Kaanapali is one of the top rated vacation destinations in Hawaii,
and it’s no wonder with three miles of white, sandy beach
and a handful of luxury resorts. In terms of surfing,
the area offers a consistent beginner wave at
Kaanapali Point and a more advanced wave towards the far north end of the beach.
At Kaanapali Point there’s usually always something to surf, and waves
are typically gentle and sloping – perfect for beginners. As one of the few
surf breaks along this stretch of beach, though, it can get quite crowded
with surfing lessons from various surf schools and residents fighting for waves.
The best surfing is located in front of the Kaanapali Alii hotel and just to the right of the Marriott.
This spot can get bigger during the winter, so exercise caution.
Dont’t let the name fool you – Rainbows is a serious wave north of
Kaanapali that can do major damage if your skills aren’t up to par. The
wave needs big a winter swell to break and pitches over a sharp, shallow
reef full of urchins. Not to mention, there can also be strong currents.
There are plenty of other, safer waves on Maui to choose from, so best
advice is to leave this one to the experts.
Body Surfing/Skimboarding/Boogie Boarding
Although Kaanapali does not have a wide variety of surf spots, the sandy beach does offer fun body surfing, skim boarding, and boogie boarding. These sports can be especially fun if you are staying at one of the many resorts that line Kaanapali beach. Body surfing is done by waiting for a breaking wave and then matching your swimming speed to try and “catch” he wave on your stomach with outstretched arms.
Similar to body surfing, boogie boarders catch waves by lying outstretched on a small board.You can buy cheap boogie boards from Costco and other stores for under $50. However these boards will typically break down after a few rides. A better option is to rent a board for a few dollars a day from a local rental shop.
Skimboarding involves “skimming” over shallow water on a small, wooden board. Sometimes you’ll see advanced skim boarders actually riding the incoming waves. With all of these sports, though, be especially aware of ocean conditions. The extremely shallow water along Kaanapali beach creates a large “beach break” that can be extremely dangerous. Winter months bring larger to surf to the area, and a number of back and spinal injuries have occurred here. Always exercise caution and obey the rough surf warning signs.