Maui Surf

Late Season Swell and Southside Oahu

April 19, 2013, 5:49 PM HST
* Updated April 26, 3:45 PM
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Ho’okipa. Photo: Carlos Rock.

By Carlos Rock

A super late season northwest swell is building and is predicted to reach the 5-9 ft range at its peak. Looks like this winter doesn’t want to end.

Not that surfers are complaining. To have a NW swell in the middle of April is very special for surfers in Hawaii. And with the trade winds back, Ho’okipa will most likely resemble its winter self before going dead flat.

At least there are still some swells coming in from the north, because there are no decent size south swells showing up on the charts.

Hopefully those will start materializing so there is no down time between seasons. What a great problem to have.


Hawaii is so exposed in the middle of the Pacific that any type of swell will provide something to surf year round.


If the summer is anything like the winter, look for the forecast to read something like: big Taz, or New Zealand… The forecasters are talking about a huge storm system that is developing off of New Zealand or lower near Tasmania that is sending swell upwards towards Hawaii.

If you see a report or hear that Tahiti or Fiji is absolutely going off, then you know that Hawaii is bound to get some of that energy sooner or later. There is a small south swell on the charts that they are calling a Taz swell, but for Maui that is basically nothing because of the shadowing from the other islands.

Nice way to end the day. Pavilions. Photo:Carlos Rock

If you start getting the summertime blues here on Maui, it could be wise to book a flight over to Oahu and surf all along the south side there at Ala Moana, Waikiki, and Kewalos, and a bunch of other spots that don’t need exposure. The waves on the south side there are great. Offshores all day long and no shadowing from the other islands and the beautiful/picturesque backdrop of Diamond Head and Waikiki.


The only downside to having perfect waves all the time on Oahu and the overpopulation of the island means that spots are crowded, and the lineups very aggressive. But, it is still possible to get the best waves of your life out there.

And a change of scenery does great for your surfing and psyche.

But for now, maybe a quick drive out to Ho’okipa is all you really need.

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