. These teams were hatched in 1993 when Steve Borowski was asked to come out of coaching retirement. Coach Steve grabbed this chance to live his philosophy - to promote swimming and water safety in this island State, and to guide both keiki (children) and adults in improving their water skills, not only for competition, but to celebrate and play in the surrounding ocean waters.


The year was 1993, and there were no pools in Kona, so, once Coach Steve agreed to coach again, KONA Aquatics began with all practices held in the crystalline waters of historic Kamakahonu Bay. 

When The Club In Kona built a small pool (25 yards long, 3.5 feet deep, and only four narrow 5-foot-wide lanes), the teams divided into extra sessions to accommodate the growing number of member swimmers. 

Never forgetting his philosophy, in 1996 Coach created The King’s Swim; a 1.2-mile ocean race held at the Kona pier and finishing on Kamakahonu Beach in honor of King Kamehameha the Great who once lived there. The ocean race has grown into a favorite, with over 270 participants finishing the race in 2014. It is the third jewel in the Triple Crown of West Hawaii ocean races.


Coach Steve spearheaded the Kona Community Aquatics Center project, and when it was completed in the late 1990s, this location became the home pool for the teams. Upon completion of the community pool, Steve started the boys’ and girls’ swimming teams at Kealakehe High School. He is still coaching those swimmers, and, in 2010, the girl’s team won the State Championships, even when qualifying only five swimmers. That was the first and only State Championship Kealakehe High School has won, to date, in any sport. 

Currently, over twenty years from the start of KONA Aquatics, these teams of youngsters and adults continue on their journey in improving their pool and ocean swimming abilities, finding and increasing their self-worth, and having a blast, all at the same time!

Come swim with us!


KONA Aquatics has three distinct swimming programs for intermediate, advanced amateurs and master swimmers of all abilities. Swimmers of all levels are welcome.

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This division of the KONA Aquatics Age Group team is for keiki (children) who are beginningtheir swimming careers. The age range varies, but is generally from 7- to 13-year-old swimmers. This bunch of keiki learn the all-important basics in stroke techniques, and also lane-swimming etiquette, using the pace clock to read times and send-offs for swim sets. Stretching and some beginning strengthening exercises are also included in the practice sessions. Once a Holona Program member has shown him or herself to be attentive and coachable, and has moved to the top of the group, then that keiki is advanced to the No'eau Program.



This division of the KONA Aquatics Age Group team now focuses on the never ending process of fine tuning the stroke mechanics of each of the four competitive strokes. These swimmers are also coached in how to set goals, mentally and physically prepare for Big Island and State competitions, and are readied for high school and college swimming programs. Stretching and some more intense strengthening exercises are also included in these workout sessions. Some of the best fun is in learning and practicing ocean swim techniques, and then putting these skills into play competing in the many ocean swim races held here in the islands.



The KONA Aquatics Masters team is for ages 19 and over, ‘way, ‘way over! Our Masters program is quite probably the most “dropped in” masters workout in the World, averaging three visitors per workout. No wonder, with Kona being a top visitor destination and the home of the Ironman World Championships. We have trained with visitors from many of the fifty States, and numerous masters swimmers and professional triathletes from all parts of the globe. We enjoy visits from vacationing swimmers, and our one hour sessions accommodate all abilities and are challenging and always fun!



MInimum swim requirements: each swimmer must be able to swim 50 yards freestyle with side breathing.



KONA Aquatics has been hosting the King’s Swim for over 23 years. The King's Swim is a 1.2-mile ocean swim which starts at the Kona pier and is held every 4th of July.. The race is held to honor King Kamehameha the Great, and it finishes at Kamakahonu Beach where he once lived. Last year’s King’s Swim saw 236 participants finish the race, ranging in age from seven to 79 years of age. We will be adding an online registration form our team's website for the 2018 race soon!

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Whether you are a visiting age group swimmer, masters swimmer, or triathlete, we believe that you will find it easy to fit our pool workouts into your vacation schedule; or, if you want the full Kona experience, head to the Kona pier any morning where you will find any number of swimmers, with varying abilities, ready to immerse into the clean, clear waters of Kamakahonu Bay!



