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Kanaha
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Kanaha is one of the most popular international windsurfing destinations. On the beach you will find sailors from Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. While this makes rigging enriching it can be confusing on the water since it is clear some do not know the rules of the road.
The long sandy beach is backed by shady lawns and thorn dropping Kiave trees so wear sandals. The wind in the summer is mostly side-onshore and strong and steady. There is little shore break because of the reef running parallel to the beach about 800 feet from shore. In the spring and fall the wind has more ENE in it. These ENE winds produce gusty side shore winds with blasts and lulls near the beach.
There are public showers and bathrooms at Kanaha, many sailors rinse their gear in the showers. Water is a precious commodity on Maui, so please be respectful by turning off showers, and using as little water as possible when rinsing equipment.
Do not launch until 11AM at any of the sites in Maui. This rule was established because it is extremely difficult to see the local spear fishermen who can work the reef until 11am. There are powerful interests would like to stop all windsurfing inside the reef area at Kanaha and an accident would add fuel to this issue. In the evening there can be problems with people getting drunk here.
There are several different summer sailing areas at Kanaha.
Inside the reef: From the beach to the reef is sand bottomed with water 3 to 10 feet deep with scattered coral heads mostly well below the surface. This are is almost a half-mile long and has choppy water and great slalom sailing. Near shore it is great for taking lessons. This area is crowded especially off of the main parking lots. If you work you way upwind the crowd thins. This is great beginner and intermediate water with only one danger: the Weird wave. The Weird wave has caught tumbled many a newcomer in the summer. With even tiny 1-2 foot swells the strange reef topography makes the swell take a radical 90 bend, peak up to double the base swell ht. and break unexpectedly. The sharp coral here makes getting tumbled dangerous. The weird wave is directly off the low sandy point just east of the swim area.
Outer Waters:. Even in summer there is often 6" to 1-foot surf over the reef. Not much but enough to keep most of the crowd inside. Beyond the reef you will find mellow 2-6 foot ocean swell that peaks over the outer deep Spartin reef about 1/4 mile from shore. This is a great place for intermediates to learn to jibe big swell. Turtles abound in the deep blue outer waters and breaking a fin is easy if you are inattentive.
Upper Kanaha: To get to this area point upwind from the launch. Or consider renting one of the houses along this stretch for some great sailing without the crowd. Inside the reef this area is much like the rest of Kanaha except there are some fin breaking reefs close to shore. The reef here has a convoluted topography and acts as a wave magnet Even in summer there is random peaks in the 1-3 foot range peaks break. No great for wave riding but fun for jumping and slashing on the peaks.
Camp One: Further upwind you enter the lower Camp One area. This to is a wave magnet and even in summer has some surf. This is better for wave riding however the reef is very shallow here. Not to be sailed at low tides without local knowledge. Be forewarned, a board ripping giant coral head named "Big Eddie" lurks in the surf zone to teach you about local knowledge. Just upwind of lower Camp one, directly out from the Camp One launch site is a nice channel. Do not sail upwind of this channel…it is a minefield of coral heads. The Camp One area should be reached from Kanaha or Sprecks or by people renting the houses in upper Kanaha. Do not launch from the beach lined up with the channel. The Camp One area is very popular with spearfishermen.
Lower Kanaha: This is a reef just to the left of the swim area and 500 feet from shore. In the spring and fall when huge swells have closed out Hookipa Lowers has the cleanest bowl like wave in Maui. The only problem is that it is jammed on every wave. The channel just between the break and the Weird wave will also break but is an easier way to get out. In the summer an occasional north swell can make this a small but good wave to practice wave sailing.
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 Season: March-Oct. 
 Water: Warm & clear 
 Ability Level: Novice-Adv. 
 Familiness: Park, showers, lawns 
 Parking: Crowded near launch 
 Launch: Sandy, reef 

From Kahului take either Dairy Rd. or Haleakala Hwy. going east to Keolani Pl. Enter the airport grounds. Follow the road, Lanui Circle, to the airport terminal as though you were going to pick up some one. Seems sort of strange at first. Continue making a loop and make a right onto Koeheke St. which merges into Kaa St. after several hundred yards go right on Alahao St.. Then pass the first entrance to Kanaha Beach Park. If it is your first time here, especially if your ability to go upwind is weak, go to the last entrance and go right to the most windward parking lot. Rig up!

The sensor is located in an excellent position on the outer breakwater of Kahului Hbr.


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