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Peahi

All the information you need on Peahi

Pe’ahi (pronounced /pay-AH-hee,) is a place on the north shore of the island of Maui in the U.S. state of Hawaii. It has bestowed its name to a big wave surfing break, also called Jaws.

The name Pe’ahi means "wave" in the Hawaiian language, in the sense of a fanning or beckoning motion of the hand.

The surf break, a deep water reef break, is called "Jaws" due to the size and fierceness of the waves. The waves at "Jaws" are reported to achieve elevations of 120 ft (36.6 m) on the face of the wave, travelling as fast as 30 mph (48.3 km/h).

When the Maui surfers John Roberson, John Lemus, and John Potterick were surfing the break in 1975, they noted a unexpected alteration in the conditions to immense life-threatening waves, and gave it a nickname after the film Jaws, likening the volatility to a shark attack.

Jaws is the home of tow-in surfing and has achieved its global water sports fame mostly due to the frequent filming and photography of tow-in surfing legends executing there on large ocean waves breaking at the thick reef off the shore; celebrated big wave surfers such as tow-in surfing pioneers (also known as "The Strapped Crew"- for the rubber straps on their short surfboards to anchor their feet against the forces) notably Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama.

In order for the surf at "Jaws" to achieve its uttermost elevations, numerous specific ocean and weather conditions must prevail at the same time. Because ocean swells big enough to produce this kind of surf occur exclusively during wintertime months, principally between December and February, they generally coincide with really heavy winds which have a big effect on the surf. Other swells, specially the humble but powerful trade wind swells, can make the surf choppy and hard to ride. There are many other surf spots around the globe that brag similar wave altitudes; however, "Jaws" is renowned for its wave shaping calibre. The reef and rocks at "Jaws" are formed in a way that amplify incoming swell energy and create clean and well defined right and left-directional waves with mammoth barrelling (hollow, air-filled wave interior) sections.

The lookouts on the cliffs preceding the break are the finest viewpoints for witnesses; pro photographers use boats or helicopters. The road was blocked off in 2006, but cleared in 2009. There have been many "World Cup of Tow-in Surfing" competitions held, but the altering conditions mean the appointments can't be set in advance.

The Billabong XXL awards given to big wave surfers often have numerous nominated from the Jaws break in the "largest wave" category. Even experienced surfers can be badly wounded on the fierce waves, and the outback position requires costly rescues via helicopter.

Deep Water Ocean Adventures with Kohl Christensen, Episode 4 This episode follows Kohl Christensen, Dan Ross, Aaron Gold, and Ben Wilkinson as they surf Peahi (Jaws) on Oct 12, 2012. Oct 11th and 12th offered conditions for a historic paddle-in surf session at Jaws, with the best big wave paddle in surfers in the world. Other surfers include, Matt Meola, Nakoa Decoite, Greg Long, Shane [...]

The infamous Maui surf crew and big wave chargers paddle in at mountainous Peahi. Maui crew and big wave pro surfers score a jaw dropping weekends surf at Peahi (Jaws). On 4 January 2012, Surfer Jeff Rowley made surfing history by being the first person to paddle into a 50 foot plus (15 metre) wave at Jaws Peahi, Hawaii, accomplishing his ‘Charge for Charity’ mission [...]

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