Maui Surf

South Swell A Day Late

June 4, 2013, 3:07 PM HST
* Updated June 4, 10:58 PM
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By Carlos Rock

Ma’alaea last south swell. Photo: Carlos Rock.

The second big south swell of the summer is a day late — big surprise.

In classic Maui/south swell fashion, the forecast is now predicting the peak of the swell to occur on Wednesday rather than on Tuesday.

Just as long as it eventually comes in at the predicted height of 7 to 12-feet by tomorrow for some advisory level surf, surfers will be happy.

According to photo evidence taken at massive-waved Tahiti just recently, the swell is definitely on the way, but thanks to the webcams and modern technology of cell phones, surfers are now able to get the real surf forecast in real time.


The webcam and forecast is showing that the swell isn’t here yet, plain and simple. There is a small 3 to 5-foot south gracing the island, but not the big swell surfers prepared for.


Living and surfing on Maui during the summer, you can’t help but become skeptical of these mysterious, elusive south swells that are so rare when they come in at an advisory level that the only way to know for sure is to see for yourself, or hear from others.

Purple=good. Image obtained by Surfline.

If you really wanted to, you could try your luck at forecasting and tracking a swell to see if it will provide swell or not. After some time, you might be surprised at how the different hemispheres produce swell in a certain location and it can either grow in size and energy (to produce swell) or quickly dissipate.

It’s simple really: learn the colors and look for big numbers. For example, 10-feet at 15 seconds equals good and 2-feet at 20 seconds equals bad, while on the swell radar a big purple blob making its way to Hawaii equals good.

Lahaina Sunset. Photo: Carlos Rock.


Those are really the only indicators, but then again, swells are always a day late when reaching Maui. For some reason, Maui doesn’t direct all of the south swells into the reefs on the south side, staying exclusive to only the biggest and best.

It’s alright though, get in those extra hours at work for when the real stuff comes in at 7 to 12-feet (hopefully tomorrow).

The forecast does look promising for the near future of south swells with the latest ASP event, Volcom Fiji Pro, expecting some solid surf for the contest. The great thing is that all of that energy will one way or another find its way up here and start lighting up the south shores.

One more day of waiting before the big one comes in.

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