The 10 Best Surfing Spots In Maui: How To Find The Best Surfing Maui?

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Maui is a world-renowned destination for surfing, and with good reason. The island has countless amazing spots to catch a wave, from beginner beaches to advanced breakers. But finding the right spot can be tricky, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. In this blog post, we’ll give you an overview of the 10 best surfing Maui, as well as tips on how to find them. We’ll also recommend some great places to learn how to surf in Maui!

Difficulties and challenges when surfing in Maui

Maui is a world-renowned surfing destination, with waves that attract both beginners and experts alike. There are a number of issues and difficulties that you must overcome.

  • The waves: The waves in Maui are known for being some of the most challenging in the world. They can be unpredictable and dangerous, which can make surfing here a difficult and challenging experience. 
  • Currents and Reefs: Some strong currents and reefs can pose a danger to surfers. There have been several incidents where surfers have been seriously injured or killed due to these hazards.
  • The wind: The wind can cause the waves to grow taller and more powerful, which can make it more difficult to stay safe. In addition, the wind can create a lot of turbulence on the water surface, which makes it difficult to stay on your board
  • Crowds: Crowds on Maui can be a challenge when surfing. With high winds and big waves, it can be difficult to find an open spot to paddle out and catch a wave. The crowds can also make it difficult to navigate through the surf and get back to shore.

Conditions can change rapidly, so it is important to be constantly aware of your surroundings and be prepared for anything. 

Despite the challenges, surfing in Maui is an amazing experience. The waves are some of the biggest and most beautiful in the world, and the scenery is stunning. Surfing here definitely requires a lot of skill and experience, but it is well worth it for those who are up for the challenge.

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The best beaches for surfing in Maui

The best surfing in Maui for beginners

The Cove in Kihei

Address: 2126 Iliili Rd, Kihei, HI 96753

Characteristics: There are two types of the ocean bottom in The Cove in Kihei that are well-suited for surfing in Maui for beginners: the coral reef and the sandbar.

  • A coral reef is a great place for surfing in Maui for beginners because it is relatively shallow, which means that the waves aren’t as big and powerful as they are on the sandbar. Additionally, the coral reef is home to a variety of fish and sea creatures, which makes it a beautiful place to surf on Maui.
  • A sandbar is a great place for surfing in Maui for beginners because the waves are consistently bigger and more powerful than they are on the coral reef. However, the sandbar can be dangerous because it is made up of sharp rocks that can cause injuries.

Reason for selecting

There are many reasons The Cove in Kihei is the perfect beach for surfing in Maui for beginners.

  • First and foremost, the waves at The Cove are gentle and consistent, making it the perfect spot for beginner surfers.
  • Additionally, The Cove is a wide and spacious beach, which makes it easy to catch waves and avoid other surfers.
  • Finally, Kihei is located on the leeward side of the island, meaning that the winds are typically milder here than on the other side of Maui.

This makes for ideal surfing conditions and ensures that beginners can stay safe while learning to surf.

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Photo of Jenn

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Launiupoko

Address: Honoapiilani Hwy, Lahaina, HI 96761

Characterists:

Its depth ranges from a few inches to two feet and the waves at Launiupoko are typically smaller and slower-moving, making them ideal for beginner surfers. The waves also break close to shore, making it easy for beginners to catch a wave and stay in the water. 

The sand at Launiupoko is also very soft, which makes it more comfortable to walk on and easier to get in and out of the water. There is a sandy bottom, which makes it easier to stand up on your board and stay on course.

Not only does Launiupoko Beach give you a breathtaking experience, but it also has outdoor showers to clean off the sand and saltwater.

Reasons for selecting

There are a few reasons why Launiupoko is a great spot for beginner surfers. 

  • The beach is less crowded than some of Maui’s other beaches, so you can take your time learning how to surf without feeling rushed or crowded.
  • There are also plenty of locals who are happy to offer tips and advice to newcomers.
  • And finally, the water is usually calm and gentle, making it a safe place to learn. If you’re looking for a great spot to learn how to surf in Maui, Launiupoko is worth checking out!
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Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

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Breakwall

Address: 210 Yacht Club Way, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Characteristics:

Breakwall beach is known for its detailed characteristics. It has a massive rock wall that extends out into the ocean, which makes for great tide pooling and snorkeling Maui. The beach is also known for its amazing sunsets, which can be enjoyed from the wall or from one of the many small coves that dot the shoreline.

