Maui Local Favorite Surfing Spots

Posted by Alex Cortez on Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 at 3:51pm.

Hawaii Surfer

Disclaimer: The post below is as per input from a local surfer, not from the author (who is not a surfer).

Whether new to surfing or a seasoned pro, Maui is a one-stop destination for those who are looking for both large barrels and sloping longboarding waves. There are two different seasons for each type of wave. In the summer months, swells push mainly from the west and south that bring in rolling relatively small waves. Alternatively, in the winter months, swells shift and come in from the north that brings in much larger waves. This shift makes the surf in towns like Waiehu, Kahului, and Paia ideal for many short boarders, with many of world-class surfers doing their annual migration to Maui's North Shore to master their skills.

Some of the most iconic places for surfing big waves, ideal for carving and huge turns, can be found on Maui. People travel from all over the globe to see and participate in surfing these hefty waves. As with any ocean activity, proceed with caution even if those experienced waterman. A few of our favorite spots for steep, shortboard waves:

Hookipa. No big wave list can be complete without Hookipa in Paia. During winter, locals and visitors from all over the world flock to this beach both for surfing and spectating. Hookipa features a spectacular lookout where people can do a quick surf check or stay and lounge while watching experienced surfers carve waves that can get up to 12 feet! As an added bonus, watch the turtles as they lounge on the sand towards the Cliffside, but remember to keep a respectable distance.

Sand Piles. Sand Piles, located fronting a nestled Waiehu community where neighbors and others flock to surf during the winter. This spot is perfect for both longboard and short boarding conditions depending on the swell direction and height.

Honolua Bay. This right point break is famous in the world of surfing and many professional competitions are held here every year. Honolua Bay, in Kapalua, is known for its crisp, clean barrels that can grow to be well overhead. Experienced surfers from near and far travel to Maui to visit this surf spot. The Bay even caters to non-surfers. During flat periods, the inner section of Honolua is also well known for its lively reef and is perfect for snorkeling. 

The most traditional type of surfing, longboarding, was established by ancient Hawaiians and is still practiced in full force by many locals. Many surfers wait out for the large swells by finding the smaller sloping waves that are perfect for longboarding. These rolling peeler waves are found during pretty much any season but the peak times for longboarding are summer days. Our favorite spots for sloping, longboard waves:

The Cove. The Cove, in Kihei, is arguably the best spot for those learning and getting used to longboard waves. Located in the heart of Kihei, this little sleepy beach break can come alive when a choice swell pushes in the right direction. At this surf spot, you can catch anything from ankle snapper waves to head high sets on a good day, but for the most part this can be the ideal spot for beginners.

Hawaiian Surfer Boy on Maui

Ukumehame. Ukumehame, on the west side of the island, is miles before reaching Lahaina town. This spot can’t be missed, just off the Honoapiilani Highway, it is a strip of white sand beach, where cars pull up on the sand just mere feet from the ocean. This is the perfect summer spot to join or even avoid the surf crowds. Also known also as Thousand Peaks, there is a multitude of take-off spots, so you are never sitting waiting long for the next set.

Puamana. Just before Lahaina’s famous Front Street lies Puamana Beach Park. This spot is home to a long left during a peak swell. Even during a small day, there is enough push for you to hang ten on your longboard. Live at Puamana and your next set is a short walk away.

As a summary, abide by surf etiquette and show respect to the Ocean. Surf spots on the North Shore can be particularly competitive along with dangerous surf conditions. Be sure to check local reports or speak with a lifeguard before entering the water. 

Specializing in Makena and Wailea real estate, Alex Cortez is fully dedicated to representing his clients ethically and diligently. Contact him at 808.385.5034 or for more information.

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