Maui Surf

Surf: Windy Conditions and Keepers

February 28, 2013, 5:45 PM HST
* Updated February 28, 6:05 PM
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By Carlos Rock

Windy conditions prevail as the brown waters are slowly returning back to normal for the north shore of Maui. There is plenty of swell available also for the north facing shores if you don’t mind the 15-25mph+ winds tearing through the lineups.

Bra you see my last one? Photo: Jeremiah Klein.

There is a decent 6-12ft+ NW swell hitting Thursday 2/28 and is looking like it will hold throughout the weekend, only dropping slightly before another 12ft+ swell hits Monday. But you always have to pay attention to the wind which makes the water cold.

It’s the kind of cold that makes you consider buying a full-body wetsuit to stay warm on those special days when the rash guard just doesn’t cut it, and going shirtless just means shivering and goosebumps.

But, being cold for a short amount of time is a small price to pay. When you’re out in the lineup shaking uncontrollably, the hard side-offshore winds blowing right into the barrel of the waves, and it’s getting dark, you begin to wonder why you put yourself in that position time after time.


The in-between time is where you begin to doubt your exploits of the ocean.


Your mind begins to wander thinking about the possibility of getting seriously injured on the reef on your next wave, or how many times you have narrowly averted something serious in the water, or how at any moment a shark could chomp your leg off.

Or you’re thinking about that movie you watched the other night or the warmth of the inside of your car.

And then, those 6 footers start rolling in with no one on ’em because you chose to surf away from the pack. Now you remember why you are sitting out there in the first place.

Keepers at Honolua Bay. Photo: Dooma Photos.


You paddle your hardest and nab one of those waves. You drop in on the left, wind in your face, tuck into a little barrel and by the grace of God, come out clean. You ride off the shoulder hoping someone saw it from the water or the shore.

Chances are, someone did as all eyes are on the ocean at all times when the waves are good. It’s like looking at a live action painting as the sun starts to set behind the clouds.

Getting a keeper wave and successfully surfing it to the best of your ability is why you surf in the first place. For those snapshots in time where you had a view from inside the barrel for those brief seconds of your life.  Those waves you keep with you till the end.

When and where was your last keeper wave?

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