Jaws Pe'ahi Big Wave Surfing
Paddling into monsters!
December 31st, 2012
What better way to end the year than surf big waves at Jaws, Peahi, Maui (or watching!) The following are some great photos of waves from earlier today as well as a brief description of our experience watching the surf.
For those of you interested in watching professionals surf the massive waves of Jaws, there are a few things to consider:
You need 4x4 (at least!)
The cliffs to watch the waves can only be arrived via off-roading through muddy conditions. Most rental cars aren't going to work. Today, we watched 3 cars being pulled out of mud (3 out of MANY stuck cars.) That means a lot of people still haven't gotten help.
Today was sunny and beautiful, but the mud was still very thick. This is a wet part of the island. We have 4x4 and could only make it 1/2 way, so we walked the rest. Slippahs broke, we slipped, and we got pretty filthy.
The viewing area is private property. Depending on whether there's an event, the road might be restricted.
The only reason we mention all of this is because as we were walking back to our car, we had a family from Canada in front of us complaining about the experience. "I'm muddy, hot, exhausted and unimpressed." Unimpressed? Guys die in smaller waves than today! You just watched the heaviest sport on Earth? Anyway, they were not happy. The cliffs were crowded and tough to get a good view, so we would've all been happier if they hadn't come down as well.
OUR EXPERIENCE TODAY
We stayed for 2 hours and enjoyed watching some amazing waves. There were about 40 people out, all of whom were paddling. A handful of jet skis were there in case anyone got in trouble, but we didn't see anyone need them. The waves were very big, but not maxed out (something we expect to see at the Red Bull Jaws event soon!) Out of the 40 people out, we only saw a handful of people surfing. Something makes us think that at least 1/2 of them were not ready to tackle these waves, especially after seeing it up close.
All photos courtesy of Natalie Brown Photography
See photos of the huge waves at Jaws (Pe'ahi) on the north shore.
Maui surf report and descriptions of some of the better surf spots.
Watch surf videos shot at the best spots around Maui.
Learn how to surf with advanced surf instructors in safe conditions.