Surfing in Maui: A Guide to the Best Surf Spots on the Island

Maui is considered a surfer’s paradise worldwide and attracts millions of tourists every year to adore the beauty of its palm trees and white sand.  Surfing in Maui is a significant part of Hawaiian history and is also the biggest visitors’ attraction in Maui. This is what makes even the local people and the outside visitors so eager to surf in Hawaiian waters. These surfing spots have a league of their own making Maui- the surfing capital of the world.

Here is Our Guide to Surfing in Maui

Best Time for Surfing in Maui

A view of high clouds seen in Maui

Maui has numerous isolated islands making it a popular surfing destination. These islands have exposure to 360-degree swell windows, strong currents and different sorts of winds too. The place has basically two seasons -summer, covering May to October and winter from November to April. The average air and water temperatures remain constant throughout the year. Although surfing in Maui is an all-year activity, here are some weather details to choose your ideal surfing time at Maui:

  • During winters i.e. November to April, the average air temperature ranges from 26–28 °C along with water temperature somewhere between 22-26 °C.
  • During summers i.e. May to October,  the average air temperature ranges between 29–32 °C along with water temperature somewhere between 22-27 °C.

Weather for Surfing in Maui

Beautiful Makena beach in Maui

Weather patterns in Maui are constantly fluctuating. These keep on changing with a change in your exact location at the island. Maui is home to a large number of microclimates. Though, Maui is definitely a place with great weather, usually sunny and warm.  It captivates accommodations in both sunny, dry areas and wet areas. Considering the wettest locations in Maui, rain is unpredictable completely. 

Things to Carry for Surfing in Maui

The first person to paddle in Jaws beach- Jeff Rowley

Whenever planning to head out to Maui with surfing on your to-do list, all the necessary equipment required for surfing needs to be carried along. A large surfboard (especially for beginners), surf leash (for everyone-whether an expert or a beginner), surf wax, sunscreen and comfortable swimwear are the mandatory ones when going to surf.

6 Best Spots for Surfing in Maui

1. Honolua Bay

A beautiful view of Honolua Bay in Maui

Regarded as “the best wave in the world” by four-time world champion Mark Richards, Honolua is one of the best surf spots to come across. It has a very powerful, hollow reef breakpoint and a tremendously great wave. This place usually becomes very crowded during the summers. It is also highly known due to the Billabong Women’s Pro Surfing Competition that was organized here.

Address: Hawaii 96761, USA
Warning: It should be avoided to surf here during winter months since high surf is very common.
Fun fact:  Honolua Bay offers Maui snorkeling when the water becomes calm

2. Olowalu Beach

A view of coconut trees on Olowalu pier in Maui

Being the most accessible spot for surfing in Maui, Olowalu beach is just beside the Honoapiilani Highway. It serves the purpose for all - intermediate to advanced surfers. Observantly, the waves are generally consistent here, but only a few people can access the peak at one time. With crystal clear waters this is a very nice beach to go to for beginners.

Address: Hawaii 96761, USA
Warning: These waters are known to be one of the sharkiest ones around.
Fun fact: Olowalu beach is well known for its smaller waves during summers.

3. Ho’okipa Beach Park

A view of surfing in Ho'okipa beach in Maui

Ho’okipa Beach is a North Shore beach which is a perfect spot to experience north, northwest, west and east swells.  It is also considered to be a world-class windsurfing destination. Proves to be a great place for not just surfers rather spectators and kids too and offers beautiful wave watching experiences.

Address: 179 Hana Hwy, Paia, HI 96779, United States
Warning: Ho’okipa Beach must be accessed for surfing by advanced riders only.
Fun fact: This beach is very famous for wave watching and other recreational activities for non-surfers.

4. Paia Bay

A picture of Samanea saman habitat in Paia, Maui

Commonly known as “Jaws Beach”, Paia Bay is considered the most powerful surf spot on Maui Island. Due to huge and fast-moving waves, it is ideal to surf here only for professional surfers. Preferred greatly for more boogie boarders than surfers, this place has frequent yet short waves. During the summers, people also visit here for swimming and snorkeling. 

Address: Peahi, Haiku-Pauwela, HI 96708, United States
Warning: Suitable to surf only for professional riders
Fun fact: When conditions allow, experts from all over the world tow themselves behind a jet ski, untie the rope and risk their lives to experience the most impressive wave in the true sense.

5. Breakwall

Breakwall is located in the heart of Lahaina. Home to very popular ocean-front restaurants like Pacific’O or Betty’s Beach Café, this place is perfect for beginners. People also find it a great beach to just relax on the sand and adore the beautiful natural seascapic views.  
Address: 658 Front St #104, Lahaina, HI 96761, United States
Warning: Although the beach is said to be the best place for beginners, it might turn out to give troublesome experiences on bigger swell days.
Fun fact: It encompasses various eateries and restaurants at its shore for the visitors, making out a perfect hangout place in Maui.

6. Kanaha Beach Park 

Onemoreskills in Kanaha Beach Park in Maui

Kanaha Beach Park is one of the best options for day time activities on Maui. It is highly suitable for windsurfing and often offers suitable conditions for surfers as well throughout the year. Shallow reefs can also be enjoyed for snorkeling by non-surfers. 

Address: Amala Pl, Kahului, HI 96732, United States
Fun fact: It offers Barbecue tables and various other options to enjoy your lunch at embracing the magnificent views accompanying you. 

Tips & Warnings

  • Always take a lesson first before trying surfing out for the first time.
  • Never miss out to check the surf and weather conditions before heading out.
  • In case you are in doubt, do not go out and skip surfing on these days.
  • If you come across a location that looks pretty with no one around, never prefer to surf at such spots, anything can happen.
  • Always beware of unforeseen dangers like sharks, extremely shallow reef, or threatening currents.
  • After you start paddling, try and always maintain the same direction.
  • According to the rules of learning to surf, if two surfers are paddling for a wave, the one who is closest to the peak of the wave should be the one with the right of way.
  • Make every possible effort to keep your surfboard in control.
  • Always avoid touching the reef
  • Most importantly, be cautious enough but do not forget to have fun. 
Head to the surfers’ paradise and earn the best first-hand experience at surfing today!

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