Thanks to an invitation from Kristin Boese & Sky Solbach's to join them for their wedding, we had a great excuse to visit Hawaii in May. Hawaii, Maui in particular has been on the to do list for a while, this was just the encouragement we needed. The wedding was fabulous fun, with a host of some of kiteboardings most influential and respected people attending. It was a great chance to meet some of the many women who forged the pathway for those competing in the PKRA today. A number of KB4girls Ambassadors made the trip, which was really great.
We explored Maui including famous surf breaks like Jaws and Lanes, however due to some unseasonally light wind we were not able to kite either. Both of these locations need really solid wind because the launching areas are small and very rocky. It just goes to show, no matter where you travel you can't guarantee wind, even in places renowned for their high wind yield. We were on Maui for 16 days and managed a couple of sessions with over 20knots. We did kite Kanaha Beach or Kitebeach as the locals call it. This location is pretty good, with a small flat water lagoon and some really solid waves out front when the swell is good.The windsurfers have their own area as windsurfing is still big in Hawaii. The launching area for kiting is a little tricky as the good winds are generally from the East, making the launch area hidden in a wind shadow. If you see people launching and running for the water like crazy, this is the reason. A number of days we did get a cross onshore wind, which was much more favourable for launching. In solid wind, you could see this would be less of an issue, but something to be aware of in lighter conditions. Kanaha Beach is tucked away behind the port area and near the airport, so don't be surprised by the surroundings if you decide to visit. The beach itself is quite pretty and other than a few rocky outcrops, is relatively safe for all levels of kiting. There is really limited ability along this stretch to do "downwinders" as we so commonly do in Australia because the area in front of the airport is a no fly zone. Locals obviously encourage visitors to respect this regulation to ensure they have continued access into the future. Because of this, holding ground is a must but in some swell conditions getting right back upwind can be a challenge and needs pretty strong wind. It was no surprise so many kited on surfboards in Maui to make getting upwind easier in lighter wind.
We visited all the local kiteshops and everyone was really friendly and more than happy to offer advice, so don't hesitate to call in and say hello. You will find them located right in Kahului on the Hana Highway in town, all grouped together to make life easy.
As the wind was light on most of our stay, we had plenty of time to explore SUP locations and enjoyed over a week in Lahaina on the west coast SUPing on some hire boards from Willy on the beach near Lahaina Shores. Willy hosts the Ripcurl Pro each year in Maui and was a really great guy to hire boards from.
If you would like any information on kitesurfing or SUPing in Maui, just give us a call in the shop 07 54556677 or email us