Maui Surf Spots

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.

North Central Shore Surf Breaks


Waiehu Beach Park

Surf Location On north central coast. From Lahaina, take Highway 30 east to Wailuku, take a right on Kaahumana Avenue, then a left on Lower Main Street, then another left On Waiehu Beach Road. Follow the signs from there.
Best Swell Direction North-Northeast
Best Tide Any
Best Wind Direction South-Southwest
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Very Consistent rights and lefts, that get hollow and powerful.
The Surfers Often crowded
Boards Shortboard, rounded-pin
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level All
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sea urchins, riptide and undertow, locals, sharks
Water Condition Clean

Kuau Pipes

Surf Location On the north shore, take Hana Highway, make a left turn at mile marker 8, at Kuau Cove
Best Swell Direction North, Northwest, West, Northeast
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction East, Southeast
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Decent rights and lefts, most of the time. Works from small to big swells, so can be a good place for beginners, but watch out when it gets bigger. Can get hollow and powerful.
The Surfers Weekends can get semi-crowded
Boards Shortboards, rippers, rounded-pins
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level All
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sea urchins, riptide and undertow
Water Condition Clean

Kahului Harbor

Surf Location North central shore of Maui, in Kahului Bay, the harbor situated at Kahului in Wailuku
Best Swell Direction Northeast, Southwest
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction Southwest
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A surf spot generally reserved for the more experienced surfers, Kahului Harbor gets heavy and powerful, and holds really big swells. Short fast rights and lefts.
The Surfers Locals
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out Easy to Moderate
Skill Level Very Experienced to Professional
Bottom Reef and sharp rocks
Watch Out For... Sea urchins, riptide and undertow, sharp rocks, locals, pollution, sharks.
Water Condition Moderate to dirty

Paukukalo Beach

Surf Location Near Wailuku City, north central coast
Best Swell Direction North, Northeast
Best Tide Mid
Best Wind Direction Southwest, South
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Another one of the gems in the area, this surf spot gets really good. Can be very hollow and fast, and works in all types of swells.
The Surfers Can get crowded
Boards Rippers, pin-tails
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Experienced and up
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sea urchins, riptide and undertow, sharp rocks, locals
Water Condition Clean

Jaws (Peahi)

Surf Location On the north central shore, at the end of Peahi Valley. About three miles north of Paia, on Hana Highway.
Best Swell Direction North
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction South
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Jaws is probably the most famous big wave tow-in surfing spot in the world. It’s the place where it all started. During big winter swells, Jaws is a super fast and hollow right that only works for tow surfing. Can hold waves well over 50 feet tall.
The Surfers World-class surfers only
Boards Tow boards, jet-skis
Paddle Out Tow-in only
Skill Level Very Experienced to Professional
Bottom Reef and sand
Watch Out For... Strong riptide and undertow, waves can be deadly, sharp rocks
Water Condition Clean

Jaws (Peahi), Maui - Surf Video

 

Ho'okipa Beach Park

Surf Location On the north shore, take Hana Highway north until you reach Hookipa Beach Park
Best Swell Direction North, Northwest, West, East
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction Southwest, South, Southeast
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Large, well-shaped waves. Furthest east is Pavillions, then Middles, two fast and ledgey right point reef breaks. In between these two are less frequent breaks called Girlie Bowl or Green Trees. Then there ís H-Poko (Point), a right break that is world-renowned for windsurfing. Furthest west is Lanes, an occasional left.
The Surfers Not too crowded
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level All levels; winter may be unridable
Bottom Reef and sharp rock
Watch Out For... Sea urchins, riptide and undertow, sharp rocks, localism, sharks
Water Condition Clean

Ho'okipa Beach Park, Maui - Surf Video

 

Sunrise, Sunrises

Surf Location On the north shore, take Hana Highway, make a left turn at mile marker 8, park at Mamaís Fish House, paddle out from rock point
Best Swell Direction North, Northwest, Northeast
Best Tide Low and Mid
Best Wind Direction Southwest, South, Southeast
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A fun right reef break that can be powerful and ledgey, best on a middle sized swell.
The Surfers Not crowded
Boards Shortboards
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level All
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sea urchins, riptide and undertow, locals, sharks
Water Condition Clean

Turtle Bay

Surf Location Coming from Paia, the bay after Ho'okipa
Best Swell Direction North, Northwest
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction South, Southeast
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A fast, powerful and ledgey right and left reef break
The Surfers Semi-crowded on weekends
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out Easy to Moderate
Skill Level Experienced
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sharp rocks
Water Condition Clean

Honomanu Bay

Surf Location Northeast coast, on Hana Highway, between mile markers 13 and 14
Best Swell Direction Northwest, Northeast
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction Southwest, South, Southeast
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A hollow right and left reef coral break
The Surfers Can get crowded in the winter months
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out Easy to Moderate
Skill Level Experienced and up
Bottom Reef and sharp rocks
Watch Out For... Sharks, localism
Water Condition Clean

