Where to surf in Maui?

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ClanB
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Where to surf in Maui?

Unread post by ClanB » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:58 pm

I just learned that next summer in July My family and I will be vacationing in Maui. I have no clue as where to surf. I want to come back home in one piece, having had fun, not have pissed off the locals and no coral stuck in my backside or water left in my lungs. I belive we will be staying in or around Lahaina. I will bring the plywood or maybe get me an HPD sometime soon. Any info at all will help. :D

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Re: Where to surf in Maui?

Unread post by RNT808 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:41 pm

Even though summer is our south shore season, getting good waves can be an iffy proposition. We are in the wave shadow of Lanai and Kahoolawe so the angle has to be just right. That being said, there are a lot of very good spots to choose from.
Lahaina is on the south side of the island so if a swell is running there are breaks right in town. Lahaina Break Wall is right outside of the harbor and can get great. Also in town are Shark Pit and Puamana. Another spot that can get good is Mala Wharf.

Going down the coast there is Olowalu, it can get pretty good when it’s on but it can also get pretty crowded. There are a number of breaks in an area called Ukumehame which is a little further down the coast.

If you keep going you’ll get to Maalaea which is…… well Maalaea. When it’s firing it is one of the fastest right-handers on earth. There are other breaks in the area, look for a place called Haycraft Park. There are some fun peaks there.

One thing to keep in mind when surfing the south side of Maui is that most of the breaks are reefs and pretty shallow. Lots of live coral and Wana (sea urchins). The locals are not that bad, if you do your part and don’t drop in on them. Pretty much the same as anywhere. Paipo are not that common so you might get some slack because of the novelty factor. Lately the folks that are the target of the most scorn are the guys on the SUPs. Be advised they’re everywhere.

All in all, Maui has some fun surf in the summer time (if you get lucky) but Oahu is way better.

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Re: Where to surf in Maui?

Unread post by ClanB » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:05 pm

I though paipos were common in Hawaii?

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Re: Where to surf in Maui?

Unread post by rodndtube » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:14 pm

Probably more common than other areas especially at some of the local paipo spots on Oahu. Bodyboards / boogie boards and kneeboarding really took off but it seems that paipo/bellyboarding has increased the past decade. That is okay. Better to be a welcomed stranger in the water than a scorned one!
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Re: Where to surf in Maui?

Unread post by bgreen » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:22 am

Paipos were common in the 1960s. To appreciate the decline in paipo see the interview with Paul Lindbergh who makes the HPD boards: http://mypaipoboards.org/interviews/Pai ... _Lindbergh

Maui is home to a couple of great paipo riders, e.g Sean Ross : http://mypaipoboards.org/interviews/Pai ... #Sean_Ross and Buzzy Kneubuhl has rekindled the paipo stoke: http://mypaipoboards.org/interviews/Buz ... 0416.shtml

John Clark has advised me that South Shore Oahu probably has the largest concentration of active paipo riders. For a couple of stories from the southside see:

http://mypaipoboards.org/interviews/Lar ... dard.shtml
http://mypaipoboards.org/interviews/Sta ... 1211.shtml
http://mypaipoboards.org/interviews/Bud ... 0409.shtml

and I won't forget the guy who introduced me to paipo boards:

http://mypaipoboards.org/interviews/Joh ... 0922.shtml

Now this could seem like a shameless plug on my part for the interviews, but to go to Hawaii I believe it is useful to appreciate some of these stories. There are several more but this gives a taste of the past and present paipo story.

Bob

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Re: Where to surf in Maui?

Unread post by RNT808 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:11 pm

From my perspective Bob and Rod are right on with their observations. I grew up on Oahu and back in the 60s paipo were everywhere. I think it was pretty much a “necessity is the mother of invention” thing for us kids back then. Materials were readily available and a lot of the time; free. For most of my friends, and myself, that was all we could afford. Mobility was a major issue as well. Back then every surfboard was a longboard and they were heavy. Our primary mode of transportation was our feet so lugging an old nine footer to the beach was a real chore. Paipo made it much easier. When Tom Morey gave us the Boogie Board, things really changed. Those sponges had a lot of things going for them; they were relatively affordable, they didn’t bang us up and they were fun! From that time on you saw more and more sponges in the water and fewer and fewer paipo. But paipo never really died out all together. There was always that core element of dedicated builders and riders and thanks to that, paipo hung on.

I think Oahu was and still is the place where paipo were/are most commonly seen. Places like the Wall and Point Panic on the South side, Makaha out West and Makapuu on the windward side come to mind. On Maui, what comes to my mind is “hens teeth”, as in rare as. I know there are paipo riders here because I hear about them from time to time. But to tell the truth I can count on one hand the times I’ve seen a paipo in the water, other than my own.

You would think that with Hawaii being the breeding ground of the paipo that there would be a lot more in the lineup. But it seems to be a nostalgia based fringe kind of thing in a lot of people’s minds. That might be changing though. With the rediscovery and renewed interest in Alaia and other traditional wave craft there seems to be a growing awareness. Recently I’ve had people ask me, “Is that a paipo board?” instead of “Is that a skim board?” so at least they know about them.

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Re: Where to surf in Maui?

Unread post by Ted » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:36 pm

Paipo riders occupy a fringe niche on the Big Island. I get curious and universally positive inquiries about the HPD here. The old guys remember riding wooden craft way back when; the young guys have heard of paipo, but have never seen one. I always let guys in the lineup try my HPD.

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Re: Where to surf in Maui?

Unread post by ClanB » Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:12 pm

I belive we will be ther around mid July and stay in Kaanapali. Didnt see too many surf spots near there when I did a serch, only Kaanapali point. Anyone know how that place is?
Last edited by ClanB on Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:56 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Where to surf in Maui?

Unread post by spudnut » Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:45 am

If the swell angle is right, try Maalaea!

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Re: Where to surf in Maui?

Unread post by Ted » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:00 pm

RNT808,

Where to surf next week (December 4-9) on Maui? I'll be based in Kapalua area. Scorpions was wicked and fun last December with 345-350 degree swell. Surfline forcasts a swell from 325-340 degrees next week.

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Re: Where to surf in Maui?

Unread post by Ted » Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:38 pm

Apparently, the Kapalua/Honolua area doesn't work with a WNW: we got some 1-2 foot hawaiian sets while O'ahu and Ho'okipa were getting bombed with double to triple overhead surf. On the plus side, none of the locals bothered to paddle out, so we had the place to ourselves. We did hear that the upper west side works best on a wrapping NE swell.

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