How to predict the wind on Maui

March, 2014   //   by Chase Hasch   

Maui is a great place to visit – especially for Kiteboarder’s and Windsurfer’s. Ok honestly Maui might actually offer more and better choices for Windsurfers than for Kiters, but that’s not the point of this post. There are many travel guides and spot guides written about Maui, some are better than others and some of them you may wonder if the writer has ever been to Maui. But I am not here to judge that either…

maui beach trees

Anyway, lets assume you saved up and you take the financial plunge and book a ticket to Maui. You got yourself a cheap rental car (aka some beat up Maui cruiser), you booked a moldy hippie shack in Haiku and arrive in Hawaii ready for action. Good – now where is the wind?

Maui can offer a variety of wind and surf conditions within a few short miles of driving. For example a typical winter North Swell is usually shadowed by Molokai, meaning Kanaha might offer 2 feet kickers while Lanes and Ho’okipa break double overhead. A lot of kiters enjoy Maui in the winter, however large Lower Pressure systems can cause the trade winds to shut down for weeks. Generally you will still find good surf, but you may not get much or any wind at all. Ask anyone who has been to Maui in the winter of 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 – those people didn’t unpack their kites during their entire 3 week+ stay : (

wind-forecast-maui

The tradewinds are a lot more consistent in the summer, albeit no big swells find their way to the North Shore in the summer. Plus summer time means for most people that their local beaches are warm and happening.

Regardless of what time of year you come to Maui you may want to check the weather, wind and surf report before heading to the beach. Below is a list of sites that I use to compile my own kite forecast for Maui.

Top 10 Wind and Wave Forecast Sites for Kiteboarding and Windsurfing on Maui

  1. Animated Earth Wind Map. Similar to the NOAA site below but animated. Super Awesome!!! May favorite wind nowcast site ever. Works for the entire world. Use this in conjunction with the NOAA Ocean Prediction Center site.
  2. NOAA Ocean Prediction Center. This page is especially useful in the Winter. Strong low pressure systems moving towards Alaska means surf in Maui a few day later. High Pressure over Hawaii means Trade Winds. Low Pressure over Hawaii is usually bad news for wind. Approaching low pressure from the South China sea means enjoy the wind while it lasts it may shut down soon.
  3. Glenn’s Hawaii Weather Today. Local Weather guy who knows his stuff. Read it.
  4. OMaui.com. Privately operated surf centric forecast site. Also includes basic wind and weather info. This site is a must have. Since it is maintained as a hobby the site goes without updates for a few days at a time. But it is always updated when big weather and surf changes are happening.
  5. Sailflow Kanaha. This site tabs into the wind meters at Kahului Airport. Which is basically the same as Kanaha Beach. This is a page you want to check every day.
  6. Sailflow Maui. If you are looking for the “big picture” of Maui wind use this. You can also select “Radar” overlays such as cloud or rain. Heavy rain is not good news for tradewinds.
  7. Mama’s Beach Cam. Great webcam that allows you to control the cam and point to pre-selected locations such as Lanes, Lanes Beach, and various Ho’okipa settings.
  8. Maui Wind Cam. Probably even more useful that Mama’s Beach cam. MauiWindCam.com offers 4 streaming HD cameras that point at Camp One, Sprecks and Kanaha. If you see Kiters and Sails on the water at Kanaha you should probably stop starring at the screen and get out there.
  9. Surfline Ho’okipa. Nothing special and nothing the other sites above won’t tell you.
  10. Surfline Maui. Quick overview of surf height for Maui’s most important breaks.

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