Maui Surf

Tuesday South Swell to Peak Wednesday

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By Carlos Rock

A decent south swell is set to build tomorrow, starting at 2 to 5-feet, and should peak at 3 to 7-feet on Wednesday.

Lahaina side should see some good waves rolling through by tomorrow so keep on checking the cams to see if the swell has arrived or not. But who knows: you could get lucky and be surfing during the initial rise of the swell and score some uncrowded waves.

South swell action, Ma’alaea summer of 2011. Photo: Carlos Rock.

Naturally, there are so many factors involved with a surf session that you can’t always assume what kind of waves you are going to get.


Anyway, there has been a good amount of south swell activity this summer which has translated into many trips to the south side for those that do not live near Lahaina or Kihei. Pretty much every day has seen some swell, enough for longboarding and standup paddling, and a good amount of days that are “shortboard-able,” which is anything shoulder high and up.

As technology gets better, so will surf forecasting, as well as the many webcams that are going up pointing at some of the best spots on the island.

Once you can see how these certain spots are doing – for example Lahaina Harbor – you can determine the conditions for rest of the west side fairly accurately.

Tahiti looking dreamy. Photo: Waterways Adventures.


These spots can be called “reference spots” because if there are waves there, then there will be waves at other spots nearby, or on the other side of the island.

The swells that have been coming in have all passed through the southern Pacific islands like Tahiti and the forecast has looked something like this: Tahiti gets the full impact of a swell, while by the time it spins its way up to Hawaii, it has lost much of its energy.

Unfortunately, the surf report for Hawaii’s south side doesn’t look like this very often, but imagine if it did.


Maybe one day this summer a massive storm off New Zealand will produce some Tahiti-caliber waves for Hawaii. Until then, surfers must accept the 3-7 foot waves.

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