Referred to by many as the “sport of kings,” surfing has undoubtedly been one of the most popular water sports globally, forming an integral part of the culture of many locals around the world. Maui, Hawaii, certainly needs no introduction when it comes to surfing, as it is widely known as one of the most incredible surf spots that one could experience.
Maui, Hawaii, is undoubtedly a must-visit surf spot for all passionate wave riders. Maui offers some of the world’s best surfing conditions, catering to absolute beginners as well as the best of the best-seasoned surfers. Some popular surf spots include Pe’ahi and Honolua Bay, to name a few.
The only way to truly comprehend the impact that Maui has had on the world of surfing is to go and experience it for yourself. This exquisite Hawaiian island is arguably one of the best places to learn to surf and for professionals to put their maximum skills to the test. Find out why Maui, Hawaii, could be the best surfing destination for you to experience.
Surfing In Maui
Maui, Hawaii, is recognized as a surfer’s paradise, with millions of visitors and many local professionals. Stunning coves, bays, and beaches abound on this Hawaiian island while soaring mountain peaks provide an exquisite backdrop.
Despite its world-class surf reputation, Maui is also one of the ideal destinations for beginners to get a feel for some calm, surfable waves. The island provides beginner surfing classes on beaches in Kaanapali, Lahaina, and Kihei and at less intimidating surf locations in West Maui and South Maui.
Stand-up paddleboarding, which employs larger boards for surfers to stand upright while maneuvering with a paddle, is one of the popular options available for beginners. Maui is also known for windsurfing, a different type of surfing experience altogether. In fact, Hookipa Beach on Maui’s northern shore is known as the world’s windsurfing capital.
Maui is also an ideal place to go for experienced surfers wanting to try out one of the most giant waves found in the world. Surfers from the island continue to make the headlines on the worldwide surfing scene. Maui is undoubtedly an ideal location to take your surfing skills to a professional level. It certainly won’t be easy to do, but you’ll be exposed to the best surfing conditions to get the job done.
When To Go Surfing In Maui
Undoubtedly, as is the case with all of the other surf spots worldwide, knowing the best times and seasons to catch the perfect wave is high up on the list of priorities for any serious surfer. The different times of the year can drastically affect the surf in the area, so planning your trip well is of utmost importance to ensure the best experience.
Maui’s prime surfing season is during the months of November to March. If you have a lot of surfing experience and you are looking to put your skills to the test, this would be the perfect season to do that. During this time, heavy north swells consistently push towards the island, offering the most exhilarating surfing experience of the year.
July to October are the warmer and drier months in Maui, and although the waves might be slightly smaller during this time, it is undoubtedly still a great surfing experience. This could also be considered the best time for beginners to visit Maui and get a feel for the waves before moving on to something with a little more of an adrenaline rush.
One of the best things about Maui’s surfing experience is that you will be able to enjoy the waves all year round. Sure, certain times might be better suited to the professional surfers out there, but ultimately, Maui is remarkable in that it’s seemingly always inviting surfers into its stunning waters.
The Best Surf Spots In Maui
Now that we have Maui’s surfing experience and the best times to visit covered let us dive into the fun part and discover some of the best surf spots in Maui to help you plan your next wave riding expedition effectively.
Pe’ahi (Jaws Beach)
Do not let its nickname scare you away; it thankfully has nothing to do with encounters with sharks. In fact, Pe’ahi has earned its thrilling nickname because it is one of the most powerful surfing destinations on Maui’s North Shore. Jaws Beach is only for highly experienced, professional surfers because of its enormous, fast-moving waves.
The exquisite location of Pe’ahi has become a prime tow and paddle destination for big wave surfers from all over the world. In fact, Jaws Beach is known for its wild winter swells, boasting waves that reach heights of over fifty feet. Unquestionably, Jaws Beach is not for the fainthearted. However, it’s well worth the trip, even if you only want to watch the professionals do their thing.
Some of the top surfers from all around the globe get towed behind a jet ski, let go of the tow rope, and then risk their lives to experience the most amazing wave on the planet when conditions allow.
When it comes to the perfect surfing experience, Honolua Bay is undoubtedly Maui’s crown jewel. The arguably perfect wave breaks from the point peel right into the bay on good days, creating some of the most incredible barrel opportunities. This is another one of Maui’s surf spots better suited to those with a good amount of experience.
Mark Richards, a four-time surfing world champion, described the surf in Honolua Bay as “the best wave in the world.” It is also the final location for the prestigious ASP Woman’s World Tour, which in itself is an excellent testimony to how superb this Hawaiian surf spot is.
Honolua Bay can get very crowded during the summer months due to its prime surf conditions and overall beauty. This is important to know when planning your trip because, as at almost all surf spots, respecting the surfing locals should always be a priority.
