One of the best days of big wave surfing!
Clean waves, big swell, talented/experienced surfers. Can you ask for more? Just 15 minutes away from our restaurant, the north shore was thumping all day long and isn't showing signs of stopping.
It's a funny thing. When you live on Maui, you can feel a change in the air when there's big swell. It's not just the salty mist in the air or the sound of thundering waves slamming the reefs. A new energy is felt in the people of Maui. There's a tangible excitement and tension in the air. Everyone's talking about it, and if they aren't, it's because they're already in the water (or in bed exhausted.)
Yesterday (January 15th, 2016) was what many have been waiting for this winter. We've had some fun swells, but we haven't seen much in terms of massive waves this season. There have been big waves, but yesterday delivered incredible conditions to boot.
The guys that go out at Pe'ahi, and at other serious waves around Hawaii, prepare year-round and take every safety precaution necessary. That being said, we do see our share of jokers risking their lives and other people's lives by being unprepared and trying their luck.
There's a sense of pride on Maui when it comes to the professional Maui men and women that charge these spots with dedication, responsibility and a heck of a lot of hard work. We love watching them break barriers and challenge what we thought was possible with surfing.
The Future of Big Wave Surfing
Maui always seems to be at the forefront of innovation when it comes to big wave surfing, and as much as technology has assisted in making it less difficult and safer, paddling in to these waves is how big wave surfers will most likely continue to surf Jaws. Towing in on jet skis is still done, but these surfers are looking for the ultimate challenge.
Kiting, windsurfing, and stand up paddle surfing (SUP) are all regularly done at Jaws. Kai Lenny was charging on his stand up yesterday. It's impressive what these guys can do nowadays.
Watching the surf at Jaws
As much as watching the surf at Jaws live from the cliffs sounds like fun, we don't recommend it for the average visitor. It's a long walk, and it can often be very muddy. Watching on a smaller day at Ho'okipa Lookout can be just as enjoyable and much easier to access. If you're a die hard fan of surfing, it might be worth making the trek though. Expect a crowd and not a lot of room to watch. For those of you that won't make it down, here are some photos from yesterday.
If you know who the surfers are in these photos, please share in the comments so we can give them credit!