Other Surfing Locations
Kihei is a Maui census-designated place. It is home to Mai Poina ‘Oe Ia‘u Beach Park, which is a good surfing location. Kihei is found south of Maui and by the leeward side of Haleakala. It spans 11.7 square miles, 2.4 square miles of which is water. Despite water being 20% of the area, it is arid because it receives only about ten inches of rain annually. The population only reaches over ten thousand, with 16,749 people recorded in the year 2000’s census.
Mai Poina ‘Oe Ia‘u Beach Park
This stretch of beach in North Kihei is actually considered underused though the waters at the south end are known for good windsurfing. The beach is also a great go-to place for swimming and sunbathing. To mix with the rest and enjoy amenities, such as two showers, a restroom complex and a picnic area, visitors have to go to the south end. The amenities are not much but so far serve those who do go to this strip of beach. Those who do not want to mingle can go to the north end. There are huge trees that can serve as shade and possibly a spot to read and relax if ever the need arises.
The beach house has gone through renovation, making the place one of Maui’s newest, cleanest and even best.
After all, the beach has to make some sort of impact given the fact that its name translates to “do not forget me”. Mai Poina ‘Oe Ia‘u Beach Park is better known for kite surfing and windsurfing when the wind is up.
South Maui Beach
The beach is located in South Maui, which means that the spot is also good for snorkeling and body paddling, which can be done right when the waters are calm and flat. The waters can sometimes get flat and can sometimes can produce enough waves for surfing.
The census-designated place of Hana in Maui County, Hawaii is home to Hamoa Beach, a possible surfing spot. Hana can be found on Maui’s eastern end. As of the 2010 census, it is home to only 1,235 people. The area spans 11.7 square miles, 1.2 square miles of which is water. There are some nice swimming holes and natural areas nearby, in the Haleakala National Park.
Hamoa Beach is the best beach in Hana, Maui. In fact, it is considered to one of the best beaches in the whole county. The unprotected public beach is shaped like a crescent moon with gray sand made of lava and coral. It sits below black lava sea cliffs, after all. The beach comes with basic amenities, such as restrooms and picnic tables. Parking is not available at the beach and there is no lifeguard on duty. Visitors have to hike a little after parking by the road to get to the beautiful beach.
Surfing at the Beach
The beach is recommended for surfing because it is sometimes hit by some powerful waves.
The surf breaks, reaching beyond the shore, and rolls in. This happens at the right side of the beach. Surfers have to note, however, that the beach is not protected by fringing reefs. So, riding the big surf can be pretty dangerous. Even outside the bay, strong currents are present.
Other Fun Activities
The left side of the beach is calm, making snorkeling safe and possible. Swimming is also a recommended activity. Another activity that can be enjoyed at Hamoa Beach is diving. However, any activity is best done during the summer and early fall to avoid dangerous currents. Visitors should always be aware about the latest warnings.
Hamoa Beach is a small public beach in Hana, Maui. The best way to enjoy it is to keep safe by being updated on the latest warnings and by being ready to make use of basic amenities.
More known as a snorkeling spot, the waters of Olowalu can also be used for surfing. Sparsely-populated but with a rich and dark history, the surfer can immerse in the aura of danger and eeriness. Well, it will take a little bit of imagination, of course, as the massacre that occurred in the spot goes way back to the late eighteenth century. However, sharks are very much in the present. Though Olowalu waters are known for being some of the calmest in Hawaii, they are also some of the most shark-infested. Ironically, the place is considered a place of refuge during ancient times.
Olowalu is located off Honoapiilani Highway and is easy enough to access. In less than a couple of minutes, visitors can find themselves riding a wave after having just driven the highway nearby. The beach is too close to signs of civilization, however, that kite flyers have to take care not to hit power lines. Despite this nearness, The Olowalu Beach Park does not offer much in terms of amenities. Visitors have to come with everything they may need.
As mentioned earlier, Olowalu is better known for snorkeling as it serves up mostly calm waters. However, there is still a possibility for surfing. Surfing can be done by intermediate to advanced surfers as the beach’s offerings are quite limited. The waves can be fun and consistent, though. However, only a few guys can go at the peak at one time to successfully ride. The water does provide waves that reach decent heights of 3 meters. The beach break is pretty decent, reaching a moderate length of a maximum of 150 meters.
Snorkeling and swimming are other activities that visitors can enjoy at the Olowalu Beach Park because of the generally calm and consistent waters.
