Current conditions at Kanaha Beach Park
Beach & Nearshore
Kanaha Beach Park is located on the Maui North Shore.
Location: Alahao Road, Kahului.
Description: Kanahā Beach Park is a sixty-six-acre county beach park. The east half of the park is developed, with restrooms, showers, and paved parking. The west half is kiawe grove crossed by a number of secondary dirt roads. The beach fronting most of the park is narrow and severely eroded. A series of boulder groins constructed perpendicular to the beach to retard erosion have been ineffective and now are seaward of the beach and isolated in the ocean. However, a section of white sand beach approximately one-half mile long at the east end of the park is wide and free of rocks.
Precautions: Kanahā Beach Park is heavily used for windsurfing. Swimmers need to be alert at all times for windsurfers who are constantly launching and landing, often at high speeds. A swimming area near the east end of the park is delineated with a line of buoys to separate the swimmers and windsurfers. Kahului Airport is located directly inland of the park. If aircraft noise is too bothersome, you may want to look elsewhere for a more peaceful setting.
Highlights: Windsurfing was introduced to Hawaiʻi in the 1970s, and Kailua and Diamond Head Beaches on Oʻahu immediately became its most popular sites. Then the sport moved to the north shore of Maui, where the shoreline from Kahului to Paʻia has become one of the premier windsurfing sites in the world. The year-round consistency, high velocity, and angle-to-shore of the trade winds; the surf on the nearshore fringing reefs; the year-round mild climate; and the accessibility of sand beaches close to public roads have combined to make this a world-class venue for the sport and its international competitions.
Kanahā Beach Park, specifically the east end of the park, is one of the major windsurfing sites on Maui's north shore. On a windy day, an average of 100 windsurfers may be found in the water at any time of the day, and windsurfing boards and sails often cover the beach itself from end to end. Kanaha Beach is close to Kahului, where many of the windsurfing shops are located, thus making it a
focal point for novice and intermediate windsurfers, who can launch and land safely along the wide sandy beach.
Kanahā Beach is also the best swimming beach on the Kahului/Wailuku side of the island. With a gentle slope to overhead depths, it is a popular place for families and children. Kanahā means "the shattered [thing]."