Maui's North Shore is a paradise for surfers, kitesurfers, windsurfers, and foil surfers alike. With its world-renowned waves, consistent trade winds, and stunning natural beauty, it's a top destination for water sports enthusiasts worldwide.
Surfing is arguably the most popular water sport on Maui’s North Shore. The area is home to several world-class surf spots, including Peahi (also known as Jaws) and Hookipa Beach. Peahi is perhaps the most famous of these spots, with waves that can reach heights of up to 60 feet during the winter months. Surfers from around the world come to test their skills against these giant waves, and the Jaws Big Wave Challenge (currently in the 2022-2023 waiting period) is one of the world's most prestigious big-wave surfing events. Former winners include Billy Kemper and Paige Alms both hailing from Maui.
In addition to traditional surfing, kite surfing is an iconic staple and infamous pastime of Maui's North Shore. Kite surfing combines elements of surfing, windsurfing, and paragliding and requires a certain level of skill and experience to do safely, and significant skill to enjoy the big waves and blustery winds of Hookipa and Peahi in winter conditions. The consistent trade winds on the North Shore make it an ideal spot for kitesurfing, and there are several schools and rental shops in the area that cater to both beginners and experienced kite surfers.
For all the same reasons noted for kiters, Maui is widely regarded as one of the world's top destinations for windsurfing enthusiasts of all skill levels. The island’s North Shore offers a range of conditions from calm and flat to choppy and wavy, providing a variety of options for windsurfers. Maui is home to some of the world's most renowned windsurfing events, such as the Aloha Classic (Hookipa Beach), which attracts top windsurfers from around the globe. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, Maui's warm waters and dependable winds make it a must-visit destination for enthusiasts.
Foil surfing is a relatively new addition to the North Shore's water sports scene. Foil surfing involves riding a unique surfboard equipped with a hydrofoil, which lifts the board out of the water and allows the rider to glide above the surface. This technique has become popular in part due to its ability to allow riders to catch smaller waves that would be difficult to ride with traditional surfboards or kiteboards. You might find a foil surfer on nearly any Maui beach, but you’re sure to spot one on the North Shore any day of the week in all conditions. The foil has immense versatility allowing foil surfers to ride the wind as well the waves with the addition of a ‘wing’ that surfers can hold and maneuver, permitting hours of wing foiling out in Maui’s warm tropical waters.
It becomes obvious that Maui's North Shore is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts of all levels. Whether you're an experienced big-wave surfer, a beginner kite surfer, or just looking to try something new like foil surfing, there's something for everyone in this stunningly beautiful part of the world. Just remember to respect the ocean and always be mindful of safety when engaging in any water sports activity. With the right mindset and a sense of adventure, you will surely have an unforgettable experience on Maui's North Shore.