It always feels good to arrive at Kanaha. Here you find great freeride and wave sailing, crystal clear water, large picnic areas, sand-free rigging and a great atmosphere. This is one of the most popular windsurf destinations in the world, so expect a lot of people.
How to get to Kanaha beach park?
To get here, you drive west along Hana highway and take right onto Amala place. First, you pass the kite beach and camping areas. At the end of the road, you have two entrances.
If you park at the first or second parking area, you will have easy access to the waves at lower Kanaha. If you park at the top area you will have easy access to the freeride area and you can sail upwind to the waves at upper Kanaha. If you are a total beginner, you can walk up along the beach and enjoy the more quiet and shallow area.
My scores for Kanaha
Spring, fall and winter will give you good waves on the outside reefs. During summer, the conditions are flatter, but you can enjoy some smaller waves. The best wind direction is sideshore (north-east).
Freeride – 5. There is plenty of space for freeriders. The spot is popular with sailors on many levels. Keep in mind that not everybody knows the “rules”. There are few hazards, but if you are not unexperienced, stay away from the waves. Be also aware of the wave breaking at a weird angle and shallow areas. I find Kanaha choppy, and I prefer more flat water spots.
Wave – top score 6. A very good wave spot. The lower reef spot is app 150 meters (500 feet) from shore, downwind from the roped swimming area. On good days, it will be very crowded. On smaller days, it is a good practice spot. The upper reef consists of several breaks.
Family friendly – top score 6. I would recommend Kahana for families. You have large areas for picnics and play. There is also a roped area for swimmers. Large trees give you shadow. There are good amenities with showers and toilets.
Windsurf tip of the day – If the wind is very east, launching at Kanaha can difficult for unexperienced sailors (little wind close to beach). Instead of floating around trying to water start, take a few steps backs and beach start. Then you can wiggle yourself towards the wind. A woman gave me this advice of my first day, and I have used it every time!
SUP tip of the day – You are not allowed to windsurf before 11 am at Maui. Bring your SUP and paddle up along the coast and let the increasing wind (normally increases from 9am) take you back. Or enjoy a wave session at Lower or upper.
Our days at Kanaha, so far!
The first day was tough. New rental gear, gusty, choppy and I am always a bit nervous the first day. But hey, what did legendary windsurf coach Guy Cribb teach me. Elbows down, chin in, ass out, hips 2be square, vo-vo-voom, and if trouble – do the super growler! It works! This twin mum still has it. I was blasting across the sea, with my heart in the throat!
The second day, I was more set. The gear was tuned and I felt more ready. I had a great time. It is not everyday you sail turtles swim around you or see a Mahi jump.
The twin boys enjoy Kanaha. The huge green areas are great. I must admit that, sand everywhere (including in their mouth), is not my favorite. This week, we also bought a wind shield a Walmart. A very good investment. Alexander and I do turns shifting between beach and sail. Everybody are happy at Kanaha!
Check it out -> Kanaha web cam
Did you read the previous Maui travel reviews?