Out With Summer Sailing, In with Fall

August came and went in a blur. August can often be spotty for wind on Maui with tropical storms and hurricanes cutting off the trade winds, but the trade winds this year blew almost every day in August. Local Kanaha regular Beacher even managed to log his 100th day of windsurfing in a row this past week. That’s a pretty successful summer of winds. August is typically pretty flat on the north shore, but we did manage to get a day or two of some decent north shore surf – decent for August that is.

The talk on Maui this week though has been the big south swell. I was too busy to make it to the south side for any of that, but dozens of other photo bloggers were on it. At the top of that list is Jimmie Hepp. Hookipa may be the king of the spotlight for north shore waves, but when a big south swell hits, La Perouse is often where the big action is and Jimmie was on-scene earlier this week to catch that.

The south shore surf is now trending down and the weather pattern in the north Pacific is starting to transition into fall and winter mode, hinting at north shore surf to come soon. Pat Caldwell is the man to listen to for surf forecasts here in Hawaii. Here’s what he had to say in his surf forecast yesterday:

“The north Pacific jet stream has begun a transition to a troughing pattern for the longitudes between 140-170°W. A series of surface low pressures are expected to track from the central Aleutians southeastward into the gulf of Alaska. Weak low pressures on 9/1-2 are not expected to make surf for Hawaii since the have intensified east of the Hawaii swell window.

Into the long range, north shores are expected to trend up. Models are mixed on strength and location. Nogaps and the european models on 9/2 suggest potential for moderate to high surf from 330-360 degrees locally on Thursday into Friday. Gfs hints to only small surf. Low confidence until models reach a closer consensus. This pattern would keep local winds gentle 9/8-9 with a slow return to moderate trades by 9/10.”

So, it’s still a bit early to tell for sure, but it looks like we might see our first north shore surf of the season late next week.

If you need to get your stoke on to get fired up for the upcoming north shore wave riding season, check out the Minds Wide Open Trailer if you haven’t already seen it.


Trade winds are forecast to trend down starting today into mid next week. They’re even saying that winds could get into the gentle to light category, which, if that happens, probably won’t be enough wind to sail at Kanaha, but may still be enough at Kihei, so if you’re visiting Maui this week, keep an eye on Kihei to get your fix.

Almost forgot. I got the chance to sail from Oli Oli Kai , one of the private beach houses just upwind from Kanaha last weekend. If you’re coming to Maui for a windsurfing vacation and have the bucks to spend on a beach front rental, consider Oli Oli Kai. Deluxe property.


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