West Maui Surf Breaks


Honolua Bay

Surf Location West coast, near Kapalua, off of the North Shore Highway
Best Swell Direction North, Northwest, West
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction Southeast, East
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality The site for the final event of the ASP Woman’s World Tour, and one of the best waves in Hawaii. A hollow and powerful right point reef break, with many different sections that all link together on the right days. Also the best snorkeling on Maui when the waves are flat.
The Surfers Can get crowded on weekends
Boards Shortboard, pin-tail
Paddle Out Can be difficult
Skill Level Experienced and up
Bottom Reef and sharp rocks
Watch Out For... Sea urchins, riptide and undertow, parking lot theft
Water Condition Murky at the shoreline, clear as you go further out

Honolua Bay, Maui - Surf Video

 

Ironwood Beach

Surf Location On the northern point of west Maui, between Kapalua and Napili
Best Swell Direction North, Northeast
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction Southeast, East
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Occasional right and left beach break. This surf spot can get pretty hollow and fast, and holds in pretty big surf.
The Surfers Not crowded.
Boards Shortboard, Rounded-pin
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level All
Bottom Reef with sand
Watch Out For... Rip currents and sharp rocks.
Water Condition Clean

Napili Bay

Surf Location On the northwest shore, take Highway 30, turn off at Kapalua Drive, 20 minutes north of Lahaina Town
Best Swell Direction North, Northwest, Northeast
Best Tide Mid and High
Best Wind Direction South, Southeast, East
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A hollow, powerful and fun right and left reef break
The Surfers Can get crowded on weekends
Boards Shortboard, pin-tail
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Experienced
Bottom Sand with rock
Watch Out For... Sea urchins, ritide and undertow, sharp rocks
Water Condition Clean

Little Makaha

Surf Location On the northwest shore, take Highway 30, between Napili and Kapalua, 20 minutes north of Lahaina Town.
Best Swell Direction Northwest, West
Best Tide Mid
Best Wind Direction Southeast, East
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A long right surfable from 2 to 15 feet, and hollow left that breaks from 6 to 15 feet
The Surfers Can get crowded on weekends
Boards Longboard or funboard
Paddle Out Moderate to difficult
Skill Level Experienced
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Riptide and undertow, sharp rocks, locals, sharks
Water Condition Clean

Olowalu

Surf Location Driving from Lahaina from Maalaea, past Olowalu town on the Makai side, breaks are visible off of the side of the road
Best Swell Direction South, Southeast
Best Tide Low and Mid
Best Wind Direction North and Northeast
Best Surf Season Summer
Wave Quality Medium in length, section-y, can be hollow, fast and powerful, fun lefts and rights
The Surfers Locals, boogie boarders
Boards Longboard, boogie board
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Beginner to Intermediate
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sharp coral
Water Condition Clean

Kaanapali Beach

Surf Location On the west coast, head west on Highway 30, two miles north of Lahaina
Best Swell Direction North, Northwest, Southwest
Best Tide Any
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A short and weak left reef break
The Surfers Can get crowded.
Boards Longboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Beginner
Bottom Reef and rocks
Watch Out For... Sharp rocks, localism, beach theft (high volume of tourists)
Water Condition Clean

Grandmas

Surf Location West coast, in Papalaua Park, take State Route 30 (Honoapiíilani Highway) to Lahaina. It's the first beach you come to after passing through the tunnel.
Best Swell Direction Northwest, Southwest
Best Tide Mid
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A sloppy beginner wave that goes left and right over reef.
The Surfers Can get crowded, especially on weekends
Boards Longboard, shortboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Beginner
Bottom Reef with sand
Watch Out For... Crowds
Water Condition Clean

Mala Wharf

Surf Location Take Highway 30 to Lahaina Town. At the point where the highway runs along the ocean, look for Front Street, turn off and drive 5 blocks, look for Mala Wharf Road.
Best Swell Direction Southwest, South
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction South, Southeast, East
Best Surf Season Summer
Wave Quality A long left reef break, can be fast
The Surfers Can get crowded on weekends
Boards Shortboard, pin-tail
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Experienced
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sharp rocks, riptide and undertow, sea urchins, localism
Water Condition Clean

Puamana

Surf Location On the western coast, at the southern edge of Lahaina Town off of Honoapiilani Highway. Look for the sign.
Best Swell Direction West, Southwest, Southeast
Best Tide Mid and High
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Summer
Wave Quality A fun, easy right and left reef break that can be very long on a good day
The Surfers Semi-crowded
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level All
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sea urchins, sharp rocks
Water Condition Clean

Windmills (Punalau Beach)

Surf Location On the very north coast, off of Honoapiilani Highway at mile marker 34, down the hill
Best Swell Direction South, Southeast
Best Tide Mid
Best Wind Direction South, Southeast
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A hollow, fast, powerful and ledgey left reef break. Holds waves up to 16 foot plus, and can get pretty heavy.
The Surfers Can get crowded on weekends
Boards Shortboard, pin-tail
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Experienced
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sharp rocks, locals, sharks, theft
Water Condition Clean

