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Big Wave Surf Spot: Jaws on the North Shore of Maui

Mar 18

big_waves_jaws-surf-in-jacoWhen the average person thinks of surfing they picture Hawaii in their head and the surf spots on Oahu.  These same average people when they hear Maui, they think of Hawaiian vacations. But Maui also has one of the best big wave surf spot called JAWS.  The big wave Jaws, is located on the North Shore of the island Maui and it the same wave where tow surfing was perfected since you cannot access this wave by paddling out. For newbie surfers, this wave was made famous by Laird Hamilton and he is often seen online in surfing photos of Jaws taming the beast and perfecting tow surfing techniques.

Big wave surfing is not for perfecting tight arc turns but for those people who want to tame the giant waves that the ocean creates. Jaws swells are influenced by storms as far away as Alaska so each set is different and has to be taken very seriously. Jaws waves are deadly if you drop at the wrong time or you wipe out and have not conditioned your lungs and mind to be calm during the ensuing “rinse cycle” of your life. There are few surfers in the world that have the ability to take on big wave surfing so it is an elite club but one that does not have longevity. Each year we hear of surfers who underestimated the wave or overestimated their ability and have died.

jaws-big-wave-surfing-surf-in-jaco-costa-ricaSurfers planning to attempt the drop on Jaws need to contract locally with jetboats to tow them to the location of the sets. You will also have to sign a waiver releasing the company of any liability in the event of injury or death which is very likely if you are not an expert surfer.  Even these expert surfers need to train without their boards for big waves. Typically, training consists of running around a pool at full speed a few times and then jumping into the pool while expelling your breath. Once under the water, they attempt to stay there for at least 20 seconds but ideally 30 seconds or more. This training will help in the event of a fall and allow you to train your body to relax when everything is telling it to panic and breath air. Most of the big waves like Jaws come in sets so if you take the middle one and wipeout it is likely you will have another wave crashing on top of you as soon as you surface. Other surfers, will train at reefs under water by carrying a heavy rock and attempting to walk towards the shore despite the currents and the body’s desire for air.

Either way, big wave surfing is awesome to watch and to experience but it is not something to take on a Spicoli attitude.

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2 Responses

  1. 1
    Vince 

    I read your posts for quite a long time and must tell you that your posts always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.

  2. 2
    Surfma 

    Aloha ! Great wave

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