Surf Destination: North-West Maui, Hawaii


Surf Destination: North-West Maui

Text: Alexander Van Dorph | Photos: Surfers Village Enterprises | ...·¨¯(_.... |

Population: 120,000 (Local Maui population)


  • Less crowded than Oahu
  • World class surf spots
  • Dreamlike volcanic surroundings


  • Dangerous conditions, strong trade winds
  • Difficult access to certain spots
  • Quite expensive

Maui welcomes you with its green fantastic scenery which after just a few seconds of its intense exposure will send your mind into a state of euphoria. Palms, azure blue legendary waves, mesmerising tropical vegetation and volcanic peaks all mix together to create a completely unique ambiance.

Compared to Oahu, it is a far less crowded island, but quality surf spots, such as Honolua, will still attract half the island’s best surfers who are not overly eager to share their gem with less experienced surfers. However, the surfers who are not ‘quite professional’ just yet, may seek easier, more mellow waves at Honokohau a little further north or either Little Makaha or S-Turns in the south.

North-west Maui’s optimal conditions consist of a major NE swell, which sends a legendary, long, hollow righthand wave into Honolua Bay. Like mentioned earlier, Honolua is a wave for the more experienced surfers. Coconuts, the first section of Honolua, breaks in front of cliffs, the enters the bay where it hits a hollow section. This results in either a world class barrel or a lip close out, in which the misfortunate surfer is sent towards the infamous cave, which has cost many a surfboard its soul.

Jaws. A place only the fewest surfers dare surf. This notorious surf spot is credited with being the birthplace of tow-in surfing. Laird Hamilton, the waterman, and his crew, consisting of Buzzy Kerbox and big-wave guru Darrick Doerner first surfed Jaws in late 1991. After intense research and trial-and-error the finally decided the day had come. They would tame Jaws, and tame Jaws they did. Pulling one another into 50ft waves they made surfing history. “…It's not that they were the first to ride Jaws--windsurfers had done that--it's that they tore it up. The tow surfers did not simply survive the wave, they rocketed down its face. Hamilton went deep, into the barrel, and barely outran the collapsing lip. He then bunny-hopped over the chop and exited with an exuberant backflip.” Susan Casey (2006)

It other words, if a huge swell hits Maui, you should pack your binoculars and find a comfortable spot on the nearby cliffs. The show taking part below will be breathtaking.

Hawai'i Islands
Hawai'i Islands

October to March is considered the high season in Hawai’i, with 10-30ft swell thundering in consistently from the mighty North Pacific, with wave periods of approximately 15-20 seconds. It is a well-known fact that professional surfers travel to Hawai’i in the months November to January, leaving the less experienced surfers out in the line-up hungry for waves. However, Maui is sheltered from many of the big SW, W and NW (ideal for Oahu) swells due to their geographical position among their neighbouring islands of Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe and the main island. As a result of this Maui receives less swell and more wind compared with Oahu.


It should be said that the weather and temperature in Hawai’i are some of the most predictable in the whole world. Day and night, summer to winter, the temperature holds a perfect 25’c, plus minus. The water also holds approximately 24’c the whole year through, leaving you with perfect surfing conditions.

One thing though before you pack your bags, a three month visa is needed for most nationalities. So, be sure to plan ahead. You do not want anything coming between you and your romantic date with that 25ft tow-in at Jaws.

Getting there:

To get to Maui you are most likely to arrive in Kahulul (the capital of MauiCounty) via a connection flight from Honolulu, these flights will cost you approximately $70/£40 for a return ticket.

Housing and food:

Good basecamps are Haiku or Paia near Hookipa in the winter season, whereas Nani Kai Hale condos in Lahaina are recommended during the summer season. ($50/double room)

Food prices are quite high, and a decent meal will cost you approximately $30, so if you want to keep the expenses down, it is recommended that you cook your own and live off the occasional fast food thrill.

You! Me! Jetski! Jaws! Tomorrow morning 9am sharp.

Until then… Aloha nui loa.

Jaws (40-50ft waves)


Mac Mission profile image

Mac Mission 6 years ago from bangalore

You have really good information keep going

stugod profile image

stugod 6 years ago from Bradford

reminds me of point break ha ha

earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Fantastic surf hub. I saw this wipe out Maui beach on a documentary a while back. You guys are crazy!!!

That would be one hot ride!

carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I like Maui a lot, but I don't surf. Great post!!

karmicfilly profile image

karmicfilly 6 years ago from Franklin, TN

Oh what an experience to have. I have never been there but maybe some day I'll make it. Love the descriptions, makes me feel like I could actually attempt it, ha. I look forward to reading more.

Katrina Ariel profile image

Katrina Ariel 6 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

Looks beautiful and awe inspiring! Don't know if I'd try the waves there, but I'd definitely love to go.

Aspiring2BGiada profile image

Aspiring2BGiada 6 years ago

I LOVE it! Thanks for sharing...we are actually planning a trip to Hawaii and this info is awesome! Of course we will only be WATCHING but surfing is my favorite spectator sport! Keep up the updates, LOVE the pictures!

Yoga Baron 6 years ago

Very informative. I love surfing and watching surfing. Thanks for the great info.

entertianmentplus profile image

entertianmentplus 6 years ago from United States

Great hub good info.

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