The beach is accessible only by boat or by a steep trail that leads down from the road above. The sand is white and the water is crystal clear. There are no services or facilities available, so it is a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Maui.

Reasons for characteristics

  • The waves at Breakwall are typically smaller and easier to ride than those at other Maui surf spots, making it a great place for beginner surfers.
  • The waves here break very gently, which makes it a safe place for inexperienced surfers to learn.
  • There is a lot of sand on the beach at Breakwall, which makes it easy to walk out into the water and start surfing.
  • The beach here is also relatively wide, which gives beginner surfers plenty of space to practice.
  • Breakwall is located close to Kahului, so it’s easy to get to from anywhere on the island.
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Photo courtesy of Breakwall

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Kaanapali Beach

Address: Kaanapali, HI 96761

Characteristics

The Kaanapali Beach area is well known for its spectacular sunsets. The sunsets can be viewed from many locations in the area, but the best place to see them is from the beach near the Sheraton Maui Resort. The sunsets here are often fiery red and orange and are a beautiful sight to behold.

Kaanapali Beach is also known for its great swimming and snorkeling conditions. The water is clear and calm and there is plenty of fish to see. In addition, the beach is well-maintained and there are plenty of places to get food and drinks.

Overall, Kaanapali Beach is a great place to spend a day or two. The scenery is beautiful, the beaches are clean and comfortable, and there is plenty to do in the area.

Reasons for selection

  • Kaanapali Beach is a great place to learn how to surf because the waves are consistently gentle and forgiving, making it a perfect place for beginner surfers.
  • The beach is also wide and long, providing plenty of space for people to practice surfing without having to worry about being too close to other surfers.
  • Kaanapali Beach is situated in a sheltered bay, meaning that the waves are not as powerful as they are in other areas of Maui, making it a safer place for beginners to surf.
  • The sand on the beach is soft and gentle, which makes it easier for surfers to get up on their boards and stay on top of the waves.
  • The beach is well-equipped with lifeguards and other safety features, making it a safe place for people to learn how to surf.
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Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

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Puamana Beach Park

Address: 272 Pualei Dr #3, Lahaina, HI 96761

Characteristics:

Puamana Beach Park is a beautiful spot on the island of Maui. It is known for its stunning white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. The park is also home to a variety of tropical plants and trees, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Maui.

A beach park is a great place for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. There are also several picnic areas with BBQ grills, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a family picnic lunch or dinner. The park also has restrooms and showers, making it a convenient spot to spend the day.

If you’re looking for a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Maui, Puamana Beach Park is worth checking out!

Reasons for selection:

  • Puamana Beach Park is a great place for beginners to learn how to surf because the waves are typically small and gentle. This makes it a safer place to learn and helps reduce the chances of getting injured.
  • Puamana Beach Park is also well-known for its consistent surf, which means that the waves are always present and predictable. This makes it easier for beginners to time their surf sessions correctly and improves their skills.
  • The beach park is also situated in a beautiful location that offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. This makes for an enjoyable surfing experience and provides a picturesque backdrop to capture photos and memories.
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Photo by poop

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Paia Bay

Address: Paia, Hawaii 96779, Hoa Kỳ

Characteristics:

Paia Bay beach is a stunning crescent of white sand and clear blue water located on the north shore of Maui. The bay is well protected from the open ocean by an offshore reef, making it perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. 

The coral reef is also a haven for marine life, making Paia Bay one of the best beaches in Maui to see tropical fish. The waves are usually gentle and the water temperature is perfect year-round, making it a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. 

Reasons for selection

  • The waves at Paia Bay are consistently good for surfing, and they offer a variety of different types of waves that are suitable for all levels of surfers.
  • The beach is wide and long, which means that there is plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the waves.
  • The waves are not too big or too small, which makes it a perfect spot for beginner surfers.
  • The beach is well-known for its consistent waves, so you can always count on a good surfing session when you visit Paia Bay.
  • The beach is close to town, so you can easily access all the amenities that you need.
  • There is a great community of surfers at Paia Bay, so you can always find someone to surf with.
paia bay
Photo of blese

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Thousand Peaks (Papalaua Beach)

Address:  22 Honoapiilani Hwy, Wailuku, HI 96793

Characteristic:

A thousand Peaks (Papalaua Beach) is a secluded beach located on the North Shore of Kauai. It offers stunning views of the Napali Coast and is known for its dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear water, and quiet atmosphere. 

Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, hiking, and exploring the tide pools. There are no amenities at Thousand Peaks (Papalaua Beach), so come prepared with food, water, and sunscreen.

