Maui Surfing Overview
Maui has 120 miles of coast and 30 miles of beaches, which makes it perfect for water sports like surfing. People come thousands of miles to enjoy this melting pot of world-renowned, warm water beaches, green carpeted volcanic mountains, and leafy rainforests. Also known as the Valley of Isle, Maui is a great place to surf for beginners, intermediates, and professionals alike.
Why Maui Surfing is Great
With dozens of beaches to choose from, Maui is a premier destination for surfing and other water activities. Nothing beats catching a wave while watching the sun set over Lanai or the sun rise above Haleakala, standing at 10,000 feet above sea level. Even waiting for the perfect surfing set is epic in Maui with waves for all levels around the island. In fact, Maui surf made it into our 10 Best Surfing Beaches article!
Where to Go Surfing in Maui
The best Maui surf spots vary depending on your surfing level as well as season and conditions. Just like most of the Hawaiian Islands, the North Shore has larger waves in the winter months; whereas, the South Shore has larger waves and sometimes swells in the summer months.
Beginner Surf Spots Maui
Kalama Beach Park in Kihei has a great beginners break called The Cove, which makes it a fantastic place to learn to surf. Some other good beginner surfing spots in Maui are in the gentle waters of Ho’okipa Beach, Pa‘ia, Ukumehame, and Lahaina. If you are interested in learning to surf, the best surf lessons in Maui can be found through our TripOutside partners.
Maui Surf Spots for Experienced Surfers
The North Shore of Maui has some famous surf breaks that can be best left to the advanced and professional surfers. The same Ho‘okipa Beach offers advanced surfing in the winter months. Occasionally, maybe a couple times a year, Jaws breaks. This particular wave can be from thirty to eighty feet in height is only for the very advanced to professional surfers.
The South Shore has some of the best Maui surfing beaches. The top three South Shore Maui surf spots are Laniaupoko, Lahaina Harbor, and Honolua Bay. In the summer months, many of the South Shore beaches have larger waves than in the winter because of ocean swells. Pay attention to the weather and ocean report daily.
When to Go Surfing in Maui
The best surfing in Maui can be found anytime of year depending on your surf level. However this also varies by season, where on the island the waves are, and the caliber of wave that is perfect for you. In the winter months, the North Shore tends to be mostly for the intermediate, advanced, and even professionals. If you are looking for more beginner waves, Kihei on the South Shore is your best bet year round. Other South Shore breaks can get summer swells. Maui surf clinics are a great way to learn to surf, hone your skills, and get insider’s knowledge about waves, weather, and wind.
Getting to Maui
There are direct flights from various domestic airports to Kahului, Maui (OGG) airport. From the West Coast of the United States, the flight time is a little over five hours. If your favorite airport doesn’t have a direct flight, you can also book a flight to Honolulu and take a short, second leg of only forty minutes to Kahului, Maui. It is wise to rent a car while in Maui as it is one of the largest of the Hawaiian Islands with many interesting adventures that require a vehicle to get to the best beaches, trailheads, and waves.
Maui Surfing Rentals & Lessons
TripOutside features only the best outfitters and activity providers for surfing lessons in Maui as well as surfboard rentals. Our Maui surfing instructors and providers are all four-star rated or above, and are some of the most experienced guides in the Aloha State. We take the guesswork out of booking your Maui surfing adventures – all of our outfitters provide top notch service and safety.
Maui Surfing FAQs
Where is the best surfing in Maui?
The best surfing in Maui is split between North & South Shores. For North Shore Maui surfing head to Pa‘ia, Ho‘okipa, and Jaws. Pa‘ia and Ho‘okipa have year-round surf; whereas, Jaws is very infrequent and only for the professional level surfers. The beginner surf spots Maui are on the South Shore. Head to Kihei, Ukumehame, and Launiupoko in Lahaina. However, not all Maui surf spots on the South Shore are for beginners, there are some epic waves in Honolua Bay.
What is the best time of day to surf in Maui?
There are two ideal times to surf: at daybreak as well as sunset. At daybreak, the winds are calmer for less blowout. For sunset, it doesn’t get better than a South Shore surf.
Where are the biggest waves in Maui?
The biggest waves in Maui are found a couple times a year at the world-famous North Shore called Jaws. This wave is for expert level surfers and of course professionals. Some surfers like the waves at Ho‘okipa, also on the North Shore, which is most notably a windsurfing beach. One of the West Side’s best waves is Honolua. It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, it’s worth the drive. Plus, in the summer months with the swells, the South Shore can get some big waves. All of the Maui surf spots noted above are for expert surfers; however, that doesn’t mean that if you are just learning you can’t go to watch and see the surfers do their magic.