Welcome to Hawai’i, where palm trees and white sand are your runway to the surfing capital of the world. Surfing is as much a part of Hawaiian history as football is to American history. This is probably why you’ll come across a melting pot of eager surfers ready to make a splash in Hawaiian waters when they come to visit. Needless to say, being a part of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui’s surfing spots are in a league of their own.
This little hidden gem is the perfect for spectators, surfers, and babies all year round! With a lookout that makes checking out the surf perfect for anyone driving by or planning their attack, this spot has optimal wave watching. This beach is more for experienced surfers but serves as a great place to see some of the best surfers and windsurfers on the island. If you are experienced, the waves do get crowded when the swells are big so always remember to be respectful when taking on the Ho’okipa waves!
As one of the most notable and world-renowned surfing locations due to past Billabong Women’s Pro Surfing Competition, Honolua definitely has a reputation that precedes itself. Though the waves may not be as consistent as other beaches, when you do catch a ride the crystal waters glide you over the shallow reefs to make for the perfect ride. Most popular with experienced locals, this is a great tourist destination to check off the bucket list more than anything!
With a sandy wading pool for the little ones and smaller beginner-friendly waves out in the water, nothing beats this family friendly beach park. Growing up on Maui, you always remember going to this park so your dad could go surfing while you played in the sun and the shallow rock-protected swimming pool. Especially ideal for paddleboarders and longboarders these waves have some long rides in store. With very shallow waters it is good to head out with some type of water shoes and protective swimwear.
4. Olowalu Beach
If gliding along crystal clear waters is your passion then this is the surf spot for you. Mostly serving as a good beach for beginners, Olowalu is known for its smaller waves during the summer months. Needless to say, even if you’re not surfing the pristine waters makes this beach ideal for any water activities.
Popular among most surf schools, Breakwall is right in the heart of Lahaina and can be perfect for beginners when the waves are small. On bigger swell days, it can get a little crazy for most
beginners. But, don’t worry because you can grab a seat at any of the ocean-front restaurants like Pacific’O or Betty’s Beach Cafe. Small waves or not, this is a great beach to relax on the sand and marvel at the seascape.
6. Paia Bay
Just a 5-minute walk from Paia Town, this secluded bay is perfect for the days when the North Shore is booming because of it’s protected area, it still remains fairly safe for beginners. Ideal for more boogie boarders then surfing, Paia Bay is known for its frequent waves that have relatively short rides. In the summer months when the waves are slow, this beach is still perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
7. The Cove
Kalama Beach Park, Kihei
Perfect for beginners and families, this surf spot has small waves that are rolling all day long. Shallow water and sandy shores make it a destination for learning and getting back into shape for surfing. On days where it’s a little bigger than expected, grab a spot on the grassy area just above the reef and learn some new moves from the more advanced surfers that can frequent there!
8. Ka’anapali Beach
Not only are you catching waves at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world but you also get surf that is perfect for beginners and families alike. Situated just to the right of the Marriot, this is the perfect beach to take a morning stroll to and scope out the waves along the sandy shoreline. Truly something out of a postcard.
9. Thousand Peaks
Papalaua Beach Park, Lahaina
Known for its infamous “thousand peaks' ' this beach is for a more experienced surfer who enjoys quiet and solo surf trips. With a pretty long paddle out, you definitely need to have some upper body strength and stamina. Luckily, once you make the paddle out you are rewarded with waves all the way down the beach, meaning there is rarely ever a need to fight over the good waves!
10. Kanaha Beach Park
Kanaha Beach Park is the best way to spend any day on Maui. Known for it’s perfect conditions for windsurfing specifically, this beach has optimal conditions all year long for surfers as well. Grab a spot at the BBQ tables and enjoy lunch with a magnificent view. If the wind picks up or you’re not an experienced surfer you can still enjoy the relaxing waters by snorkeling along the shallow reefs.
*The ocean, though beautiful, still has a strict set of rules. You should always consult a Maui Surf Instructor or Lifeguard before you get into the water to surf at any beach, especially during the big-swell winter months. Check out these list of ocean safety tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe while exploring maui’s bountiful beauty: https://www.gohawaii.com/trip-planning/travel-smart/ocean-safety-in-hawaii