Maui, also known as the “Valley Isle,” offers many different beaches with
waves suitable for all surfing skill levels. Here, all of the best breaks are
reef breaks, and the varying sizes and formations of the coral make for plenty
of shapely waves. There are a few available beach breaks, although they tend
to be mediocre in quality compared to the reef breaks.
Maui waters are, for the most part, crystal clear, and the reefs below will provide you with plenty of marine life to check out while you’re waiting for a wave. Be sure to wear booties or reef shoes, and watch your hands in the shallower areas during paddle out. Some other hazards include sea urchins, jellyfish and tiger sharks; if you get cut by reef or sharp coral, make sure to exit the water immediately.
On the southern and western shores of Maui, the summer waves consist of long, gently rolling sets, ideal for learning how to surf. There are some beautiful beaches along the west coast resort towns of Lahaina and Kaanapali, and a lot of good surfing schools. Many of the surfing schools on Maui guarantee stand-up surfing after the first lesson, and in some of the more shallow areas, you don’t even have to know how to swim to surf! Although tricky, as long as you’re comfortable being in the water, it’s possible to catch a long, easy wave close to shore. On the south coast of Kihei, at Maalea Beach, beginners can learn to surf at Buzz’s Wharf.
There is also plenty of experienced to professional world-class surfing on Maui, especially on the north coast and in the winter. Honolua Bay on the north shore is home to a mesmerizing right-hand point break, and Hookipa is known as the best place in the world to windsurf. Peahi, also known as Jaws, is where tow-in surfing originated, which is the only way to access this enormous wave when the right north winter swell is coming in. Surfed only by experts, Jaws is one of the biggest ridable waves on the planet, and can reach up to 50 feet overhead. During a southern swell, more experienced surfers flock to the Maalaea Pipeline, arguably the fastest right-hand break in the state.
Good surfing conditions can be found on Maui year-round. The water temperature remains in the 70’s and can reach the low 80’s in September and October.