Kuau Travel Blog

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Ho‘okipa Beach Park is located on the north shore of Maui, Hawaii. It is perhaps the most renowned windsurfing site in the world, The waves here are largest during the winter, and break across a system of reefs that extend across the bay. During the summer the waves are smaller. Ho'okipa is ideal for windsurfing because of its large well-shaped waves and strong winds. The name Ho‘okipa means "hospitality" in Hawaiian. While ever-present strong winds and powerful currents do not make the beach a place for beginners, experienced surfers and windsurfers continually flock to Ho'okipa for both recreation and windsurfing competitions.


Surf breaks


There are four distinct breaks at Ho'okipa. Pavillions is the break furthest east, off the lookout parking. West from it, facing the main parking, is Middles break. Usually these are both left to surfers. The area between the two, which catches fewer breaking sets, is sometimes referred to as Girlie Bowl or Green Trees. Next further west, facing the lifeguard tower and the narrow sand beach launch, is H‘Poko or Point. It is the most popular break for windsurfing, and generally breaks as a right. With the prevailing trade wind direction being east to east-north-east, this is most frequently down-the-line sailing on starboard tack (wind from right when standing on the beach). Yet further west, past the rocky point, is Lanes, which generally breaks as a left. Under relatively rare conditions, known as Kona, the prevailing winds become southwest, and Lanes is ridden down-the-line on Port tack(wind from left when standing on the beach).
This only occurs a few days out of every year.




Over the years Ho'okipa has been the site for many organized windsurfing competitions in the Wave discipline. A long-running annual event is the Aloha Classic, a Pro-Am competition with age categories for contestants.The Red Bull King of the Air international kitesurfing competition was held at Ho'okipa from 1999-2005.


Like many locations on the Maui and Oahu North Shore, Ho'okipa Beach is occasionally a tourist attraction in the winter time because of spectacularly large surf. In the afternoon on 15 December 2004, for example, many tourists visited the beach to see waves as large as 30 feet pound the shore; officials warned visitors to stay away from the water, as the surf was very deadly. Despite this, Ho'okipa is not an ideal site for true big-wave riding, as the waves close out when their faces approach about 25 feet.
During such episodes, other deep-water breaks offer more rideable waves (an example of which is Jaws, offshore Peahi, Maui, which is a very short car ride from Hookipa.)


Ho'okipa Beach is located on Maui's North Shore off the Hana Highway. There are picnic facilities and observation decks for visitors.


Hana Highway, North Maui        

This beach is known as possibly the best place in the world for windsurfing. It is the site of two major world-class competitions. Due to the strong surf, windsurfing at this beach should be limited to the experts. However, the beach has an 1/8 mile coral reef that makes a pond-like area perfect for taking a dip in the early morning or when the ocean in calmer.

                Services and Amenities


    * No lifeguard

    * Restrooms

    * Picnic facilities

    * Showers

    * Sandy beach with rocky shoreline

    * Good surfing in the morning

    * Excellent windsurfing in the afternoon

    * Strong wind and currents

    * Seasonal high surf

    * 2 parking lots



Dangerous surf and strong currents are usually present here all year round.
Surfing and windsurfing should be limited to experts. Monitor ocean conditions closely at all times. Obey all postings and warnings.

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photo by: mellemel8