Named for the mythological demi-god who fished the Hawaiian Islands out of the ocean with a magic hook, Maui is an island rife with mystery and legend. A veritable hotbed for hippie communes in the late ’60s and ’70s, the island has always had a taste for the transcendental—just ask anyone who has locked into a life-changing freight train barrel at Ma’alaea, witnessed the country perfection of Honolua Bay, or taken a Peahi bomb on the head. Despite its popularity with the tourists, Maui wears its “outer island” status with pride. But if Innersection winners and XXL awards are any indication, however, the Valley Isle might just be the center of progressive surfing’s next chapter.

The Surf: Although best known for 50-foot heroics and unmakeably fast right hand barrels, Maui does have tamer waves on offer as well. Nonetheless, the island is by and large an intermediate to expert surf zone.

Five Waves Worth Surfing:

Five Waves Worth Surfing:

The Season: Maui has epic waves on both sides of the island. For Jaws and Honolua, north swells come between November and March. For Ma’alaea and Lahaina Harbor, you’ll be looking for summer south swells between May and August.

The Vibe: Like all Hawaiian outer islands, Maui enjoys the fact that it is relatively obscure and unknown. Give the locals respect, keep your head in and don’t bring a crowd.

Things To Do: Haleakala Crater is an incredible experience, containing a harsh moonscape dotted with the striking plant species exclusive to the region, such as the endangered Silversword. Another nice outing is a day trip to beautiful Hana.

Where To Stay: Maui is a popular tourist destination, and has many high-end hotels and other accommodations. There is also a big backpacker scene, dating back to the island’s early hippie days, so your options range from five-star hotels to a tent in a commune.

What To Bring: A shortboard and a step-up. A big wave gun if you are coming for Jaws and a kiteboard or windsurfer if you are heading to Ho’okipa. Hiking shoes for a Haleakala walk. Your favorite hash pipe and tie-dye shirt.

Getting There: Honolulu International Airport is the main gateway into the state of Hawaii, and from there you will catch an interisland flight (typically on Hawaiian Airlines) to Maui’s Kahului Airport. (Maui also receives direct flights from a handful of cities on the US mainland.) American visa rules apply in Hawaii. Airport codes: HNL (Honolulu) and OGG (Kahului).

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