If you're lucky enough to be on Maui when the waves are large enough, you could go see the famous big wave surfing spot "Jaws". The waves that break here can be larger then fifty feet tall. In the beginning, this break was only utilized by tow in surfers but these days you'll see people dropping in on conventional surfboards, windsurfing boards, kitesurfing setups, stand up paddle boards and people have even been spotted out there on waterskis. There is a large cliff along the shoreline that is commonly utilized by spectators that are looking for a good view.
Breaks: Jaws rights, Jaws lefts.
Break Type: Reef, rock bottom, point break, lefts, rights.
Best For: Professional big wave surfers.
Attributes: Gigantic waves, can have good barrel sections, lippy, fast, can have long rides.
Lifeguard: No, but riders normally go out with their own water safety partner that is equipped with a jet ski.
Access: Difficult, dirt road, when it's wet 4x4 is recommended.
Best Swell Directions? North, Northwest, Northeast.
Hazards: The largest waves on earth, strong currents, bone crushing power.
Where to get into the water? It is not recommended that anyone who is not a professional big wave surfer to enter or get near the water at Jaws.
Jaw's Right: This was the first wave to be utilized at Jaws and still remains its most popular. It normally starts out by walling up and then eventually heaving over in the powerful inside barrel section. Riders that go down here are commonly held down underneath the water for upwards of a minute as they are dragged into the inside of the bay.
Jaw's Left: This wave was not ridden until many years after the right. When you see it break you'll know why, it walls up and peels with a bit more irregularity then the right which can make for some incredible rides.
When Jaws is breaking it can draw quite a crowd which can be very chaotic. It is not uncommon for someone to drive down there in a vehicle that is not capable, get it suck and create an obstruction in the road that slows down or even stops the flow of cars. Please do not be this person. If you are thinking about going to check it out, make sure you're equipped properly. Also, it is recommended that you exercise extreme caution when you're near the cliffs. The loose soil and mud can make it easy to loose your footing.
The spectating area for Jaws is located on the edge of an abandoned pineapple field on the north shore of Maui. It is normally accessed by utilizing Hahana Road. The road turns to dirt and continues all the way down to the cliffs. About half way down it spits into a loop. It is common practice for drivers to drive down the right side and then drive back up the left to keep traffic moving. Please make sure not to block the road when you park.
Lahaina Harbor's lefts and rights are the two most high performance summer waves on the west side of the island. The crowd here is generally filled with some of the top talent in the area, and if you're not an experienced surfer you might want to stick to spectating.
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