Sharkpit

Surf Location A Lahaina break, south of the intersection of Shaw Street and Front Street, before you reach the closed off street connecting to Kauaula Road. Access is just north of the break, look for the boats.
Best Swell Direction South
Best Tide Mid and High
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Summer
Wave Quality Powerful rights and lefts that get totally epic. With the right swell you can get really long rides.
The Surfers Can get crowded on weekends
Boards Shortboard, rounded-pin
Paddle Out Moderate paddle out to boats
Skill Level Experienced
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sea urchins, sharp rocks, locals, sharks
Water Condition Clean

Kammies

Surf Location West coast, located at the south end of Lahaina
Best Swell Direction Southwest
Best Tide Mid tide
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Summer
Wave Quality A fun right and left reef break, normal in length
The Surfers Not too crowded
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out
Skill Level All
Bottom Reef and sand
Watch Out For... Sharp reef, rocks, sharks
Water Condition Clean

Kanaha

Surf Location On west Maui, in Lahaina, between Kahului Bay and Spreckelsville beach, off of Hana Highway
Best Swell Direction North, Northwest
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction Southwest, South, Southeast
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Can be long on good days, a fun right and left reef break
The Surfers Can get crowded on weekends
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out Long, 10-15 minutes
Skill Level All
Bottom Reef with sand
Watch Out For... Sharp rocks and coral, sharks
Water Condition Clean

Lahaina Harbor - Break Wall

Surf Location At the Lahaina boat harbor, access is either from the beach next to the marina break wall or off the rocks of the breakwall itself
Best Swell Direction West, Southwest, South
Best Tide Low and Medium
Best Wind Direction North, Northwest, East
Best Surf Season Summer
Wave Quality A fun left reef break, can be long on a good day
The Surfers Can get crowded on weekends
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level All
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sharp rocks
Water Condition Moderately Clean

Lahaina Harbor, Maui - Surf Video

 

Launiupoko Wayside Park

Surf Location At mile marker 18, on Honoapiilani Highway just south of Lahaina
Best Swell Direction South
Best Tide Mid
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Summer
Wave Quality An easy, right and left reef break, can get very long on good days
The Surfers Can get crowded on weekends
Boards Longboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Beginners
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sharp rocks
Water Condition Clean

1000 Peaks

Surf Location Ukumehame Beach Park, 5 miles south of Lahaina, on the Honoíapiilani Highway between the Pali and Lahaina
Best Swell Direction
Best Tide Mid and High
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Summer
Wave Quality Powerful and fun right and left reef break, lots of people out surfing, and lots of waves to surf. Decent beginner surf spot.
The Surfers Semi-crowded on weekends
Boards Longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Intermediate
Bottom Reef with sand
Watch Out For... Sharks
Water Condition Clean


South Maui Surf Breaks


Cove Park - Kihei

Surf Location Off of South Kihei Road, near the Maui Vista Resort
Best Swell Direction West, Southwest
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction East, Northeast
Best Surf Season Summer
Wave Quality An easy right and left reef break
The Surfers Can get crowded on weekends
Boards Longboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Beginner to Intermediate
Bottom Reef with sand
Watch Out For... Sea urchins and sharp rocks
Water Condition Clean

Maalaea Freight Train

Surf Location Off of South Kihei Road (Highway 350), on the east side of Maalaea Harbor
Best Swell Direction South
Best Tide Mid
Best Wind Direction Northeast
Best Surf Season Summer
Wave Quality One of the world's fastest rights, breaks off of a jetty and over a shallow reef, only during large southern swells
The Surfers Can get crowded on weekends
Boards Rounded-pin, pin-tail
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Experienced
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sharp rocks
Water Condition Moderate

Big Beach (Makena Beach)

Surf Location Drive to Kihei, continue down the Piíilani Highway (State Route 31) to the end, the road curves to the right and turns in Wailea Iki Drive. Take this to the bottom of the hill and turn left onto Wailea Alanui Drive, which turns into Makena Alanui Drive, take that to Makena State Park.
Best Swell Direction Southwest, South, Southeast
Best Tide Any
Best Wind Direction Northeast
Best Surf Season Summer
Wave Quality A hollow, fast and powerful right and left beach break
The Surfers Not crowded, mostly locals and some tourists
Boards Shortboard, pin-tail
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level All levels, but beginners should use caution
Bottom Sand and rock
Watch Out For... Sharp rocks, sharks
Water Condition Clean

La Perouse Bay

Surf Location On the southeast shore of Maui, take Makena Alanui Road south out of Wailea, through Makena, to the end of the road
Best Swell Direction South, Southwest
Best Tide Any
Best Wind Direction Northeast
Best Surf Season Summer
Wave Quality A short, left reef break. This spot gets pretty heavy with a solid south swell, and can hold up to 16 feet.
The Surfers Semi-crowded on weekends
Boards Rounded-pin, pin-tail
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Experienced and up.
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sharp rocks
Water Condition Clean

 

 


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