MAUI “LA ISLA VALLE”, HAWAII
When you think of Maui, you think of wind, windsurfer, kitesurfing, but do not forget that Maui has always been a surfing paradise and is home to some of the best waves in Hawaii and the world; As is the case of Maalaea, considered one of the fastest waves in the world, Jaws (the wave of tow-in par excellence) and especially Honolua Bay, a piece of paradise within the island and one of the best World and without doubt the best wave of the island. In Maui, the main thing is to look for the best conditions where the swells arrive and especially the sites + sheltered from the wind and the bay of Honolua is one of these sites. Although there are waves all over the island, the best places to surf are on the North Shore and the West coast. Maui’s biggest drawback to the rest of the islands is its location, as many of the swells that could hit the island are plugged by the islands of Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe which lie north and west; Islands that formerly formed part of Maui and have been separated. The island of Hawaii (Big Island), blocks the southern swells. So the swells on Maui are always smaller than those on Oahu and especially those on Kauai.
Maui has a mix of all the islands, lots of vegetation, forests, incredible beaches, dunes, desert areas, coral areas, reefs, valleys (called “island valley”) and especially many waves. You have always had in mind the amount of surfers that are in Maui, how massive it is, but honestly the island of entry surprised us very positively and in many spots you surf alone, or with very few people, whose attitude in the water is Much more positive than in the rest of the islands.
We arrived the first day at KAHULUI airport and quickly went up to the North Shore where we settled in Kaanapali, very close to HONOLUA BAY. Our 1st sessions were in HONOLUA BAY, a slope that seems Indo and that is in itself 3 waves, that connect on a live reef of coral and that offer all type of maneuvers and especially tubes, good tubes. From which you go up highway 30 north you will start to see the bay of Honolua and soon you will understand that you are one of the best waves in the world. Once in the parking lot, you quickly wipe the board and walk down the path that leads to a rock where you jump and start paddling while you watch the pipe and the tubazo that is doing as it falls on the reef. In the 1st section, Coconuts, the wave breaks on the stones and the take off is not very complicated, you start to feel speed and you watch as the wall increases and increases, at the same time that your adrenaline does it to put you in position to make you The first of many barrels that you will make that day. The wave follows very close to the rocks, until reaching the 2nd section, Outside, near the cliff; The 3rd section, Caves (the cave of hell), is where the wave swells and the only option is to give it speed vs. Pass it inside, because the last thing you want to do is to fall in front of the cave (remember a little to Killer Point in Morocco). Surfing all over the bay and sections give joy after joy. A magic wave, when you finish, you want + and +. You’ll row and surf until you drop. While you watch, watch carefully and you will see how the whales are very close to you. Waves long, tuberos and perfect. Undoubtedly, it has been one of the highlights of the trip, we have been lucky enough to catch the wave for a whole week, according to locals, in the best conditions of the year.
If Honolua Bay is working, you will not want to leave the site, xq is one of those places that catch and if the wave is pumping you will receive your good dose of surfing.
Near Honolua Bay to the south there are very good waves, the first one you will find is Fleming Beach, little beach with a right that breaks on the low, nothing spectacular. Further down there are several quality waves, LITTLE MAKAHA, in Napili is a good right, but that does not reach the height of Makaha, on Oahu. Following highway 30 to the south by Honoapiiliani, you will come to a curve, where you will see a sign S- TURNS; A good wave, which is improving, especially the left, as it approaches the shore, throwing some tubes. Surfing alone and after Honolua, surely the best wave in the area. What’s Near Kaanapali is good waves, KAANAPALI POINT, RAINBOWS & OSTERIZERS. Good reefs, predominance of rights, which do not need much sea, to give fun sessions.
In LAHAINA there are several waves, but they need strength, Sand Box (right), Mala Wharf (left), Harbor, Breakwall (hollow left), Shark Pit and very good reefs with potential but that need sea. You will usually see paddle boards and people snorkeling and learning about the OLOWALU area.
Between Lahaina and Maalaea you will see a lookout on the road, which is the best whale watcher on the island, you will see them easily and very close. This is a constant throughout the trip; By the coast, look at the sea and you will see sifonazos and as they jump, very handsome.
In the area of MAALAEA there are several spots, Mcgregor, Little Cape St. Francis, Mud Flats, but MAALAEA, is in itself, the best wave in the south, needs a lot of South force obviously, it is a summer wave, But when it does, locals have told us that it is considered the right + fastest in the world; Pure tube. Nobody finishes the wave, it is a pipe of right and the people go intubating, until the wave catches you, where the tube ends of one, the next one begins. We were not lucky enough to surf it, but in the surf shops there are pictures of the wave and it is awesome. Unfortunately it is in danger, due to the expansion of the port.
