Big Surf Draws Huge Crowd at Peahi’s “Jaws”
By Riley Yap
Over the next couple of days, the north facing shores of Maui will be hounded by a massive northwest swell so big that the National Weather Service has issued a high-surf warning in effect through Friday morning.
The outer reef should receive surf between 30- and 40-plus feet with the largest sets making their way to Peahi, Jaws — the only break capable of holding such huge surf.
Maui Now had the opportunity to make the journey down the long, winding dirt road, jammed with hundreds of onlookers anxious to see the rare spectacle that is Jaws.
On Wednesday, a normally quiet, countryside Peahi was full of life. People from seemingly all over Maui took the time to see the promise of what was expected to be up to 50-foot waves.
Muddy trucks filled the cliffs and large groups of people lined the edges all along the point, everyone trying to get a solid glimpse of the phenomenon taking place. Helicopters hovered overhead, jet skis prowled the lineup, and dare-devil surfers lay their life on the line for the ride of their life.
Waves as big as 30 feet made their way into Jaws yesterday.
The swell peaked last night, but today’s surf was expected to bring the best waves. Another reinforcing northwest swell is projected to arrive overnight tonight, Jan. 23, which should hold plenty of surf well into the weekend.
According to NOAA, long-range buoy models predict tons of surf for next week as well with yet another northwest swell arriving Sunday expected to prolong the heavy wave activity.
The surf report for today is as follows: North and northwest facing shores will continue to see XXL sets, especially at big wave breaks (Jaws). Expect to see 30- to 40-foot faces early Thursday morning and declining throughout the day, but waves will still remain overhead at most popular breaks.
Upper west facing shores will be heavily shadowed by Moloka’i, however select breaks could see 10-foot faces for those who know where to look. East and northeast facing shores will be receiving the wrapping swell and should see large surf of 5- to 7-foot faces. South facing shores will have a small south-southwest swell with wrapping northwest swell that can bump wave heights up to 4- to 7-footers at popular select breaks.