Maui Surf

The End of Winter is Near

April 8, 2013, 2:51 PM HST
* Updated April 8, 4:16 PM
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By Carlos Rock

Some hidden gems, but not big at all. Honolua Bay. Photo: Carlos Rock

Last weekend’s gigantic west-northwest swell did not quite materialize here on Maui due to some outer-island blockage. This is the curse of having these other islands surrounding Maui, they block a lot of the energy from south and west swells.

The 18-30 foot faces arrived a little smaller than predicted. Although Ho’okipa was closing out huge, the surf at Honolua never really got that big. This, too, is because of Molokai blocking a lot of the west energy.

So that last big swell of the winter was not that good for Maui, but it did light up the north shore of Oahu.

That storied surfing area, home to the world famous Banzai Pipeline, lit up like the fourth of July with this late-season winter swell. The north shore of Oahu is completely exposed to the open ocean and favors those WNW swells better than Maui.


Many chargers were on hand to tackle some of the best pipe of the year and it happened in April!


And it looks like there are a couple of swells still on the way. There is a fairly large 10-20 foot west-northwest set to arrive today, and another 10-foot reinforcement from the same direction for Tuesday, April 9.

Perfect Pipeline. Photo: Brent

Perfect Pipeline. Photo: Brent

To make things even better, the wind is supposed to swing around from the southeast and turn into Kona winds as well as lighten up to the 5-15 mph range which will undoubtedly translate to glassy mornings and light winds throughout the day.

Unfortunately for Maui, the west-northwest swells do not really get things going, but if you have some extra time on your hands, a little bit of exploration could turn out to be worthwhile.


Now for some more bad news. The surf forecast for the north shore after this event fades out is not showing any more swells for the rest of the week and the weekend. This could be the end folks, and what a great winter it was as it lasted well into the month of April.

But at this point, surfers on Maui and in Hawaii should feel plenty satisfied with all of the swells this winter had to offer.

Ho'okipa over the weekend. Photo: Carlos Rock

Ho’okipa over the weekend. Photo: Carlos Rock

Summer is almost here which hopefully means that the southern hemisphere will start to kick into gear and start churning out south swells. There have already been good swells hitting Tahiti and Indonesia so that means Hawaii could start seeing some early south action.

If not, might be time to dust off that longboard.

Make the most of your Maui vacation with these top-rated activities: Maui Top 20: Maui Visitor & Tourism Information
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