Reasons for selection:

  • A thousand Peaks offers some of the best waves in Maui for surfing. The waves are consistently good, and they offer a great challenge for experienced surfers.
  • The beach is located in a beautiful, rural area, and it is away from the crowds and noise of the city. This makes it a perfect place to relax and enjoy the waves.
  • The beach is well-maintained, and it offers plenty of parking and facilities for surfers. This makes it easy to enjoy a day at the beach.
  • The waves at Thousand Peaks are not too big or too small, so they are perfect for beginner surfers. This makes it a great place for people who are new to surfing.
  • The beach is close to many other tourist attractions, so it is easy to visit multiple places in one day. This makes it a great place to visit if you are short on time.
papalaua beach
Photo courtesy of Papalaua Beach

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Guardrails

Address: HI-30, Lahaina, HI 96761

Characteristics: 

Guardrail Beach is a stunning spot found on the Oregon Coast. It’s well known for its dramatic, rocky coastline and impressive waves. The beach is also home to several towering sea stacks that provide plenty of photo opportunities. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities at Guardrail Beach, including hiking, fishing, and tide pooling.

Reasons for selection:

  • There are plenty of beginner-friendly waves at Guardrails beach.
  • The waves are consistent, meaning that they come in at the same speed and size every day.
  • The waves are also gentle, making them ideal for novice surfers.
  • The beach is well-known for its good surfing conditions, so you’ll always find someone to help you out if you need it. There are plenty of experienced surfers around who can help newbies get up on their boards and ride the waves
  • The beach is also situated close to the city, making it easy to get to.
guardrails beach
Photo courtesy of Guardrails

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Intermediate surf spots in Maui

Lahaina Reefs

Characteristics:

Lahaina is renowned for its fantastic surfing conditions that are perfect for intermediate and experienced surfers alike. Some of the best spots to check out include Kammies and Shark Pit at the south end of town, or Breakwall near Lahaina Harbor. The harbor also has a great deep-water peak that is frequented by resident pros.

Reasons for selection:

There are a few reasons Lahaina Reefs is the best surfing spot for intermediate surfers.

  • First, the waves at Lahaina Reefs are consistently sized, making it easy to know when you’re ready to tackle a wave.
  • Second, the waves here are forgiving, meaning that even if you don’t quite make it to the top, you’re unlikely to wipe out.
  • Finally, the reef here provides a natural barrier that helps to create perfect waves for surfing.
lahaina reefs
Photo courtesy of Lahaina Reefs

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Olowalu Beach

Address: Hawaii 9676

Characteristics:

Olowalu Beach is a serene and beautiful spot on the island of Maui. It’s well known for its clear turquoise waters which make for perfect snorkeling and swimming. The sand is soft and white, and the beach is usually pretty quiet, making it a great place to relax. 

There are a few small shops and restaurants in the area, but for the most part, it’s pretty undeveloped, which is part of what makes it so special. Caution: These waters are notorious for being a feeding ground for sharks.

Reasons for selection

There are a few reasons that Olowalu Beach is the best surfing spot for intermediate surfers. 

  • The waves at Olowalu are typically around 2-4 feet, which makes them perfect for beginners and intermediates. 
  • The beach also has a consistent break, meaning that the waves come in at the same spot every time. This makes it easier for surfers to predict when the waves will start and end. 
  • Olowalu Beach is also less crowded than some of the other popular surfing spots on Maui, so it’s a great place to practice your skills without having to worry about getting in someone else’s way.
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Photo by Aaron Najera

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Advanced surf spots in Maui

Honolua Bay

Address: Hawaii 96761

Characteristics:

Honolua Bay is a world-famous surf spot in Maui, Hawaii. The bay is well-known for its consistent waves and perfect surfing conditions. The bay is also a great place to snorkel and whale watch.

Honolua Bay is located on the north shore of Maui, just west of Kapalua Bay. The bay is sheltered by the island of Molokai and offers consistent waves for beginner to experienced surfers. The waves at Honolua Bay are typically 2-6 feet high, making it a great spot for beginners.

Honolua Bay is one of the best surf spots in Hawaii, boasting a powerful, hollow reef break point and a world-class wave. It was even described as “the best wave in the world” by four-time world champion Mark Richards.

The beach at Honolua Bay is wide and sandy, with plenty of room to spread out. There are several small reefs near the shore that are great for snorkeling. You can also see humpback whales from the beach during the winter months.

The water at Honolua Bay is crystal clear and typically has a temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The bay is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. There are several restaurants and shops in the area, as well as restrooms and showers.

