Does Maui Have Good Surfing?

When it comes to surfing, Hawaii is one of the top destinations in the world, as it is renowned for having the best waves and the best surfing beaches you could possibly ask for. However, within Hawaii, not all islands are equally as good for surfing. 

Maui is great for many different reasons and one of the most popular islands to visit. However, it is not the best when it comes to surfing.

Don’t get us wrong, you can still surf in Maui and there are some amazing beaches and waves for you to catch, it’s just that it’s a bit harder to find the right spot and conditions, and compared to other islands in Hawaii it’s a bit of a let-down on the surfing front. 

But let’s look at the pros and cons of surfing in Maui, and then you can see for yourself!

Cons of Surfing in Maui:

More than cons we would describe these as challenges that make surfing in Maui a little harder, as they can be added difficulties:


Maui is often referred to as the windy island, and much as the name suggests, this is because it gets pretty windy. This means it’s ideal for windsurfers and kite-boarding, but for actual surfing, the wind can mess up the waves as they are forming, and it can also cause you to lose balance and fall over.

Not Many Waves:

Compared to the other islands in Hawaii, Maui has the least amount of waves, especially in regards to those waves suitable for surfing.

During the winter—say Maui in December—when the ocean is rougher, there is a higher chance for good waves and surfing.

But during the summer, Maui’s waters tend to be pretty calm, which is great for swimming and snorkeling but a tragedy for those wanting to surf.


As Maui doesn’t have that many spots for surfing—or that many waves—whatever spots there are will likely be full of surfers trying to get in on the action.

This means that the best surfing spots will always be crowded, and if you’re a beginner you will really struggle to find the right space and moment to dive in.

There is also a bit of a problem with the locals, who in recent years have become more and more annoyed about the invasion of tourists and them stealing all of the best spots on the island. So if you’re not an advanced surfer, you should probably not give it a go, as they will seriously judge you.

Reef Breaks:

All of the best surfing spots in Maui, with the best waves, are reef breaks.

Reef breaks are ideal for surfing, but they can be extremely dangerous.

If you fall on the reef break you can get seriously injured or cut, and it’s recommended that tourists stay away from reef breaks as they are unfamiliar territory with a big risk factor.

Sharks, Urchins, and Jellyfish:

The risk of a shark attack is something that most surfers have to deal with. But Maui has the highest amount of tiger sharks in all of Hawaii, and although actual attacks are rare, they are considerably higher than anywhere else in the world!

There are also urchins on most beaches in Maui, which can be a problem, and jellyfish are sometimes spotted in the water.

Maui is a hot spot for ocean life, and unfortunately, these sometimes get in the way of surfing.

Pros of Surfing in Maui:

Surfing in Maui is still possible, and not all bad. It’s all about finding the right place and the right condition.

Here are some of the pros of surfing in Maui:

The Water is Warm All Year Round:

Sure, it gets a bit chilly during the winter, but you can still enjoy the water without worrying about being cold, as the weather in Maui is amazing all year round.

Crystal Clear Water:

The water in Maui is incredibly crystal clear and clean. This means it’s completely safe to swim in, in regards to pollution and similar. And it also means that you have very good visibility!

Plenty of Wildlife to Observe:

During whale season you can easily spot humpbacks in the water, along with sea turtles and other animals. So while you surf you can enjoy the company of many animals and creatures.

Small Island:

As Maui is a pretty small island, you can get to any shore within three hours. This is great because depending on the weather conditions and circumstances you can quickly change the plan to go to one side of the island or the other.

What is the best time of day to surf in Maui?

The best time of day for surfing in Maui is either early in the morning or late in the day, as that is when the best waves are more likely. During the rest of the day, the water tends to be a little calmer, which is not ideal for surfing.

However, the season during which you choose to surf will also have a big impact on the conditions. During the summer, Maui waters tend to be very calm, with almost no waves for surfing. During the winter the water is rougher, and more waves appear.

The ideal season for surfing in Maui is from November to March, but be warned: the surfing spots can get pretty crowded as everyone will be trying to catch the waves!

Where are the best waves in Maui?

Finding the right surfing spot is absolutely key to getting to the best possible waves in Maui. Here are the top surfing spots in Maui with the best waves:

  • Ho’okipa Beach
  • Lahaina Reefs
  • Honolua Bay
  • Pe’ahi
  • Olowalu Beach

If you find a spot that looks good for surfing, with amazing waves, but there are no people, don’t trust it.

You might think you’ve found a secret surfing spot, but it’s probably empty because there are dangers such as lethal reef breaks, sharks, or others.

Where can I surf in Maui?

If you’re looking to surf in Maui, then we recommend you go to the top surfing spots recommended to tourists, such as Ho’okipa Beach, the Lahaina Reefs, or Honolua Bay.

You shouldn’t really surf anywhere other than the recommended places, as there are many dangers for surfers in Maui such as lethal reef breaks, sharks, and many more.

Where can I surf in Maui for beginners?

If you’re visiting Maui and you’re wanting to give surfing a go, but you don’t exactly have the experience…you’re in luck.

Maui doesn’t have that many surfing spots or ideal surfing conditions, but it does have the most beginner surfing spots out of all the Hawaiian islands.

Here are the best spots for beginner surfers in Maui:

  • The Cove, located in Kalama Beach, in Kihei. (This is the most beginner spot of them all, ideal for newbies.)
  • Launiupoko, situated in West Maui.
  • The Breakwall, situated in the heart of Lahaina.
  • Kaanapali Beach (ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and ideal for learning how to surf.)
  • Puamana Beach Park, situated south of Lahaina.
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