Now for something better suited to those who are a little new to surfing out there. Olowalu is one of the best beginner surf places in all of Maui. It’s located in West Maui and is ideal for learning to surf, especially during the summer months when the waves here are smaller and more consistent.
Although Olowalu might be better suited to beginner surfers, the waves here also give constant fun for intermediate to advanced surfers when the ocean swells are right. However, just a few people can go at a time while the peak is open, so make sure to be patient for your opportunity, mainly if the waters are a little crowded.
As a word of caution, the waters at Olowalu are believed to be among the most shark-infested in all of Maui, so stay sharp and perhaps even do some research into shark sightings on the day that you are planning to surf. However, don’t let this deter you from experiencing the surf at this incredible spot; you will not regret it!
Lahaina, on Maui’s southwest coast, is a stunning, small trendy surf town with a few good longboard places. Lahaina’s waves are another excellent, if not the finest, place to learn to surf on Maui.
Lahaina is a terrific site to surf on the west coast of the island, with fun reef breaks that are suitable for surfers of all skill levels. Make sure to surf at spots like the renowned Breakwall up against the Lahaina Harbor, or visit Kammies and Shark Pit on the south end of town. A fun peak that emerges from deep water may also be found in the harbor if you are willing to swim a little farther out.
There will undoubtedly be a few local professionals surfing here if you are looking for a bit of a show. However, if you are catching the waves as well, always remember to be respectful and mindful towards other suffers. Lahaina, as with other surf spots in Maui, can get a little crowded during peak seasons.
As a final entry to our list of the best surf spots in Maui (but by no means the last spot that you will be able to enjoy), Ho’okipa Beach is yet another incredible surfing spot on this exquisite Hawaiian island. If you’re a more experienced surfer, Ho’okipa Beach is a must-visit spot. However, even beginner surfers will be able to enjoy the waves here.
With incredible swells coming in from the north, northwest, west, and east, this North Shore beach is home to some ideal surfing conditions. Riptides, fast, consistent waves, sharp rocks, and reefs are a few of the dangers that surfers here should be aware of.
Paddle surfers, windsurfers, and kite surfers will undoubtedly find themselves in paradise at Ho’okipa Beach Park on Maui’s north-central coast. Ho’okipa Beach can produce some powerful surf in the winter months, thanks to a primarily unobstructed window to the North Pacific.
In general, the best time for surfers to experience the waves at Ho’okipa Beach is in the early morning hours when the prevalent easterly or north-eastern trade winds have not started blowing through.
Surfing Lessons In Maui
If you are a total novice to the world of wave riding, or even if you have some surfing experience, taking on a few surfing lessons is undoubtedly the best way to improve your skills on a surfboard. Learning from surfers who have years of experience is a great way to ensure proper technique and ultimately to advance your skills quicker than on your own.
Because it is such a surfing hotspot, Maui has an abundance of surfing lesson options to choose from. We will help to get you started by showing you some of Maui’s top surfing lesson options:
Zack Howard Surf
Zack Howard is a world-class surfer with more than 25 years of surfing experience and 15 years of teaching experience. Zack Howard’s expertise in the field, along with his surfing credentials, guarantee to provide you with top-quality surfing training.
Zack Howard Surf specializes in private surf lessons but offers packages that cater to your needs. For one-on-one lessons, you can enjoy an hour and a half of focusing on improving specific skills like catching bigger waves, properly executing turns, and ultimately growing in confidence on your surfboard. These private lessons will cost you $220.
There are also group lessons for three or more people, which will cost $100 per person. However, Zack Howard Surf emphasizes the importance of keeping the groups smaller to ensure effective instruction and attention for each member of the group. These sessions are also an hour and a half long.
To explore some of their other lesson packages and to book for your first lessons, you can follow this link.
Lahaina Surf Shack
Another fantastic option for surfing lessons is the Lahaina Surf Shack. They tailor each of their classes to help you understand the mechanics of surfing, as well as the history and the culture of this exciting water sport. Their goal is for each of their students to be able to catch a wave at the end of each of their lessons.
They offer a wide range of surfing lesson options, including private lessons, semi-private lessons, as well as group lessons for families or groups of friends.
For the quickest rate of advancement, private lessons are recommended to get the most focused experience with high attention to detail. These private lessons are two hours long and will cost you $160, and even includes a free 1-hour board rental for after your lesson so that you can immediately put your newly learned skills to the test.
Group surfing lessons are also available for four people or more and will cost $85 per person. If your group consists of five people or more, an extra instructor will be provided to ensure that everyone gets adequate attention.
To learn more about Lahaina Surf Shack and their surf lesson packages, you can follow this link.
Overall, Maui promises to provide one of the top surfing experiences in the world for surfers of all skill levels to enjoy. If you are still needing a few lessons or ready to take on a fifty-foot mage wave, then Maui certainly won’t leave you disappointed. Make the time to experience the wonders of this Hawaiian island and its endless surfing opportunities.