In Makena, Maui, the main beach is the Makena Beach State Park. Though the census-designated place has about the same area as other Maui CDPs, its 11.5 square miles of area is only populated by 99 people, as of a 2010 census. Despite this, Makena Beach State Park is one of the county’s signature beaches.
Makena Beach State Park
Big Beach, as it is otherwise called, comes with white sand that stretches for almost two-thirds of a mile. It is one of Maui’s largest beaches. It is also often called simply as “Makena Beach” or “Oneloa Beach”. It is often called by what is popularly called the “Makena cloud”, which often looms overhead. The shore also receives enough protection from the wind.
Big Beach is also a great place to sunbathe and body board. Locals and tourists alike also go surfing in this largest portion in the state park.
Little Beach, which is also known as “Pu’u Olai Beach” is just next to Big Beach. Body surfing and boogie boarding can be done here. This smaller area already houses basic amenities such as picnic tables, portable toilets and even hiking trails. On Sundays, the beach features fire dancing and festive drumming. At 200 meters long, the place can feel very crowded at times. Nude sunbathing is tolerated here.
Activities at the Beach
Makena Beach State Park deserves being marked as a signature beach. It offers both flat and placid water for swimming and rolling waves for swimming. Visitors just need to come at the right time. Hiking and sunbathing are also options at the beach. Those who may want to try out nude sunbathing may have to go into Little Beach. For those who want to stick with the usual swimwear, the Big Beach should be able to offer a lot of fun activities.
For surfers who want to enjoy consistent surfing waves, Ho’okipa is the place to go. Ho’okipa Beach Park is situated on Maui County’s north shore. It is best known for windsurfing. In fact, it is even considered by some as the best windsurfing location in the world, with waves at their largest durubg winter. The summer waves are smaller but generally Ho’okipa is known for its strong winds and large waves that make it a great place for windsurfing and surfing in general.
Ho’okipa is Hawaiian for “hospitality”.
Surfing in Ho’okipa
Ho’okipa is the place to go to when surfers look for consistent waves that they can rely on. However, it is best recommended to more experienced surfers instead of beginners. The place is more suited for windsurfing competitions but experienced surfers come around for some fun with the waves.
The Four Surf Spots of Ho’okipa
Pavilions refer to the spot where the rippers more likely go. This spot delivers waves that can throw a clean barrel but that can also open up to make way for enjoyable gashes.
The Middles deliver waves that set up swells that close out above shallow reefs. Middles may break at both sides, though more at the left but The Point leans more to the right. The Point is the waters’ most crowded area, at least in the case of Ho’okipa. More surfers can take advantage of the fact, however, that the waves do shift.
By the West side, the Lanes require a little paddling from the surfer. This spot leans more to the left. However, surfers can only go in and out in only a couple of spots because of some exposed reef.
In Ho’okipa, surfers and body boarders can rely on consistent waves. There are also great windsurfing competitions to look out for if the visitor just wants to watch. Surfers, swimmers and other people planning to go in the water should, however, listen to warnings. In 2004, the crowd was warned against 30 feet waves that were pounding the shore.
Ma’alea Bay and Harbor in Maui is a surfing spot that has established itself as the world’s fastest right-hander. Surfers should have tried this spot to feel really confident about their skills. The huge barreling sections are regular though a ride through an entire wave is yet to be seen. Of course, it may be fun to see pros try out the wave. A wave can provide 10-15 guys a barrel during a good day. It breaks over a shallow reef. There is a peak filled with corals half way going down that could just ruin the ride.
The Bay and the Harbor
As a little bit of history, George Vancouver, a sea captain, landed at Ma’alaea Bay back in the late eighteenth century. In fact, this event is commemorated by a totem pole near the Maui Lu Hotel. The harbour now acts as the main boating port, where all sorts of ocean services are being offered. The Hawaiian bay is war. So, on winters, humpback whales come to breed here. It is also from this harbor that Molokini snorkelers and whale-watching cruises leave. The harbour stretches three miles of beaches going down to the north of Kihei.
The bay and harbor is found in Central Maui between the eastern and western lobes of the island county. The harbour faces Highway 31.
There shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to amenities. The Maui Ocean Center is just across the harbour. There is also a Ma’alaea Activity Booth where visitors can reserve boat ride seats. The general store, on the other hand, serves as a place where people can buy boating and fishing supplies. Snacks, such as hot dogs, are also available here.
The harbor offers a parking spaces and a paved access to them. There are restrooms and picnic tables. There are also telephones for emergency calls and the like. The Ma’alaea Bay and Harbor offers activities such as boating, fishing and snorkeling, other than surfing.
