"We refer all of our kiteboarding lessons to the Kiteboarding School of Maui (KSM). They offer professional, individual instruction at great rates."
President-Neil Pryde Maui
Kite Beach Maui at Kanaha Beach Park
Photo courtesy of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
The western end of Kanaha Beach Park (N20°53.9724, W156°26.35896) on Maui's north shore is known locally as Kite Beach. It is only a few minutes from Kahului Airport and no more than 45 minutes from the resort towns of Lahaina and Wailea. Kite Beach is one of the world's best venues for kiteboarding and experiences more windy days than any other kiteboarding destination in the world. This is due to the valley between the West Maui Mountains (5788') and Haleakala (10023'), which creates a venturi effect and funnels wind across kite beach.
Kite beach offers a variety of conditions to suit different riding levels. The NE tradewinds make Kite Beach a safe venue for beginners because the side onshore winds always bring the novices safely back to shore. Also, the sandy-bottom cove where beginners practice lies inside a protective reef. That reef keeps the ocean surface waters flat, which adds to the ease of learning. A little farther from shore the waves start to break at the reef, creating a great venue for intermediate and advanced kiteboarders. From November to February, the largest waves break on the outside reef, creating spectacular wave riding for experts.
The 13-25 mph tradewinds at Kite Beach blow year round with the most predictable winds blowing from May to October. In winter, the winds can be more diverse requiring larger kites and occasionally winds will blow from the south, creating offshore winds on the north shore. That situation forces intermediate and advanced kiteboarders to move to Kihei on the south shore where the winds would be more side shore. Kiteboarding in Kihei is normally too challenging for beginners due to exposed coral in the shallow waters and the proximity to the road.
With the increasing popularity of kitesurfing, riders on Maui have developed safe kiteboarding guidelines to ensure even greater security in the sport. In addition, all kiteboarding activities in the Kite Beach area are regulated by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Regulations due to the proximity to Kahului Airport. Although a waiver to those FAA regulations allows north shore kiteboarding, riders need to be aware of the one-mile wide by two-mile long FAA corridor at the end of the airport runway extending to seaward that is expressly off-limits to kiteboarders. Kihei and Lahaina kiteboarding areas are not in the FAA zone.
Another implemented safety measure requires windsurfers and kiteboarders observe the 11 o'clock rule, which was voluntarily adopted by north shore windsurfers, fishermen, spear fishermen, and swimmers in 1988. That rule allows for swimmers and fishermen to have exclusive access to the ocean on the north shore prior to 11 am. After 11 am, when the winds pick up to near-full strength, windsurfers and kiteboarders have shared access, while watching out for any fishermen who may still be practicing their sport. If you are already kiteboarding, please stop by the KSM shop on your next kiteboarding trip to pick up a copy of the safe kiteboarding guidelines and FAA stipulations flyer.
If you're looking for a kiteboarding vacation or want to learn at one of the world's permier kiteboarding destinations, give us a call at 808-873-0015 today or book lessons online.