Maui Surf

Summer Surf is Here, But Surprise Northwester Possible

April 17, 2013, 11:09 AM HST
* Updated April 17, 11:11 AM
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By Carlos Rock

Summer is here along with the heat and north shore flatness. And surfers better get used to it, at least until the first south swell comes in.

North shore Oahu. Photo: Carlos Rock.

As you may know, winter is done and the swells that are on tap are going to be coming from the southern hemisphere, but they are yet to show up on the charts. Hopefully summer swells start to kick into gear soon before surfers on Maui start to go crazy.

Expect Ho’okipa, as well as the rest of the north shore, to resemble a gigantic swimming pool good for diving, fishing, and paddling around.

With that being mentioned, it might be time to bust out the longboard and give it a good coat of wax because that might be the board of choice for the small waves. Also, it might be time to invest in a SUP (this is all thanks to Laird Hamilton).


The stand-up paddle board craze has gotten a lot of people hooked on just cruising around the calm waters. It’s very, very challenging and great for surfers who’ve surfed all of their lives to try something new.


A new endeavor out on the ocean. They can ride everything from 1-foot to 100-foot and this is just the beginning. Surfers are just scratching the surface of what can be done now that you are able to stand up all the time and have a separate paddle.

The recent light winds have been producing exceptionally glassy mornings that produce excellent conditions for paddle boarding. And a small east swell is available for longboarding only (unless you want to struggle trying to shortboard a 1-foot wave).

Here’s one more from the proving grounds. Until next time north shore of Oahu Photo: Carlos Rock.

The last WNW swell didn’t quite reach its full potential here on Maui because of the shadowing from other islands, but the north shore of Oahu was a different story.


A weekend trip to Oahu just to surf the north shore this late in the season is usually worth every penny. It also helps to know people who can hook you up with a place to crash, so make friends with your fellow neighbor islanders.

Our recent Oahu north shore trip didn’t disappoint. There’s a reason they call it the proving grounds. There were perfect barreling waves over shallow reefs and sandbars, all up and down the coast this past weekend with the late season crowds, meaning very little people.

A few bonus barrels at some of the north shores lesser known spots was a perfect way to end an amazing winter season.

For now, surfers will just be checking for any signs of life emanating from the southern hemisphere in the form of a gently rolling wave.

However, there might be one more NW swell on its way for Thursday (4/18) or Friday (4/19), so look out for that.


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