Reasons for selection:

There are many reasons why Honolua Bay is the best surfing spot for advanced surfers. 

  • The waves are consistently big and powerful, making it a prime spot for experienced surfers. 
  • Additionally, the bay is relatively sheltered from the wind and other weather conditions, making it a safe place to surf even in bad weather. 
  • Finally, the location is relatively secluded, meaning that it is not as crowded as other popular surfing spots. All of these factors make Honolua Bay an excellent place for advanced surfers to test their skills.

See also: 15 Spots You Definitely Can Find Turtle Beach Maui

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Photo of Christina Dong

Ho’okipa Beach

Address: Hawaii 96761

Characteristics:

In general, it’s a decent wave, but it isn’t exceptional. It’s consistent because the channel is open to any north swell that comes down. This can create issues in some cases since freak sets can appear and be twice the size of typical sets, leaving you on the inside getting pounded by waves. The entrance and exit points are also quite distinct. You can’t just go in anywhere. When you’re caught in currents or big sets are rolling in, this poses difficulties.

If you are a beginner, we recommend getting out of the water at least 3 waves before you would normally go in. Exhaustion is something you don’t want to suffer from when surfing. Additionally, beginners should be aware that there can be riptides and relentless wave sets. If you are more advanced, visit Ho’okipa Beach.

Reasons for selection

There are many reasons why Ho’okipa Beach is the best surfing spot for advanced surfers.

  • The waves at this beach are consistently large and powerful, making it a perfect spot for experienced surfers.
  • Additionally, the location is relatively uncrowded, which means that you’ll have plenty of room to work on your skills without having to worry about dodging other surfers.
  • Finally, the beach is located in a beautiful setting, making it the perfect place to spend a day surfing.
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Photo courtesy of Ho’okipa Beach

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Pe’ahi (Jaws)

Address: Haiku-Pauwela, HI 96708

Characteristics:

Pe’ahi is a notoriously dangerous break, with waves often reaching up to 60 feet. It is one of the most challenging surf spots in the world, and only a select few can ride its massive waves. 

Those who are brave enough to surf Pe’ahi must be skilled in big wave surfing, as conditions can change rapidly and waves can easily knock a surfer off their board. The wave is also known for its steep takeoff, which can quickly send a surfer out of control. 

Despite the dangers, Pe’ahi is a popular surf spot and attracts surfers from all over the world. The challenge of riding its massive waves is irresistible to many, and those who have mastered Pe’ahi are considered some of the best surfers in the world.

Reasons for selection:

There are many reasons why Pe’ahi (Jaws) is the best surfing for advanced surfers.

  • The first reason is that the waves are incredibly big and powerful. This makes it a challenge for advanced surfers to stay on their boards and make their way down the wave.
  • The second reason is that the waves break very close to the shore, meaning that there is not much room for error. If you make a mistake while surfing at Pe’ahi, you will likely be washed up on the shore very quickly.
  • The third reason is that the waves are very unpredictable. This means that you never know what you are going to get when you paddle out into the water.
  • The fourth reason is that the surfers who surf at Pe’ahi are some of the best in the world. This means that you are constantly competing against the best of the best when you surf there.
  • And finally, the fifth reason is that Pe’ahi is simply a beautiful place to surf. With its rugged coastline and awe-inspiring views, it is hard not to be impressed by Pe’ahi.
peahi
Photo courtesy of Pe’ahi

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Tips & warnings to stay safe while surfing

While surfing in Maui, be sure to heed the following tips and warnings to stay safe:

When you’re surfing in Maui, it’s important to stay safe. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe while surfing:

  • Always bring hydrogen peroxide and first aid gear with you. This will help you if you get injured while surfing.
  • Stay alert and watch out for waves that are bigger than you’re used to. It’s important to know your limits and not take on waves that are too big for you.
  • Be aware of the surf conditions and know what to expect. Surf conditions can change quickly, so it’s important to be prepared for anything.
  • Make sure you know how to swim in case you fall off your board. It’s also a good idea to wear a life jacket, just in case.
  • Be careful when paddling out. Paddling out can be dangerous, especially if the waves are big. Make sure you take your time and don’t try to paddle out when the waves are too big.
  • If you decide to go out on your own, only paddle out where you’ve seen others do the same, as it can be dangerous to enter and exit in certain areas. Watch people before they go in to better understand where you need to be.

