Maui News

VIDEO: Jaws Surf Break attracts Surfers and Spectators to North Shore

January 20, 2011, 3:00 PM HST
* Updated January 29, 2:25 AM
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By Wendy Osher

More spectators than surfers showed up as a large swell was set to peak around mid-morning at the famous Jaws surf break along Maui’s north shore. 

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Big wave surfers braved warning-level conditions at the famous Jaws surf break on Maui today as a large swell peaked during mid-morning on Maui. Photo by Wendy Osher.

An estimated 20-30 big-wave and tow-in surfers were in the water this morning. They were accompanied by two helicopters, multiple jet skis and a crowd of wave watchers who viewed the action from shore. 

Although the swell has peaked, conditions are expected to remain large before dropping off below warning levels later this week. 


Forecasters from the National Weather Service say surf along the north shores of Maui and Molokai was expected to reach 35 feet.  Conditions appeared to be more in the range of 15-20 feet today.   


The high surf warning remains in effect for most of the state until 6 p.m. on Friday. 

Beach goers are advised to stay out of the water because of strong rip currents and hazardous wave action.  They should also remain alert for run-up and battering waves along the shoreline.

The swell was generated by a large hurricane-force low in the western-north Pacific Ocean.  The long-lived swell was not consistent enough at Waimea Bay on Oahu this morning to run The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau.  While saves there were in the 18-20 foot range, they did not meet contest standards for consistency.  There are still six weeks left in the holding period for the competition, so crews will continue to look to the horizon for future swells headed toward the state. 

Parking enforcement was conducted along Maui's North shore as spectators crowded Maui's rural shoreline to catch a glimpse of big wave riders in action. Photo by Wendy Osher.

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