Maui Surf

First Huge Swell of Season Arrives

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By Carlos Rock

Jaws. File photo courtesy Jeff Rowley.

Jaws. File photo courtesy Jeff Rowley.

A very large north/northwest swell is set to hit Maui Wednesday, marking the start of the huge swells of the season.

Wave heights are expected to reach 15 to 25-foot faces with some 30-footers. This swell will most likely see Jaws dish out some 30-footers for the paddlers, so expect to see them out there.

The wind looks favorable for Jaws as well. Light winds in the 10-15 mph range means glassy conditions in the morning for possibly an epic Jaws session, much like the October swell last year that also coincided with light winds.

However, if the weather cooperates and the rain holds off, sunny skies would be most favorable at the best big wave in the world.


With this swell, most spots will be closing out. Ho’okipa will be a wash as well as the whole north shore from Paia to Kuau.


The upper west side will be your best bet to surf this swell, but don’t be surprised if the whole Maui is at Honolua Bay getting a piece of the action.

The Bay will be excellent. The north tilt in the swell will peel along the cliffs perfectly. Honolua will be big with this 20-foot swell, but this is just the right size for the Bay to really turn on.

Good luck getting a set wave at the cave. The crowd at Honolua is probably the worst on the island on the best days.


However, you don’t have to go to the Bay, there are dozens of spots on the upper west side that are able to hold these types of conditions.

There is also a fairly large 6-10 foot east swell being thrown in the mix which should make things interesting. When the east swells are this big, they usually cross up with the northwesters, creating jumbled lineups.

The east facing shores along Waiehu will see great surf with the light winds, but a big east swell usually means a storm is brewing and rain and dirty water could pose a problem.

Whatever you decide to do, surf or watch Jaws, Wednesday, Nov. 13 should be an action-packed day of surf, weather permitting.

However, the next few days will see the wind and the swell slowly fade which could mean great surfing conditions for the rest of the week. Winter is in high gear, and not slowing down anytime soon.

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