Following Highway 31 to the south, the hopes of surfing fade and although there are many beautiful beaches and reefs with potential, the plug made by the other islands slow the swells. The village of KIHEI is beautiful and surfing and houses one of the few salvage waves, The Cove. All this southwestern area is Maui’s rich area, great resorts, incredible homes, wonderful beaches like MAKENA, but until you reach the end of the road you will not get to the next surfing option in LA BAY DE LA PEROUSE, The dumps & Le Perouse Point, good reefs, but they need lots of sea. This area is honestly more about diving, relaxing, beach … than surfing.
Returning to the North Shore of the island and north of the bay of Honolua by highway 340 you will arrive at Windmill wave and then to the bay of HONOKOHAU, where it breaks a derechón (surfing alone). Following that road on the North Shore the road narrows and there are many good spots to explore, but possibly it will be a road you only want to do once during the trip.
The east side of the North Shore is the 2nd best place to surf the island habitually, although the wind is the key to having good sessions, or even thinking about surfing because the wind will break the sea. This is a constant on almost all the islands during the winter; To speak of the east is to speak of wind. Near KAHULUI, in WAIHEE, there are several reefs, WAIEHU, near the jetty and on the beach, on the rivermouth and in the harbor of Kahului Bay, in Kanaha, Palm Point, Baldwin Beach Park, Paia Bay and Tahiti Where are all the bugueros and especially HOOKIPA. Especially PAVILLONS, east of Hookipa beach, very good wave. From the lookout you will understand the wave very well. HOOKIPA is the capital of windsurfing in Hawaii and one of the most famous places in the world. Atmosphere type Tarifa, many young people and hippies congregate around PAIA, a beautiful town, with some mythical surf shops, like the Lighting Bolt of Maui & Honolua Co. A good place to stay for a few days. When there is wind there is little to do, baths choppies and little +, but when there is no wind and the wave works is an olón, of the best of the island.
Continuing along highway 340 heading south, take the detour to Peahi Rd and continue along the dirt track until you reach the cliff. The bomb you will see in the background is JAWS. An emblem of Hawaiian sea power, like Waimea, and a challenge for the brave. Only accessible by boat or jet skis. To speak of Jaws is to speak of surfing in capital letters. The truth is that it was a shame that we could not have seen the Jaws championship, nor the Waimea Eddie Aikau, this year, xq only do it from 20-25 feet (+ 7 meters), they already have a pair of Years without celebration.
Following Highway 360 South towards HANA, it is supposedly one of the most beautiful roads in the world and it is true, but with a thousand curves and a port that is narrowing (Type the road towards Taganana in Tenerife, but still + heavy). In this zone there are 2 olones, the 1st you will see it in the BAY OF HONOMANU, just a little before arriving at Keane. After a dizzy journey, you will find the reward in this site wonder. To the left of the bay there is a left hand over the rivermouth, whose current causes the wave to fall tubular on a background of round rocks, a bliss of wave. There are locals, but if you walk in with the right attitude, you will not have problems. Very good wave. To the right of the bay a good right is stuck to the rocks. In KEANAE right on the rivermouth it breaks a heart attack and there are not many people. The town of Hana is nice and just like Hamoa can give waves, but nothing special. The road is spectacular, with waterfalls on both sides, national parks … but suddenly it changes all (a Maui feature) and the landscape begins to change as you take the “freeway” 31; Incredible valleys, volcanic landscapes and neighboring islands in sight.
Honestly the south, with Hawaii braking the sea, is not highly recommended for surfing.
A must-see excursion is to the HALEAKALA Crater, over 3,000 meters make this crater the highest mount of Maui.
Personally, Maui has loved it, as an island, it seems to me one of the most beautiful ones I have ever been in, full of contrasts, beautiful and with very good waves. As only handicaps there are some areas, like all of Hawaii, that have been “stolen” by resorts and private homes, so you will have to contrive to find some places; The difficulty of some roads (of madness) and that the island is larger than it seems (2nd island + large of Hawaii), so sometimes the distances become heavy. Perhaps the wind sometimes limits the surfing options, but there are several bays that are quite sheltered from the wind. I recommend getting up early to surf. Surfing HONOLUA BAY has been a dream come true. MAHALO MAUI & ALOHA
TEXT: SURF CANTABRA SCHOOL
PHOTOS: SURF CANTABRA SCHOOL
SURFERS: ALE PALOMERO, DAVID “CAPI” & NACHETE GARCÍA