Maui Surf

Season Opening Swell

September 13, 2013, 1:13 PM HST
* Updated September 13, 1:15 PM
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Ho’okipa has its moments. Photo: Carlos Rock.

By Carlos Rock

The latest big northwest swell is on the decline, but it provided more than enough fireworks for the season premiere.

The swell was predicted to peak on Wednesday and it did so in glorious fashion. This big early season northwester was pulsing out solid 6 to 10-foot bombs with the occasional 12-footer all day Wednesday.

Golden hour at the point. Photo: Carlos Rock.

Seeing Ho’okipa at that size is mostly reserved for the winter season. Maui is just lucky to get a swell to produce that kind of 10-foot energy in September.

(This is of course being measured from the face and not the method of measuring from the backs. For example this would be a 3 to 6-foot swell — do the math.)


Ho’okipa was obviously the spot to be at, but word spread that there were waves on the upper west side more towards Honolua, as well as a little south swell, and that spread out the crowds. But Ho’okipa was still crowded.


There doesn’t look like there is much showing up on the charts except for some minor north swells and small east when the wind returns. But one thing is for sure, the northern Pacific has come back to life and will be producing some good swells from now on — well, for however long this winter surf season lasts, anyway.

We spy a sick left and a monk seal. Photo: Carlos Rock.

This swell was forecast to be on the decline by Thursday, but there were good size waves still coming in on the day. The slightly smaller size in the waves introduced more order in the lineup with waves breaking in designated areas, making avoid the bombs less difficult.

The big waves tend to close out the area known as The Point, but with the right swell and conditions, there were great waves on offer. Nice glassy 6-foot faces graced the reefs until it got too dark to see and you were forced to catch one in.

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