Surf the Wind!Windsurfing, the inventive marriage of sailing and surfing, has found the perfect honeymoon spot on Maui. The island, with its ideal combination of strong trade winds and consistent surf, is one of the world’s top windsurfing destinations. And Ho’okipa Beach Park in Pa’ia, the most photographed windsurfing site on the planet, is the big draw.
But don’t go to Ho’okipa until you get the hang of it. Try Kanaha Beach Park, near the Kahului Airport, or Sprecklesville first. Kanaha is the ideal learning area because of trade winds that slide in at about 25 knots and waters that stay relatively flat. The beach has a grassy area for rigging, there are showers, shade trees and picnic tables, all close to a windsurfing shop. Spreckelsville, up the coast from Kanaha, is a good spot for intermediate and advanced sailors. Ho’okipa, with its powerful rip currents, exposed reefs and jagged lava rock, is definitely not for the novice windsurfer. But if you’re more interested in hanging than sailing, Ho’okipa is a great place to get a taste of the scene.
Here are a few words of wisdom from a sailor’s mouth: Rent your equipment on island. It costs too much to bring your own. Don’t even think about sailing before 11 a.m. That’s one of Maui’s rules. Be aware that access to windsurfing is denied at many beaches and certain restrictions may prevail at accessible beaches. Find out about the reef, tide and wave conditions before you go into the water. Outbound sailors have the right of way in the waves. First sailor on the wave owns it.
Mornings are for novice sailors since the winds are lighter. More advanced riders hit the waves in the afternoon when the wind picks up.
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