Oahu’s North Shore is the pilgrimage every surfer must make at least once in a lifetime. But after that amazing initial visit, you might be left yearning for a Hawai‘ian experience that’s a little less high-profile and a lot more homegrown without sacrificing wave quality, of course. If so, Maui is a sweet spot to gain an extended glimpse of unadulterated aloha. Lush tropical valleys and mountains meet deep blue seas and a kaleidoscope of flora. Similar to the Oahu, Maui’s north shore comes alive during the winter months, while the south facing coasts see action during summer (although not quite as much as they’re shadowed by other islands). The waves can definitely be board breaking, the hold-downs lengthy, and the locals stern, but not by the same caliber of its famous neighboring counterpart. Don’t be stupid, though, neither Hawaiians nor their waves tolerate disrespect. But after you’ve paid your dues on Oahu, Maui is a voyage you’ll want to take again and again.
WHAT TO KNOW
Water Temp: 75-80 degrees.
Consistency: Every day of the year there’s probably something better than at your home break.
Crowds: Heavy to moderate, pick your spots and paddle delicately.
Local Scene: Dormant volcanoes, windsurfing, mountain biking, whale watching and partying in Lahaina or Kaanapali.
Watch Out For: Clean up sets, locals, theft, and jet skis at Jaws.
Links: http://omaui.com; http://mauisurfreport.blogspot.com