Kite Beach is one of the best Maui kiteboarding spots, if not the very best. You can find this beach on the western end of Kanaha Beach not far from the Kahului Airport and no more than 45 minutes from two of Maui’s most popular vacation bases – Lahaina and Wailea. So good is the kiteboarding at Kite Beach that some even rank it among the world’s top kiteboarding spots. Why so good, you may ask? Kite Beach boasts more windy days than perhaps any other kiteboarding destination on the planet. Largely to thank for all this wind is the valley between Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains. It creates a sort of venturi effect that drives wind across Kite Beach.
Kite Beach Maui
Kite Beach Maui can be ideal for expert and beginner kiteboarders alike. The strong consistent winds are too good to pass up for the seasoned kiteboarding crowd. Beginners benefit from the tendency of the side onshore winds to bring them safely back to shore. Increasing the allure for beginning kiteboarders is the fact that the waters off Kite Beach are kept relatively flat and calm due to the protection that is afforded by a nearby reef. For intermediate and advanced kiteboarders, heading further offshore to where the waves start to break at the reef is an option worth considering. November to February is when the largest waves break on the reef.
Generally speaking, Kite Beach Maui gets 13-25 mph winds throughout the year. There are some specific tendencies that are worth noting, however. The most predictable winds can be expected from May to October. Winter, on the other hand, is when the winds at Kite Beach are typically more diverse, in which case larger kites are often preferred. Winter can also see offshore winds all along the north shore of Maui. As such, intermediate and advanced kiteboarders often head down to the south shore area around Kihei where the winter winds are more of the side shore variety. The Kihei area is not recommended for beginners, due in part to the proximity of the road and to the exposed coral that can be found in the shallow waters.
Kiteboarding at Kite Beach, as is true of windsurfing, is not allowed before 11 AM, as swimmers and fishermen have exclusive access to the area during the early morning hours. There is, however, a reserved area for windsurfing at one of the nearby beaches between the hours of 9 AM and 11 AM should that be your morning activity of choice. It should also be noted that the Federal Aviation Administration regulates and monitors the Kite Beach area due to the fact that the Kahului Airport is so close. Kiteboarding is actually not permitted near the end of the airport runway. Kihei and Lahaina are not in the FAA zone, so there is no need to worry about FAA regulations when kiteboarding in those areas.
If you are new to kiteboarding, you can arrange to take some lessons during your Maui vacation. Kite Beach is among the destinations of choice for lessons, and multi-day courses are available. There are hotels near Kite Beach in the event that you wish to stay close by. Examples of such hotels include the Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport, the Maui Seaside Hotel and the Paia Inn, to name a few.