  • Monday - Friday: 3:00pm - 3:45pm 



  • Monday - Friday: 3:45pm - 5:45pm
  • Monday - Friday: 6:15am - 7:15am* (*by invitation only)



  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday: 6:15am - 7:15am


2018 Long Course Meet Schedule

February 17 - Age Group Meet : Pahoa

March 15, 16, 17, 18 - Speedo Sectionals : Federal Way, WA

March 17 - Age Group Meet : Kona Community Aquatics Center, Kailua-Kona

April 12, 13, 14, 15 - TYR Pro Swim Series : Mesa, AZ

April 14 - Age Group Meet : Kawamoto Swim Stadium, Hilo

May 12 - Age Group Meet : Kona Community Aquatics Center, Kailua-Kona

May 26, 27 - Sakamoto Invitational : Kihei, Maui

June 2, 3 - HPA Invitational : HPA Waimea, HI

June 7, 8, 9, 10 - TYR Pro Swim Series : Santa Clara, CA

June 15, 16, 17 - Hawaii Senior LCM Swimming Championships : VMAC, Oahu

June 23, 24 - Big Island Swimming Championships : Kawamoto Swim Stadium, Hilo

June 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 - 12th Oceania Swimming Championships - Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

July 4 - The King's Swim : Kailua-Kona Pier

July 12, 13, 14, 15 - Hawaii State Age Group Long Course Championships : VMAC, Oahu

July 19, 20, 21, 22 - Speedo Sectionals : Santa Clarita, CA

July 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 - Phillips 66 National Long Course Championships : Irvine, CA

July 31, August 1, 2, 3, 4 - Speedo Junior National Long Course Championships : Irvine, CA

August 2, 3, 4, 5 - Futures Championships : Santa Clara, CA

August 8, 9, 10, 11 - Western Zone Age Group Championships : Roseville, CA

Other Important Dates

March - Aloha! There are no important upcoming events this month.

2018 March Pool Closures 

March 13 - The pool will be closed for maintenance. We will meet at the pier at 4pm.

March 16 - The pool will be closed to prepare for Saturday the 17th swim meet. We will meet at the pier at 4:00pm.

March 26 - The pool will be closed for Prince Kuhio Day. We will meet at the pier at 8am.

March 27 - The pool will be close at 1:45pm. We will meet at the pier at 4pm.

March 28 - The pool will be close at 1:45pm. We will meet at the pier at 4pm.

March 29 - The pool will be close at 1:45pm. We will meet at the pier at 4pm.

March 30 - The pool will be closed for Good Friday. We will meet at the pier at 8am.

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head COACH - STEVE borowski


Steve has been involved with water sports for more than 60 years. He started swimming competitively at age 4. By age 14, he was a national record holder in the 100-meter butterfly. In high school and college he was an All-American in swimming and water polo. At Indiana University he was part of the 1st and 2nd ever NCAA Swimming Championship teams.

Steve’s coaching career started at Indiana University as an assistant coach with the legendary Dr. James Counsilman. Since then, Steve has coached, Olympic world record holders, winners of the Waikiki Roughwater Swim, masters swimming champions and more than 50 High School All-Americans.

Steve has coached teams in Hawaii and abroad: Punahou High School, the University of Hawaii Men’s swim team, the United States National Swim Team, the Kealakehe High School Swim Team, Kona Masters Swimming among others. Borowski also founded swim teams in Hawaii: in 1993, the Kona Aquatics — the first age-group team in Kona — Kona Masters Swimming.

Steve led Punahou boys and girls to 13 consecutive State Championships and the Kealakehe High School Swim team to the school’s only state championship.


