Maui Surf

Kona Winds and Northwest Swell

January 25, 2013, 10:35 AM HST
* Updated January 25, 10:40 AM
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By Carlos Rock

Looks big and cold. Ho’okipa Beach Park 1/24. Photo: Carlos Rock.

We’re in for another spell of Kona winds and a decent 10 ft northwest swell for the weekend. Looks like another great weekend of surf for Maui as the north shore of Oahu does not benefit as much from the Kona winds.

The Konas usually blow offshore for the entire north shore of Maui, but makes Honolua Bay onshore, so the NW swell will be spoiled at that spot. However, look for epic conditions for the rest of the north shore.

Glassy mornings and offshore days with great swell is all a surfer really needs for the weekend.

Ho’okipa Beach park saw the early signs of the NW swell which is expected to produce long lulls in between the bomb sets. However, there was still plenty of energy available for those with enough patience to handle the long waits in-between the bomb sets.


The new year has seen no shortage of NW swells making this winter truly special. The NW swells have made it possible to be able to surf everyday at least before or after work. What better way to wash off the work day than getting a few afternoon bombs at Ho’okipa?


One down side of the surf lately has been the water temperature. Winter swells usually bring in cold water making for frigid sessions if you choose not to wear a wetsuit.

Glassy mornings, Ho’okipa. Photo: Carlos Rock.

However, the restriction of the wetsuit top creates extra strain on the shoulders when paddling which also burns extra calories, but not wearing a wetsuit also burns a lot of calories because your body is fighting off the cold.

The windchill is also a factor out in the water as the strong trades are cold in themselves.


But, we can’t complain compared to the rest of the world. California sees full-suits year round! Would you rather be cold in boardshorts or cold in a full wetsuit?

The weekend is looking like it will be a great one for surf so make sure you have your shift covered for Saturday’s 5-10 ft with Konas, and/or record the superbowl and get in on Sunday’s 6-12 ft swell with the Kona winds.

Enjoy the Kona winds offshores while it lasts, the trades are expected to return by Monday 1/28.

Make the most of your Maui vacation with these top-rated activities: Maui Top 20: Maui Visitor & Tourism Information
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