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Kanaha Weird Wave
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jse



Joined: 17 Apr 1995
Posts: 1399
Location: Maui

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:42 pm    Post subject: Kanaha Weird Wave Reply with quote

Hi, I had heard about this before, but now I have seen it up close and personal. It took an uptick in the North swell to bring it out. There is a spot on the reef that always has counter-currents, and I always thought that was the weird wave. But a few days ago, there it was, plain as the nose on my face. A big breaking wave that breaks straight into the wind from left to right. Veils of spray trailing behind. It was a long wave, probably 150' from one end to the other. Looked to be about logo or mast high. I headed straight for it to check it out and nothing really uncomfortable about it. Dropped in on it coming in and that was cool. Then I left it alone, and when talking to people on the beach I found out it probably is best to leave it alone. It apparently cancels the wind when it's big, causing many people to get stuck there. I have no idea where it comes from.

Steve
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cbknap



Joined: 03 Jun 1997
Posts: 357

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes as long as you are on the peak that is most windward you can probably surf out of it no problem. If you jump it going out and land behind the most windward wave you are in a trough with no wind over a very shallow reef.

Not good.

Also it's most inconvenient when you are trying to race in the slalom series and the weird wave comes from the west and sucker-punches you just as you are jibing around buoy 5.

Best to keep an eye on it any time you are in that part of the bay and try to learn its weird ways. And if you do fall in there and get stuck, hold on to the tip of your mast until the wave spits you out.

--CHRIS
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MalibuGuru



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 8796

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On super big swells, I use that as my gauge as to where the channel is. I head straight for it, then bear downwind atound it. You can usually see what's up ahead and gauge your velocity to avoid getting worked by the big set on Lowers reef.
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windward1



Joined: 18 Jun 2000
Posts: 1273

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah Kanaha's Weird Wave. Truly weird and changes. I have never seen it as long as you saw it, but when I first "discovered" it, ( I had not pre-heard of it), I said what an unusual and inviting wave. I went to play on it. Got on a nice smooth face and then no wind. Absolutely turned off. Everyone a little ways away was planing normally. I was not. Ended in the drink on the reef, luckily deep enough that day that I could keep my feet up. I tried to water start to no avail. Not enough wind. Finally just had to swim the board and rig out of the spot.

It tempted me a few more times with similar results. Finally got it into my head that I needed to avoid it.

I even watched it form up as a wave from the northwest, swing around to where it was headed east, then swung more to where it was going out to sea towards the northeast.

Only later did I hear of the weird wave. I was telling someone my tale of my experiences with this totally weird wave out on the reef off of Kanaha. The person just looked at me and queried, "Don't you know about the weird wave?"

Well, not everyone knows of it or have even seen it as I have asked and found windsurfers who windsurf Kanaha who know not of what I speak.
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2666
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The WW is more common in the winter and almost non-existent in summer, probably why some have never heard of it. I've seen it so big it was breaking all the way across the channel on some sets. It's also good to avoid the channel on those big days. Even the smaller sets that just break at an angle, can shut down the wind across the channel. Then you may be a sitting duck when another big set rolls in.

Last edited by carl on Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1706

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve,

Yep! The weird wave is weird. Sometime when there has been a string of calm days and the water is clear you should snorkel out to the weird wave zone. Best to make the swim mid day when the Tiger sharks are less likely to be feeding.

Check out the contour of the reef in the weird wave zone starting from the outside and you can see the curving bottom topography that makes the wave turn in that distinctive way. It also helps if you ever fall in that zone to know the bottom terrain.

It is also fun to do the same type of snorkeling exploration at Ho'okipa especially the H'Poko break. Really revealing!

Hard to believe now but decades ago, after sailing a 24 sloop single handed to the islands, I lived for a year with a Hawaiian family that gill netted the flats inside the Maui reefs. So I had lots of bottom time on those reefs years before windsurfing arrived on the islands. We used to camp at Ho'okipa and the then deserted beach where the Kanaha Beach Park is now located. Probably not a good idea to camp at either site now.

Mike Godsey
iwindsurf.com/ikitesurf.com
Weatheflow.com



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windward1



Joined: 18 Jun 2000
Posts: 1273

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew it had to be the bathometry that shaped that weird wave. Good to have it confirmed.

In a way it is surprising that more weird waves do not show up in other parts of the world. Then, again, maybe they do, but at places that are not so heavily frequented.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3598

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kanaha was a miltary post before it was a park. The Corps blew a big hole in the reef so that landing craft could come ashore there, creating that wave on some days.
On a big day Weird Wave doesn't always blow you out when you fall. It can suck you and your gear back with an undertow
and circle you dozens of times. I finally left my gear and swam ashore once. My kit circled for an hour .
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MalibuGuru



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 8796

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahha, KC, if they'd made the hole a little bit bigger, that would have made access to the channel a lot easier on big days.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3598

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MG
An old tako fisherman said the rubble from the Corps work was washed up in the shallow inside over the years, blocking that area.
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