peahi-challenge

T he world famous big wave surf break known as Jaws or Pe’ahi is located on Maui’s North Shore.  In 2015 the surf break hosted it’s first World Surf League Big Wave Tour paddle-in event and crowned a champion, Billy Kemper.

This year the competition window is officially open and runs through February 28th, 2017.  You see, there is no official date currently set for the competition, as conditions have to be just right.  Officials closely monitor swells, off-shore buoy readings, and wind projections, and then will make a call that the competition is on.  This year there will feature both a men’s and women’s field.

2016 Peʻahi Challenge Men’s Field:

Greg Long (USA)

Makuakai Rothman (HAW)

Billy Kemper (HAW)

Nic Lamb (USA)

Josh Kerr (AUS)

Albee Layer (HAW)

Carlos Burle (BRA)

Damien Hobgood (USA)

Cristian Merello (CHL)

Mark Healey (HAW)

Grant Baker (ZAF)

 

2016 Peʻahi Challenge Women’s Field:

Keala Kennelly (HAW)

Paige Alms (HAW)

Andrea Moller (HAW)

Bianca Valenti (USA)

Emily Erickson (USA)

Savannah Shaugnessy (USA)

Justine Dupont (FRA)

Jamilah Starr (USA)

Maya Gabeira (BRA)

Sylvia Nabuco (BRA)

Laura Enever (AUS)

Wrenna Delgado (HAW)
When it comes to viewing the event, the main dirt road that passes through private property is usually blocked to the public.  The only ones allowed in are a people with few press and sponsors of the event.  Other tourists and locals will probably try parking along the Hana Highway nearby and walking through cane fields and dirt roads to get to a cliffs edge where they can watch the surfers from afar. Last year the Hana Highway (a two-lane road) turned into a parking lot and police were ticketing car after car.  This year, Maui County has advised that no access to any cliff edge will be allowed and roads will be patrolled.

The easiest way to join in on the fun would be to head to an official viewing party.  There are a couple bars/restaurants in the nearby town of Paia that will broadcast the live stream of the event.  Places like Charley’s or Rock N Brews are bound to be showing the event.

You won’t really find a start time advertised, as surf all relies on the perfect conditions.  If the competition gets the green light for a certain day, your best bet would be to head to Paia around 8am, to hang out in one of those viewing parties.  The best surf is always in the morning when the wind is at its calmest.   If you aren’t lucky enough to be on Maui, you can always log in to the World Surf League Website to watch the live stream of surfers attacking waves larger than most of the buildings on Maui.

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