Another surfing spot in Maui is Paia, which is home to H.A. Baldwin Beach, which is known for a “baby beach’, which is actually known as Paia Bay, and its protected lagoon. Paia is another of Maui County’s census-designation places on the northern coast. As of a 2010 census, there are 2,668 people living in the CDP. It is only 7.5 square miles in area with 1.3 square miles of it being water, the last town along the highway if visitors are driving east to Hana.
Paia is a surfing spot, as was mentioned earlier. However, the surf here can get quite rough. So, only the bravest and most experienced locals and tourists can try out surfing, boogie boarding and body surfing here. Comparing H.A. Baldwin Beach Park to Ho’okipa Beach makes the former a little tame. The latter can generate such rough waves that the CDP of Ho’okipa, like Spreckelsville, becomes “The World Capital of Windsurfing”. Those who somehow still manage to get bored in Paia have nearby options to explore. However, Paia already boasts of surfing and windsurfing. Surf shops are also found in the area.
Most of the amenities needed for sheer comfort can be found in Paia’s beaches. There are restrooms, showers, picnic areas/facilities, sports fields and lifeguards. Paia Bay alone, however, does not have lifeguards.
What Else Can the Place Offer?
Surfer or not, a visitor can find something to please him or her at Paia. The palce is home to several art galleries, restaurants, speciality shops, bakeries, boutiques, and all sorts of businesses built for pleasing tourists. There is also a tattoo shop. Willie Nelson actually has a business here, called Charley’s. “Fish Market” by the place’s main intersection, is popular for the Hawaiian and Mexican food.
The place is also rich in history, having been home to a sugar cane plantation. Wooden buildings from that era still exist.
Locals are more aware of Waihe’e Beach’s potential as a great surfing spot. The place, after all, does not offer any luxurious amenities that can attract some high-maintenance tourists. It is usually windy, which makes it compatible with surging. Waihe’e is located in Maui County, Hawaii. An exposed reef, it provides consistent enough surf, through its point break.
Surfing at Waihe’e
The winds in Waihe’e allows for strong and consistent waves that can allow great surfing. From the south southwest come the best winds and the north northeast brings the best swells. Also, it is worth noting that the best time to go to the particular beach is during winter. The best time to go visit may also be crowded. High surf can sometimes come at any time, though. This is why the locals are the ones who can best gauge when they could come and surf, having observed patterns throughout the year.
It has been mentioned that not a lot of amenities are available at Waihe’e. The most basic are available, such as picnic tables/area, barbecue pits, showers and bathrooms. The place, however, still attracts people who prefer a little privacy, as the beach is often near empty.
Aside from surfing, locals and tourists alike can engage in other activities, such as swimming, and snorkeling, when the wind is calm. Do beware of rips and urchins. Walking around the beach in search for shells and interesting driftwood pieces is also recommended. Kite surfing can also be a fun activity at Waihe’e.
To get to Waihe’e, visitors have to drive to Kahului, taking highway 340, off Kaahumanu Avenue 32 at Kahului Beach Road. There will be signs leading to Waiehu and Waihe’e. Visitors need to turn right when they see the Waiehu Golf Course sign. Then, they can take the road to the left towards the course. Driving to the bottom can get them to the beach.
Pe’ahi is located on Maui’s northern shore. It is the Hawaiian word for “wave”, in the sense of a hand’s fan-like or beckoning motion. It is to be noted, however, that it is not the only Hawaiian word for “wave” but this particular one depends on an ancient word play. So, it should not be a surprise if it can serve as a surfing spot. The place is formerly leased to the Maui Pineapple Company, which closed down in 2009, but is now owned by Alexander & Baldwin.
When talking about Pe’ahi, one cannot help but refer to Jaws, which is a huge wave surfing break. Jaws is about three miles to the east side of Pa’ia. It is located north of Pauwela. So why is the surfing break named “Jaws”? Well, three surfers with all of them having the name of John, Lemus, Potterick and Robertson, tried out the break in 1975. Suddenly, there was a change in the waves, turning dangerously. The unpredictable nature of the waves was compared to the unpredictability of shark attacks. The film Jaws was pretty popular during those times.
The waves at Jaws can great pretty big, sometimes exceeding 60 feet (18 m), at least during the December to March period. Surfers who want a big challenge come to Jaws. According to scientists, the huge waves are caused by an underwater ridge structure. The break was featured in National Geographic’s November 1998 issue because scientists have really taken interest in the break’s ability to generate waves. There are even invitation-only surf competitions that are scheduled during the times the break becomes possible to ride.
