H – Ho’okipa, Maui, Hawaii: windsurfing’s wave sailing proving ground and Mecca

What can be said about the island of Maui and its windsurfing focal point, Ho’okipa, that’s not already been discussed? The epicentre and proving ground for any rider into wave sailing; the spot where each season brands descend en masse for company photo shoots; the spot where many a name has been forged as legend; a location that some sailors make a career out of riding; a break where new moves have been (and will be again) be invented; the epitome of what many see in their mind’s eye as the perfect windsurf spot – the list goes on.

What is actually a small stretch of sand, flanked by imposing reef, with the notorious Ho’okipa rocks downwind, is now almost mystical in the realms of windsurfing. In actual fact, on any given normal or average day, Ho’okipa is sailable for most wave/coastal windsurfers with any degree of skill. Only during winter can Ho’okipa truly turn on, delivering the kind of conditions that will see many running home to hide.

Discovered and pioneered by Mike Waltze in the 70s, for a good few years Waltze was the only one to be found ‘out back’ – especially on the biggest of days. Ho’okipa was eventually put fully on the map during the 1981 Maui Grand Prix (organised by Waltze) that went on to become the Aloha Classic – one of the most prestigious windsurfing comps in the world.

Pics: Erik Aeder

 

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