When listing dream windsurfing destinations Maui is top of most sailors list. But it is not nuking waves all year round. The off (wave) season is an excellent time to visit, so here are some secrets of Hawaii summer windsurfing in Maui.
Want to witness the best of the best windsurfers in their natural habitat? Fancy watching pros windsurf in some of the most demanding conditions on Earth? Would you like to and rub shoulders with the windsurfing elite? Then there is no place comparable to Maui, Hawaii.
The island is a windsurfer’s paradise. And after being bombarded with images and videos of big waves and nuking winds, us windies are under no illusions as to what is on offer, should we plan to windsurf in Maui.
There is much that has already been written and talked about with regard to this far flung Pacific Rim island. Most of the pro’s live here, or at least base themselves on ‘the rock’ for weeks on end. And a high proportion of the brands do much of their development and testing on the island.
Each year the PWA Aloha Classic rocks up for one of the most iconic events of the world tour. Needless to say, the hype, folklore and history surrounding Maui and its windsurf heritage paints a furiously hard-core picture. One that may in the end put off the average windsurfing traveller.
But the Valley Isle has a different side. While its winter guise is every bit as full on as those videos suggest. The softer, less intimidating face of summer is much quieter and less hectic.
If you want big waves and ‘sick airs man!’ then absolutely visit in winter. But be prepared to shell out on new kit every five minutes (after it gets destroyed in the Ho’okipa rinse cycle). However, Maui in June, July and August can be the best time of year to visit for most windsurfers.
Consistent 25 – 30 side shore trade winds (better than winter) it’s known as one of the best high-wind windsurfing spots. There are much smaller waves that make it more vacation windsurfer friendly. In the summer there are plenty of flatter water spots, so you can get out in the ocean every single day without fear of losing a limb or destroying your kit.
Another pleasant surprise about Hawaii summer windsurfing in Maui is just how quiet it is on the water. Pro sailors are typically away competing, and the rest of the hordes are tagging along too in the hope of being discovered as the next big thing.
Even the big name spots, such as Kanaha, Camp One, Spreks and Ho’okipa, will be pretty relaxed at this time of year. Instead of the agro on the beach that Maui fables are made of, summer Hawaiian windsurfers tend to be extremely friendly and more than willing to share tips and advice on the best spots to sail.
Sailing at Ho’okipa is a lifelong goal of many windsurfers. And summer time in Maui is the perfect time to take your first crack at the world’s most photographed wave sailing spot.
At this time of year, it’s not too much of a challenge. In fact, if you are competent in typical onshore south coast UK locations then sailing waist high, side shore, steady wind Ho’okipa is a doddle.
Even the infamous rocks are less intimidating than they are described. While you certainly don’t want to end up on them, they are to be avoided but not feared.
Ho’okipa does get busy even in summer. So after a while you may want to head back to the quieter spots of Spreks or Camp One.
Kanaha is also a good option but that too can get quite full as it offers the safest conditions for beginners and improvers. The kitesurfers, just downwind at Kite Beach, are also a little bit intimidating particularly if they head upwind.
If you’ve been umming and ahhing about visiting Maui, then just take the plunge and do it! Travel in summer (June, July or August) and you are guaranteed wind, if not waves.
But be warned; once you’ve been Hawaii summer windsurfing in Maui, you’ll be planning a repeat trip! Then your only decision will be whether you want to head back during prime wave season next time…
If you want to windsurf in Maui during the summer but your budget does not stretch that far then check out these other windsurfing travel ideas.