Glide of the Week: Southside, Maui

Submitted by Bill Babcock

Put-in: Kealia Ponds

Takeout: Makena Landing

Distance: 9 miles

Time: 1.5-2 hours

Wind Direction: N, NW

About the Run: There are a wide variety of runs feasible on the south side of Maui, and they all seem much more forgiving than Maliko runs. While it’s true that there are a lot more places you can come in, and the conditions are generally not as challenging, there is a very real chance of getting caught in offshore winds and not being able to reach land. The next stop is Tahiti, so be aware of the risk. Rudder boards are especially valuable if the wind is somewhat offshore since they can make cutting in for your intended landing a much easier effort than a fixed-rudder board.

In general terms, the run is parallel to the southeast shore, running past Kihei, Wailea and perhaps Makena. Depending on wind direction you can start the run anywhere from Haycraft Park near Maalea Harbor (for wind blowing well onshore in Kihei) to the Canoe Hale at the west end of Kihei. The typical takeout spots are: Cove Park (for a short run), the beach near Sorrentos Restaurant, Wailea Beach or Polo Beach with Makena Landing and the beach at the Maui Prince Hotel being the longest typical runs. Since the run starts with zero fetch at the sand with the wind directly behind, the swells are very small initially but in a strong wind combined with the shallow water, they grow rapidly. At mid-run they can be waist high and offer very good glides. The run from Kealia Ponds to Makena Landing is about nine miles, and if the wind is consistent, strong, and from the right direction it can be a very quick run. One-and-a-half hours is typical for good conditions with a good board like an SIC Bullet or F16.

The photo below is of landing at Sorrentos, you need to swing sharply around a rocky jetty, giving some clearance, and then turn in towards the beach, often dealing with some beach break.

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