Big Wave Surfing At Jaws on Maui, Hawaii

One of the most popular spots for big-wave surfers in Hawaii is a surf spot called Jaws on the island Maui in Hawaii. Jaws is located in Peahi, which is about 3 miles north of Paia off the Hana highway. The spot is called Jaws because of the massive waves it can generate during the winter months, between November and February.

Some of the wave faces can go as high as fifty feet, travelling up to thirty-five miles per hour! The waves at Jaws are not only large, they are also of high quality. Many other surf spots boast fifty foot high waves, but at Jaws, the rocks and reefs are shaped so that incoming swell energy is magnified, and clean right and left waves are produced. Here’s a photo:

Surfing at Jaws on Maui, Hawaii

If you look carefully, the tiny speck near the wave crest in the photo above is a surfer – that gives you an idea of the wave’s scale.

During a big wave event, surfers must utilize a technique called “tow-in surfing”, whereby the surfer is towed into the area by jetski, or is dropped in above via helicopter. Needless to say, only the highest caliber professional surfers can even attempt to brave the high waves here.

Jaws actually became so popular at one point that the roads were blocked with debris. Many pro surfers complained that tourists, incompetent surfers, and others that were showing up were crowding the beach. Thus the area is easy to get to.

However, if you are a big wave spectator, and are in the right place at the right time, there may be no better big wave viewing than at Jaws on Maui.

3 Comments

  1. kami said

    am April 21 2008 @ 8:36 am

    i am looking to vacation to hawaii and want to see these huge waves. when is my best chance? what month? and also, where would i look to vacation exactly?

    thanks for any help..

  2. terrie said

    am December 2 2008 @ 9:01 am

    Winter. Now. November, December.

  3. Paulo Rafael said

    am September 9 2009 @ 1:09 pm

    Pow, essas ondas são muito grandes…pena que aqui em São Luis- MA/ Brasil elas nao são tao big’s.
    Um grande abraço para a turma do surf

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