Why It Did Not Make the Top Five
Jaws may offer the largest waves but this makes the place dangerous and only suitable for certain events. Getting to the spot also requires a four-wheel drive vehicle.
For those seeking moderate waves, the Kuau Pipes can be found near Hana Highway and Kuau Cove. The waves here are not as rough compared to those found in other popular Maui surfing spots. However, paddling out still requires experience on the part of the surfer. One of the best things that surfers can rely on when it comes to the waves of Kuau Pipes is that even during low or high tide is that they are consistent. The east and southeast winds are the best when it comes to surfing and the winters are the best seasons for a great surf ride.
More on Surfing and Wave Quality
Kuau Pipes not only offers decent waves but also clean waters that will not scare off people who would like to swim and surf. The best swell directions are mostly from the north, both east and west, and also from directly west. The swells start from small to big ones. This means that beginners can also practice and learn at Kuau Pipes. In fact, the waves at Kuau Pipes are suitable for surfers of all levels. The waves can get both powerful and hollow. The downside to this is that weekends can get semi-crowded as surfers of varying skill levels try out the waves. Also, most likely, the rights and lefts are pretty decent. At the bottom of the waters is a reef formation.
Things to Be Careful About
All visitors should be wary against riptides, sea urchins and undertows.
Kuau Pipes can be reached by taking the Hana Highway on the north shore. From there, a left turn at the mile marker 8 should be taken. The spot is very easy to find and a short work from the highway will already acquaint the surfer or swimmer to the waves.
Wailea is another one of Maui County’s census designated places (CDPs). Its population is denser than many CDPs, at 5,938 as of a 2010 census over 10.7 square miles, 3.3 square miles of which is water. Before 2010, the area was part of the Wailea-Makena CDP, before there was a split that resulted to separated Wailea and Makena CDPs.
The Resort Community
In this CDP, visitors will find Wailea Resort, which is a 1,500 acre resort that has been master-planned near the county’s leeward coast. As a planned community, Wailea was built with low density population in mind. The resulting community is a luxurious and successful one. In fact, Wailea was declared one of the 99 Best Recreational & Residential Private Communities in the country. It is home to several amenities, such as championship golf courses, restaurants, tennis facilities, shopping malls, crescent-shaped beaches and security. Even with all the privacy, the place is still filled with a great sense of freedom, over an area that is twice that of Waikiki’s.
Other Things the Resort Offers
Wailea has more room for tourists compared to smaller CDPs as it offers five hotels, including some that are directed to the affluent – the Four Seasons Resort Maui and Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa. For those who want to stick around for longer, there are some opulent homes and condominiums to buy or rent.
The resort is luxurious and the beach is world-class. Wailea Beach was even named “America’s Best Beach” back in 1999. It offers swimming, snorkeling and some surfing.
Surfing in Wailea
Wailea may be more well-known for its luxurious amenities but visitors can make surfing in this area. When the waves die down, visitors can opt to swim or snorkel instead. At least, it is good to visit a place where every comfort is being offered.
Kahului is one of Maui County’s census-designated places. It is Hawaii’s third largest CDP at 16.3 square miles total and 1.2 square miles of water. The CDP is located on central Maui’s northern shore and is home to Kahului Airport. As of a 2010 census, it was home to 26, 337 people.
Amenities and Entertainment Offered
Despite the fact that Kahului is Maui’s largest community, it is not really built as a tourist destination. It offers only simple pleasures such as malls and department stores. However, that should not be such a problem for those who are only visiting Kahului for swimming and surfing. Since this is a large Maui community, there will be room for water sports. It is also worth noting that this one of the windiest places in the country, with an average wind speed of 13.7 mph. Its tropical climate is perfect for outdoorsy activities and luxuriating under the sun.
For those who are looking for some activities other than shopping, swimming and surfing, they can go to the Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary or the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.
Surfing in Kahului Harbor
Surfers should not be disappointed. They can head towards Kahului Harbor for a ride. With enough winds to create the waves that they need, Kahului should deliver. The best winds are the ones going southwest and the best swells are going either northeast or southwest. Surf spots, however, are reserved for advanced surfers as the waves can get really powerful and the swells pretty big. Locals are usually the ones who take on the waves at Kahului Harbor as they are the ones more familiar with the surf spots. Also, it has been mentioned earlier that Kahului is not exactly a surfing or even a tourist destination. The reef, as well as the sharp rocks, at the bottom is what make surfing a little more dangerous. Sea urchin, sharks and pollution are also to watch out for.