  • Masters World and American record holder in the 50 and 100 butterfly and the 50 and 100 freestyle.
  • Coached Punahou School's boys and girls teams to an unprecedented 13 straight State High School Championships.
  • Coached the University of Hawaii Men's swimming team.
  • Assistant coach at Indiana University with the legendary Doc Counsilman
  • Coached NCAA champions and World Record holders Mark Spitz and Gary Hall, Sr.
  • Swam on two NCAA championship teams and was a member of Indiana's 400 Medley Relay Team (Butterflier) that broke the American and NCAA record.
  • Coached over 50 high school All Americans, including Chris Woo, the youngest member of the 1976 Olympic Team.
  • Coached several national masters' champions and world record holders.
  • Former Race Director of the Ironman World Championships.
  • Former United States National Swimming team coach.
  • All American swimmer and water polo player in both high school and College.
  • Inducted into the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame, 2005
  • Inducted into the Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame, 2013
  • In 2015, Steve was tapped by FINA to coach a level 2 coaches clinic held in Saipan, NMI

head COACH : age group program - ERIC rhodes


Eric started swimming competitively on Oahu when he was eleven under the guidance of legendary International Swimming Hall of Fame coach Soichi Sakamoto at Hawaii Swim Club. Six years later, during his senior year in high school, Eric moved from Hawaii Swim Club to Puhanou Aquatics where he began training under the direction of Coach Steve - they’ve remained close friends ever since. 

Under Steve’s guidance, Eric went on to anchor Punahou’s 400 Medley Relay to a 2nd place finish at the Junior National Short Course Championships and a top 16 finish in the 100 Butterfly at the Junior National Long Course Championships. He became State champion in the 100 Free, 100 Butterfly, and 200 IM; won the outstanding swimmer award at the State Long Course Swimming Championships and later received a full ride athletic scholarship to the University of Hawaii where he swam for four years under Dr. Jan Prins. 


After graduating from the University of Hawaii Eric moved to Tokyo Japan. In Tokyo Eric applied his experience in academics and athletics into the development of a software system for the Japanese health and fitness industry. Between 1986 - 2000, this system would go on to successfully train up to 25,000 users a day in the company’s franchised chain of fitness clubs located through out Japan. As part of the empirical testing of this system, Eric developed the strength, speed and conditioning programs for Japanese Olympic gold, silver & bronze medalists in Judo, Freestyle Wrestling, and Swimming competing in the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics Games. In 1994 Eric led a team of software developers in Los Angeles and Palo Alto to create a derivative version of this health and fitness system for the US corporate fitness market. The company which owned this technology was co-counded by Eric and would later go public in an IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange. This would be the first of four IPOs in which Eric would be deeply involved with during course of his career.

Eric has lived and worked in Tokyo, Los Angeles and Palo Alto as a software developer; a strategic branding and investor relations executive in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and San Francisco; and as an award winning photographer in Hawaii. Eric returned home to Hawaii in 2012 and moved to the Big Island in 2014.

Eric currently resides in beautiful Holualoa. He is the Founder / Creative Director at METERA Branding, and Owner / Principal Photographer at MUSE AgenciMUSE BrideErick Rhodes Photography and Beach Weddings Hawaii. In his spare time, Eric enjoys swimming with the KONA Aquatics masters program, kitesurfing, and getting lost in foreign countries.



Kristen is our passionate new Age Group Assistant coach. 

Kristen began swimming at the tender age of 6 in Washington State (her mother was her first swimming coach) and has never stopped since. 


Over the course of her extensive swimming career, Kristen has competed at very high levels in Washington State, Regional and USA National competitions. As an age group swimmer, Kristen was a regular 1st place finisher in the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyle distance events at the 2009, 2010 Western Zones and Senior Sectionals. In 2011 Kristen competed in the USA Swimming Open Water Nationals at Fort Lauderdale. In High School, Kristen was a regular Washington State - Eastern District Champion in the 100 Fly, 500 Free, and 200IM. In 2010 Kristen was named Columbia Basin League Swimmer of the Year. 

After her high school swimming career, Kristen was awarded a full ride athletic scholarship at the University of Hawaii Manoa where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology in 2016. Kristen is a new resident of Kona who loves the ocean and can be seen out in the lineup after our morning and afternoon practices. We are all very excited to have Kristen on board and as a new member of our KONA Aquatics family.

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We are KONA Aquatics, and we love to meet swimmers visiting from all over the World.

Come drop into the water with us….

Email Steve: swimkona@earthlink.net

Call Steve: (808) 334-0083

Swim Meet Registration

Click here to notify the KONA Aquatics coaching staff of your childs participation in upcoming swim meets. 

Kona Community Aquatics Center

75-5530 Kuakini Highway
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
(808) 327-3500

You're also always welcome to pay us a visit at:

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