Maui Surf

Flood Conditions Impact Surfers, East Swell OK

February 22, 2013, 5:11 PM HST
* Updated February 22, 5:22 PM
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By Carlos Rock

The dominant east swell is still holding in the the 5-9 foot range and it looks like it is going to hold that size for the rest of the week before another northwest swell arrives Monday.

Honolua Bay. Photo: Dooma Photos.

Ask anyone who has lived here for the past 10, 20, or even 30 years and they will say that Maui needs the rain.  Maui has been suffering from a drought and we’ll take any rain that we can get.

This is a good thing for the island, but a bad thing for surfers. As the rain continues, the rivers are constantly flowing, bringing more dirt and other debris into the water and making it unfit to surf.

For one, every surfer will tell you that dirty water is a hot spot for sharks looking for fish that came in to eat the debris coming down from the rivers.


Two, although you shouldn’t go in the water at all with open cuts due to infection, going into dirty water with open wounds is pretty much asking for a staph infection.


Three, who wants to surf in dirty brown water where you can’t even see your feet when you put it under water?


The high winds have brought with it a rain storm but also that east swell. But, the main theme of this winter has been those big NW swells that light up Honolua Bay. And we would all prefer a decent sized NW swell compared to onshore east swells.


However, when summer flatness sets in, surfers will be praying for that onshore crap, and dreaming of Honolua Bay.

For now, living and surfing one day at a time and dealing with what the day brings is how most surfers live their lives here on Maui. And now the biggest waves are on the east facing shores in the 5-9 foot range. Friday and Saturday are showing a small increase in the swell size up to 5-10+ foot with the 15-30+ mph trade/onshore winds.

But, if you need a break from the rain, take a drive down to Kihei or Lahaina for some hot and sunny weather. They are definitely suffering from drought down over there.

Also, a trip out to Hana is not the best idea with the flash flood warnings.

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