The best kitesurfing spots in Maui
- 28 June 2018 | Kiteboarding
When you think of a tropical destination with superb conditions for kitesurfing, Maui is one of those places that will always make you a better rider.
Once hailed the best island in the world, Maui is also often considered the world's windsurfing capital; a place where wind-and-water sports enthusiasts put their skills to test.
But it is also one of the birthplaces of kiteboarding. The world's first kite competition was held in Maui, in September 1996, and won by Marcus "Flash" Austin.
The second largest of the Hawaiian islands will impress any foreigner. Maui breathes nature, but also offers a laid-back lifestyle and vibrant culture.
From a climate perspective, Maui is the Mecca of wind sports. The island has 120 miles of coastline, and over 30 miles of white, black and red sand beaches.
"The Valley Isle" has tropical weather all year-round with warm ocean waters, trade showers, and occasional cold fronts. The air temperatures here range from 79-88°F (26-31°C).
Although Maui gets less swell than the island of Oahu, it is definitely windier. The Hawaiian trades generate consistent 15-to-25 knot NE winds during summer and, due to the island's topography, they accelerate as they reach the North Shore.
The best time of the year to ride a kite in Maui is between March and October, even though swells are less powerful in this period.
If you're visiting Maui for the first time, know that there are no hotels along most of the northern coastline, except for Kahului. So the best option is to rent an apartment or ask for a guest house.
Maui has many shops, shapers, schools and gear rental points for the traveling kitesurfer, and plenty of kitesurfing instructors in Maui. If you're a beginner or first-timer, book a few private lessons for between $50 and $100 per hour.
Professional kitesurfing instructors will provide all equipment you'll need to start flying a kite safely and in a controlled environment.
Advanced riders should launch their kites in authorized kite beaches only. There are a few federal laws, state statutes, county ordinances, and environmental restrictions governing the use of kites in these areas.
The most popular kitesurfing area in Maui is the North Shore. Here, kiteboarders are not allowed to ride their wings before 11 am.
They will also have to respect a minimum distance of 200 feet from surfers, swimmers, paddleboarders, divers, fishermen, paddlers, and other ocean users.
NORTH SHORE OF MAUI
The mother of all Hawaiian waves roars to life during wintertime and offers the ultimate wave sailing experience. For kite experts, only.
Hookipa Beach Park
Although seen as the most famous windsurfing spot in the world, Hookipa Beach Park has also become a kiteboarding heaven thanks to its regular side-shore starboard trades and reliable swells.
Despite the tricky launch in shallow, sharp reef, Lanes is a favorite spot when the SW Kona winds kick in, and the long left-handers begin to roll.
Ideally, you should launch and land your kite between Baby Beach and Baldwin Beach. Do not stand here with your kite in the air. Beware of the shore break and currents.
Named after two pioneer kiteboarders - "Flash" Austin and Robby Naish - it is a relatively safe spot to launch a kite. Despite the small rock jetties, it offers a wide flat water arena for freestyle kiteboarding.
One of the world's most famous kiteboarding beaches offers a small protected bay that keeps riders safe. Ka'a Point has its rules: don't jump over the nearby rocks, and keep your kite lines near the trees when setting up.
A very narrow beach with lighter winds that blow cross-onshore from the port tack. Respect the local surfers, and enjoy the many wave sailing gems.
If the wind is blowing from the north and the north swells are destroying the North Shore, try this reef break.
When the south swells hit Maui, this bay transforms into one of the best kitesurfing spots in the island.
Enjoy a long sandy beach with flat water areas. Delivers fun waves when the south swells arrive in summer.