Monday, June 1, 2009

Windsurf City, Planet Earth

Just south of Paia on the windward (east) coast of Maui, is Ho'okipa the world capital for windsurfing. The sport was invented here (locals will claim) and much of the equipment, like renowned Simmer sails, is designed in laid-back, organic-hemp Paia.

The windsurfers, coming from all points on the globe, flock to the north end of Ho'okipa and ride a channel in the reef out to leap the wall of waves that near-constant trade winds push over long Spartan Reef. The other end of the beach is home to board surfers, who capture a right-break into the dimple bay of the beach park. Spectators have it made, since bluffs overlook both spots. The long narrow parking lot that connects the two venues at Hookah, er Ho'okipa, is the place to be after work and on weekends to take in the scene. Take a look at page 104 in Maui Trailblazer.