Ho’okipa! One of the world´s most famous and prestigious spots to sail waves. A beautiful beach with wild reefs, and waves biting like an angry tiger. Waves for experienced windsurfers only. The rest of us sit on the look-out point, enjoying the “bread and circus”. World class windsurfers ripping the waves, while many are fighting the current, heading fast for the unforgiving rocks. Many masts have ended their days here.
For six weeks, we are living the dream here on Maui. The first week, we experienced the effects of El Nino, no trade winds and very hot weather. This week the wind finally returned! After some days at Kanaha, we went to the famous wave spot Ho´okipa!
How to get to Ho´okipa?
You drive east from Kahului along Hana highway, through Paia and continue another 4 km (2,5 miles). It is easy to see the sign for Ho´okipa beach park. You park close to the yellow lifeguard tower, where there is a nice grass area for rigging.
My scores for Ho´okipa
The high season for Ho´okipa is from October to May. You will find great waves if you are an expert windsurfer. If not, you will find lots of trouble! During summer, the waves are smaller, so intermediate windsurfers can give it a shot. Still, the current and the rocks are also here in the summer. Even getting into and out of the water can be challenging.
Freeride – 0. You do not want to sail through those waves. Maybe you can cruise on a flat day during the summer months, and say that you sailed at Ho´okipa.
Photo of Alexander by legendary photographer Jimmie Hepp!
Wave – top score 6. The world´s premier destination for wave sailing. Need I say more?
Family friendly – 3. Hanging out and watch the great wave sailing is a thrill, but not for a whole day. You get the best view from the grass area above the lifeguard tower. Beaware, with small kids running around this is not a good place to stay. Strong current and shore break make it dangerous for kids. The beach is windy, but maybe you can find some shelter to the very right. So, hang out for an hour, and take your family to i.e Baldwin beach park in Paia instead.
Romance – 3. Same as Family friendly above. If you are very much in love, she might sit and take photos of you all day. But I would do it for an hour and then go shopping in Paia instead :).
Our day at Ho´okipa
We went here for a mid-day session today. Alexander was sailing, while the boys and I were hanging out by the lifeguard tower. I was trying to make them sleep, and take some shots (unfortunately we only brought a small compact camera and some of the pictures are from previous visits), while the wind was shaking the stroller. After a short while, all three of us were watching. The boys were so great, even though the wind was howling around their ears.
The waves were not very large, but it was still fun to watch. Alexander had a good session. There were not so many windsurf stars on the water today. I spotted Kevin Pritchard and Aloha Classic winner (2014) Morgan Noireaux. I hope more PWA and AWT windsurfers arrive before we leave in the middle of October.
After 1,5 hours, both Alexander and the boys have had enough. We went to Kanaha, so that I could get some time on the water. Stay tuned for a Kanaha update!
Stay updated on wind and swell!
We use Swellinfo.com to check the swell at Ho´okipa. For live wind speed, we use iWindsurf.com (it is not free, so we subscribed for the six weeks we are here on Maui). The webcam we use is Mama´s Beach cam.
Family Ho´okipa tip of the day – Come here on day with little wind at low tide. There are some really nice natural baby pools close to the shore. Maybe you even can enjoy the surf at Ho´okipa. Are you an early bird? Come here for a nice swim!
Read more about our Family windsurf trip to Kanaha!