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Best surf lessons on Maui

Hawaiian Paddle Sports

  • Address: Ukumehame Beach on West Maui, with an alternative location being Puamana.
  • Program: Students are discouraged from damaging fragile reefs by learning to surf on their board rather than stepping or jumping off, so they won’t get booties HPS teaches them how to create a wave on their board instead of stepping or jumping off, thus avoiding the creation of booties.
  • Participants: Everyone
  • Website: hawaiianpaddlesports.com

Maui Surfer Girls

  • Address: Ukumehame Beach Park on West Maui
  • Program: The Maui Surfer Girls learning program is designed to teach young girls how to surf. The program begins with a basic introduction to surfing, including safety tips and how to use a surfboard. Girls then move on to more advanced lessons, such as how to catch waves and ride them. The program culminates with a trip to the beach, where participants can put what they learned into practice.
  • Participants: Everyone (Operated by a woman)
  • Website: mauisurfergirls.com
maui surfer girls
Photo courtesy of Maui Surfer Girls

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Maui Waveriders

  • Address: Lahaina (West Maui) or Kihei (South Maui)
  • Program: The Maui Waveriders offer a comprehensive learn-to-surf program that is designed to help students of all skill levels learn how to surf. The program is offered throughout the year and includes a variety of lessons and clinics that are tailored to meet the needs of each student. In addition to learning how to surf, students in the program also learn about ocean safety and etiquette.
  • Participants: Everyone
  • Website: mauiwaveriders.com

Zack Howard Surf School

  • Address: Puamana Beach near Lahaina or Paia Bay on the North Shore.
  • Program:  The program is designed to teach the basics of surfing in a short period. Students will learn how to identify and catch waves, as well as how to stand on the board and control their speed.
  • Participants: Everyone
  • Website: zackhowardsurf.com
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Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

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Waves Hawaii

  • Address: Kalama Park in Kihei
  • Program: Waves Hawaii is a great place to learn about waves and the ocean. The program is designed for all ages and offers a variety of activities that allow participants to learn about waves in a fun and interactive way. Some of the activities include making wave models, learning about the physics of waves, and exploring the effects of waves on the environment.
  • Participants: Children aged one to six years old learn best with other toddlers their age. Older kids, however, can benefit from learning in groups that are inclusive of adults and children of mixed ages.

Soul Surfing Maui

  • Address: West Maui
  • Program: Soul Surfing Maui offers a variety of classes for students of all levels of experience. The beginner’s program is designed to give students a strong foundation in the sport. Students learn the basics of surfing, including paddling, popping up, and basic maneuvers. 

The intermediate program teaches more advanced techniques, such as turning and carving. Finally, the advanced program teaches aerial maneuvers and how to ride waves of greater size and power.

soul surfing maui
Photo courtesy of Soul Surfing Maui

Rivers to the Sea

  • Address: Maui
  • Program: A brief surfing learning program of Rivers to the Sea is to be surfed in the morning when the waves are highest. Beginners should always have a buddy with them in the water and should never surf alone. It is important to know how to swim before attempting to surf. Lessons can be taken at a surfing school or from a more experienced surfer.
  • Participants: Beginners and Intermediate
  • Website: riverstothesea.com

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FAQs

The best time of year to surf in Maui?

The best time to surf Hawaii is during the winter season, according to experts. The winter season, from mid-November through early February, is when the waves are larger and more powerful.

What type of surfboard do you need for surfing in Maui?

When looking for a surfboard to take to Maui, you’ll want to make sure you have a board that is designed for smaller waves. A longboard or a funboard is typically best for bigger waves, while a shorter, narrower board is better for smaller waves. So, if you’re looking to catch some waves in Maui, make sure you bring a board that is suited for those conditions.

How to choose the right size surfboard for you?

A big part of choosing the right surfboard is considering your size and weight. Beginners should start with a board that’s six to eight feet long and weigh 100 to 150 pounds. As you progress, you can then consider a board that’s nine to ten feet long and weigh 175 to 225 pounds. If you’re advanced, you can go for a board that’s eleven to twelve feet long and weigh more than 250 pounds.

When choosing a surfboard, you also need to think about your experience level and the type of waves you’ll be surfing. A novice should stick to smaller waves and a beginner or intermediate surfer should use a board designed for those conditions. If you’re looking to ride larger waves, use a board that’s specifically designed for more experienced surfers.

Conclusion

While this list is a great starting point, it’s important to remember that the best surfing Maui can change depending on the time of year and conditions. So, if you’re looking for the perfect wave, always do your research before heading out. And don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

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