If you really consider yourself a windsurfer, you have to visit Maui at least once in your life. It is the Mecca of the sport, the epicenter of windsurfing. Home to iconic names such as Robby Naish and Ho’okipa Beach Park and already so familiar from countless images in the magazines. Coming to Maui feels like coming to the centre of the windsurfing world, and it feels like coming home.
It’s also a fantastic place to visit for a holiday. The scenery is jaw droppingly beautiful. Lush green mountain sides rising up from the sea. Huge waterfalls in dense jungle, pure white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise water.
The sailing is quite simply the best in the world. Scores of pro sailors have made Maui their home so they can sail Ho’okipa every day. It isn’t just a world class break – it defines what those words actually mean. And if you were to tire of the most famous windsurfing break anywhere, there are plenty of other options – you could even graduate to the mighty Jaws.
But the less extreme windsurfing options on Maui are every bit as good. Baby Beach, Camp One, Kanaha – there is so much here, so many unbelievably good locations for all levels. Maui is a dream come true for every windsurfer. You have to visit at least once, and the chances are, one visit won’t be enough.
However, if it’s your first time on the island, and you’re not coming with a Maui regular to guide you around, it might not turn out all you’ve dreamed of, and that’s partly where Robby Swift comes in.
“A lot of people who come to Maui in the winter end up getting a bit lost. I was one of them once. There were just so many places to go and so many good sailors around that I didn’t know where to start. When I did find a beach, the conditions were often a little harder than I imagined and I didn’t really push myself like I had promised I would.”
Pro coaching from Robby and Matt isn’t just about learning how to tweak those table tops. It’s your short cut to discovering the Island and making the most of your trip. As Robby puts it:
“Book a lesson towards the beginning of your stay, then you will have a base of knowledge of all the right spots to go to and you will also get your confidence up to try the tricks you want to learn right from the beginning.”
Best sailing spots:
Offers the full range of conditions in one spot. A wide open flat water channel takes you out to the open sea, perfect for freestyle or blasting. For wave riding there are two reefs, Upper and Lower Kanaha. These can both get big when the swell is large.
Difficulty level: Something for everyone
Offers a nice riding and jumping wave just off the beach, and as the name suggests it's less daunting than many other spots on offer. It's also very picturesque and the spot for many brand photoshoots.
Difficulty level: Good intermediates and upwards. Some shorebreak experience useful.
Ho'okipa Beach Park
Home to big and powerful waves, usually crowded with some of the best windsurfers on the planet and consequently just a little bit intimidating if you turn up alone. On a smaller day, or with Robby's support it's acheivable for anyone with wavesailing experience.
Difficulty level: Advanced only. You will almost certainly meet the rocks, so you need to know how to deal with that.
You wouldn't even know it's there unless Ho'okipa is over mast high, but word will get around when it's working. You're probably not going to sail it, but it's well worth heading to the cliff top to view this wave if you can.
Difficulty level: Off the scale.