Monday, October 6, 2014

Jaws aka Pe'ahi

Jaws (Surf Break aka Pe’ahi)

 Article from Mark/ Maui Guide Book
When the North Shore surf is big, Jaws is gigantic.
When the North Shore surf is big, Jaws is gigantic.

Rating: ★★★★½
In a nutshell: The biggest wave surfed in the world each year has been at Pe’ahi more than any other place.
Minuses: The access road can be 4WD
Sound-bite: [crashing waves, cheers and helicopters]
Disclaimer on the rating:
Pe’ahi is only “must-see spectacular” when the North Shore is having monster surf (look for high surf warnings and consult the real-time wave data chart below.)

Key Info:
Mile Marker: Between #13 & 14 (Hana Hwy aka Hwy 36)
GPS Coordinates: 20.942202,-156.300688
Facilities: None
Map: Below | Get directions
Current Wave Data: Below

Pe’ahi is Maui’s biggest surfing break, and the yearly Billabong XXL Global Big Wave contest has listed Jaws as the winning break more than any other place. When Jaws is going off, the top names in surfing flock here – and mere mortals follow to watch in awe.
What is Tow-in Surfing?
Tow-in surfing is when the waves are so large that the only way a pro surfer can get in to them (in one piece, anyway) is to be skillfully towed in, and dropped off, via Jet Ski. In recent years surfers have started paddling in to this break that was previously only attempted as a tow-in.
“Jaws” is certainly the most well known, and also the most geographically specific name for the surf break. The name “Pe’ahi” has become more popular with surfers trying to draw connection with local culture as of late – so it is now common to hear that name used as well. (Pe’ahi is actually the name of the much larger ahupua'a.) If two names weren’t enough, according to Kupuna Leslie Kuloloio, the traditional Hawaiian name for this spot is “Ke Kai ‘o Waitakulu”, which he translates as “The Teary Eye.”

The Bad News
Before you add this to your must-do list for your Maui vacation, here is the bad news: chances are you won’t be able to. Most years there are just a few big-wave events with the perfect conditions for surfing Jaws. So, you’re going to need some luck with timing!
If you are lucky enough to see this in person, you’re sure to appreciate the magnitude of these feats of athleticism. (Check out the You Tube video below for better perspective of how big these waves actually are.)

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