Yesterday, Maui was under a high surf warning for its North Facing shores. That means wave heights of greater than 25 feet could be expected at selected island reefs. For the casual beach goer, that generally means exercising extreme caution near the water. For big wave riders, that means it's time to head out to the famous big wave spot Jaws in Haiku. Island residents and visitors alike know it is a good time to head to the cliffs above the break for a fantastic spectacle. Up until a few years ago, Jaws was generally considered to be a wave that could only be ridden by surfers assisted by Jet Skis.
The wave moves so fast, that you need to whipped into a wave by Jet Skis. Slowly, surfers have been starting to test their mettle by paddling into the waves traditionally. There was a core crew of local surfers who would paddle into waves on "smaller" days when the wave faces were 30 feet or less. Last winter, the paddle crew grew in numbers including a lot of younger up and coming Maui surfers as well as some other famous big wave riders from around the world.
Yesterday, marked a new era as there were 30 or more guys who were brave enough to try to paddle into Jaws' big waves. For most of the afternoon, Jet Skis were only used to rescue surfers after wipe outs. I had the opportunity to shoot some video from the cliffs. Here are two clips that I put together. The first shows two waves one after the other. The second is a longer montage of waves from throughout the morning.
I also have a photo gallery posted on The Maui Real Estate Team's Facebook page.