Wailuku is yet another census-designated place found in the county of Maui. The place itself is not known for surfing, although it is home to a good surfing school by the name of Soul Surfing. However, it is near the surfing spot of Paukukalo Beach. Wailuku spans over an area of only 5.7 square miles. 0.42 square miles of it is water but is home to as many as 15,313 people, according to the 2010 census. It is a pretty important CDP though, being Maui’s county seat that was also Maui’s main tourist destination back in the early 20th century.
The CDP experienced a fall in popularity as other communities rise, such as Ka’anapali, as resort towns. Though a main destination long time ago, it has not been able to keep up with the times, not having been able to offer hotels where tourists can stay in. Today though, there are still some spots that tourists can try out such as the Ka’ahumanu Church, the Chee Kung Tong Society Building, the Wailuku Civic Center Historic District and the Bailey House, which are all historic sites. There is a historical society, and a museum, as well. There is a couple of ancient temples near the CDP, which are Pihnakalani Heiau and Haleki’I Heiau.
Wailuku is part of three moku or districts found West of Maui, together with Lahaina and Ka’anapali.
As a Surfing Spot
Wailuku is near Paukukalo Beach, which delivers great swells from the north as well as the north east. Surfers will have better chances at getting a good ride during the winter. The surf spot is pretty good, going hollow and fast at types. However, because the waves are good, the beach can become really crowded. The waves, however, are best recommended for experienced surfers. The water is clean but people have to keep away from sea urchins, riptide, sharp rocks and possibly even the locals.
This surfing location is found on the northeastern coast of Hana Highway. Visitors can find it between the 13 and 14 mile markers.
The Bay’s Best Attractions
The bay is picture-perfect. Even those who are not looking for surfing and swimming will still have something to look forward to, such as taking pictures against the backdrop. For those who want to visit a romantic spot, Honomanu Bay offers a fresh, fertile and dramatic valley that can first be seen between the 12 and 13 mile markers.
Surfing in Honomanu Bay
The best swells go north in Honomanu Bay. As with most, if not all, surfing locations in Maui, the best season for surfing is winter. However, surfers have to contend with large crowds during this season. Locals and tourists alike know that this is the season to be at Honomano Bay if they want to be able to ride the best waves. The best wind direction is any one going south: direct south, south eastern and south western. The water is clean but surfers have to be wary about sharp rocks, riptides and even sharks. Tourists have something else to worry about when surfing at this spot – localism. They should keep a low profile to keep away from trouble from the locals, who may become competitive or just plain aggressive. If tourists don’t get their turn at their waves at all, they may consider going to another place to surf or find ways to be close to the locals. After all, the spot is a local favorite. Families, local surfers and fisherman come over to the spot to swim, fish, surf or just sunbathe. Local or tourist alike, advanced level of surfing abilities is required here.
Though Honomanu Bay is a nice enough surfing spot, tourists may have to look for other activities here. They may consider quieter and safer activities such as picnicking and taking photographs of the beautiful view.
South of Lahaina, by the western coast, is Puamana Park. It is a surfing spot that the whole family can go to. It is generally fun, safe and peaceful. Puamana Park is one of the best places to go on a romantic getaway or a family adventure in Maui County. It is home to a gated community that safely encloses low-rise, idyllic town homes. The whole backdrop of tropical fruits, banyan trees and exotic flowers make this a place that will easily translate into photographs.
Surfing in Puamana Park
The spot is not only a place where you can find one of the best neighborhoods in Maui. It is also a great surfing spot. The swell direction is to the west and southwest, as well as the south. The best winds are the ones that go north, northwest or east. There is room for the beginner in the surfing spot of Puamana Park although advanced surfers will also find satisfaction. All surfers, however, may need to be careful of the shallow reefs, sharp rocks, sea urchins and even sharks.
For those who are looking for more than just surfing, swimming is also recommended. Others may also want to take advantage of the golden sand by sunbathing or just simply strolling. Children and adults alike may also opt to swim in pools if they would rather not worry about sharks, leaving the ocean waves to the surfers and other adventurers. Land sports are also available. Visitors can play golf in nearby courses or play tennis at the courts. Puamana is simply built with enough amenities to offer various activities. Restaurants, shops and all sorts of night life may also entertain during surfing downtime. All of these activities serve to make Puamana worth it as a vacation spot, attractive to groups of families and friends.