Here’s a quick summary of my surfing experiences on Maui. I’ve spent about 18 of the last 26 days surfing – something I didn’t expect.
Last day on Maui yesterday and I was particularly happy to find decent peaks at Ho’okipa looking fairly under-subscribed for a change. Previously I’ve been trying to tackle this place on a skinny 6’6 step-up surfboard and although that board was good for some other spots like the right hand point at Honolua, I’ve found Ho’okipa to be quite a fat take off that requires a thicker board to get you in.
Luckily I was able to borrow a 7’8″ pintail which hardened pros would break out when the wave height reaches 20ft on the face, but I didn’t mind being a little over-gunned. Not by much though it seemed, since a few of the people I got chatting to out at Ho’okipa on Boxing Day were all riding bigger boards.
On Christmas Day, I surfed at the spot in front of the house I’d been staying at in Napili on the west side of Maui. There was one other fella out and the waves were a good size, it really couldn’t have been better. After the surf I was able to soak in what must be the world’s most ideally placed hot tub: the house has it’s own overlooking an infinity pool which over looks the surf spot.
I’d got quite used to surfing this place after a couple of great sessions there in the outrigger canoe with Archie and Kiwi Phil. Compared to Ho’okipa or Honolua Bay it’s a slower wave, but it can get very ‘tall’ and you have a great big face to carve about on, and a deep channel to paddle back out through.
I left Maui very surprised and impressed at the variety and quality of surf breaks in a short striking distance. Although Molokai and Lanai block some of the swell, just about every wind direction is catered for and you can choose from short, sucky barrels, mellow A-frame peaks, powerful large reefs and point breaks all on the same day.
The crowd pressure can get a little intense at the main spots but every now and again you can catch it with just a few people out and the atmosphere is great. I’ve definitely had more conversations in the surf here with people I don’t know than anywhere else, and despite what you might automatically assume, the locals can be willing to let you in on some juicy bits of inside info to help you get the best out of the swell.