Every year, elite windsurfers from around the world head to Hookipa Beach on Maui – hoping for two things: wind and waves. Without either, the annual contest can’t be held.
That’s why the JP Aloha Classic has a two-week holding period. This is similar to the Van’s Triple Crown or other big-wave contests, which require a certain wave height in order for the contest to be held. Oftentimes, unfavorable conditions and lack of time in the holding period force coordinators to run the contest anyway.
Hookipa, which means “hospitality” in Hawaiian, welcomes people from near and far. It is fairly opened to nature’s elements; therefore, making it the perfect spot for windsurfing. But on those Kona wind days, when the winds are completely dead, the beach can be a lake.
Spectators hoping to catch all of the action should check the contest website first. That’s where you can find out if the contest will be held or not before making the drive to Maui’s north shore. I had a chance to watch a windsurfing contest one year, and did so from on top of the hill. The raised view of the contest really made for an awesome show!