Cove Park in Kihei is an ideal Maui beach to learn how to surf. In fact, this is the exact beach where I learned to surf back in 1997 (I am really that old!). What makes this particular surfing destination so “user-friendly” you ask? Read my list below for answers.
- Attitude: Anyone who is surfing at Cove Park understands that it is the bunny hill or green circle trail (for all you skiers out there) of surf breaks. You don’t have to worry about others in the water getting irate if you steel their wave or crash your board into there’s. Because most everyone in the water is a beginner, you don’t have to worry about what others think, and there is a sense of comradery as you cheer on other beginners standing up for the first time.
- Strength in numbers: For most people, being out in the water by yourself or with a few other surfers can be pretty scary at times because of the feeling of isolation from the shoreline. At Cove Park you can almost guarantee a crowd. Because it is located right in front of a popular public park with a running trail, sand volleyball court, bar-b-cue pits, etc., the beach and water are usually crawling with activity.
- Shallow: Most beginners are most afraid of the “s-word”… sharks. You will find comfort in knowing that at any moment while you are waiting for a wave, you can simply jump off your board and be in water that is about waist deep. That being said, it is heavily advised to wear surf booties on your feet, so you don’t scratch them up when you fall off your board.
- Relatively close to shore: Some surf breaks require a 15 minute paddle to get to, or even bumming a ride on a boat (Lahaina’s harbor comes to mind). Choose to stay close to shore and catch waves along the left side of Cove Park, or paddle a little further out to the right and catch a longer ride. On the flip side, family members can sit along the rocky shoreline and enjoy great views of you trying to tackle the waves.
- Wave conditions: Usually the biggest swells wrap around the north facing shores (Baldwin Beach, Paia Bay, Ho’okeipa). Cove Park (with a southwest facing shore) traditionally provides one- to two-foot waves that continuously tumble over and break, providing the opportunity to ride the long occurrences of whitewater. This makes catching a wave super easy, because you don’t need to time your drop-in before the wave breaks, simply catch the aftermath of the wave.
If you are looking to take the family surfing on Maui, Cove Park should be your first consideration. Numerous surfing lessons/tours can be booked within walking distance of the beach (look for the colorful surf vans in the parking lot). Cover Park can be found at 2120 Iliili Road in Kihei.
[Photo source: buckaroobay]