PHOTOS: Surfers Search For Waves North to West

February 8, 2012, 10:57 PM HST · Updated February 9, 9:22 AM
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By Madeline Ziecker

A sticker at Honolua Bay. Photo by Madeline Ziecker.

One can look at as many surf forecasts as they can and talk to the whole island before a big day of surf, trying to get an idea of where and when the best waves will be.

Alas, the factors that influence how and when surf-worthy waves break (wind speed, wind direction, wave height) are always subject to change.

On Wednesday, February 8, surf on Maui’s north shore was expected to reach somewhere between 18 and 30 feet during the day, exciting the island’s more ambitious surfers and pros with the prospect of a major winter swell.

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Naturally, this brought surfers’ attention to Hookipa Beach, known for some of the best waves on the north shore during high surf season.

As promised, large waves were rolling in at Hookipa this morning, but strong onshore winds at up to 20 mph transformed the waves into foamy white mush.

Maui surfer Augustine "Auggie" Costantino after a session at Honolua Bay. Photo by Madeline Ziecker.

Those who woke up early to check Jaws (Peahi) this morning were met with the same disappointment.

Several tourists and some local artisans watched from the cliffside parking lot at Hookipa, admiring set after set roll onto the empty coast.

Surfers had more luck on west shores at Honolua Bay, a good surf spot during the winter surf season.

At 4 p.m., waves at Honolua began to peak at 15 feet. Wind was significantly less of a hassle at 5 mph, giving about 10 surfers a challenging but worthy session until 5: 30 p.m, when the majority retired for the day.

View of from Hookipa of large and messy sets on the north shore, all the way to Kahului. Photo by Madeline Ziecker.

Wave at Honolua Bay. Photo by Madeline Ziecker.

Waves at Paia Bay. Photo by Madeline Ziecker.

Surfer at Honolua Bay. Photo by Madeline Ziecker.

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