surfing on Molokai

Last weekend we finished are big fundraiser-fiesta to support local charities. The grand prize lottery is a trip for two to Molokai for a week. Well, guess who won this year? Me. Obviously, I’m pretty damned stoked. I have to take the trip in the next year. I’m a teacher and get two weeks off in October, 2 in December, and 2 in March. I probably could not get it together for the October break. Does anyone have any information they would share with me concerning surfing and seasons on Molokai? My wife enjoys swimming and snorkeling as do I. Information concerning this and other activities would be nice, too. I understand completely anyone wanting to keep their surf spots ‘under their hats.’ Mike

Donald Takayama has a house on Molokai, he talks of a very good break

Rooster----------Look for a PM from me later. McDing

I lived two doors from Pauhana in right down the road from Kaunakakai warf back in 1970 when I was 15. Facing the ocean, we caught some good waves when there was a decent south east swell at the warf. The water was pretty sharky back then because of the pineapple barges would load there. The west side have a few good breaks in the fall and winter. The east side has a few good breaks like Pohakuloa Point , Moomomi and Kepuhui Beach.

It’s been over 30 years since I surfed there but I remember a few great breaks and always seeing sharks. Back then, the road to the east side was only one lane.

Boy this is taking me back!


I have a friend who goes there often to surf. Be very mellow and low key. Don’t show up with a bunch of guys (I guess it’s just you, though) You will be an unwelcome and uninvited guest. Remember that at all times. People there are protective of their home, and their waves in particular. Never been, but I hear that it goes off if you know where and when. Best of luck. If you encounter friendly locals, wouldn’t hurt to leave a board or two, rather than paying to fly them home.

every surfing story i’ve ever heard about moloka’i has involved at least one shark.

There’s Kepuhi Bay on the west end ( a mushy right over sand) and Halawa Bay on the east end ( peaky right /left w/ sand/ mud bottom IIRC). And a lot of nothing in between.

uncle D … curious. why pinapple barges = sharky? pinapple? maybe the crews food and stuff was thrown overboard.

Vegetarian Sharks perhaps influenced by all those hippies during that period.

Just kidding, there was more than pineapples on those barges and yes, things including cattle sometimes fell over board. With the right conditions, the wharf had some great waves. I was 15 at the time and that summer I just pick pineapples for a $1.40 per hour and surfed, fished or hunted after work. It was a great adventure for a teenager.


since Molokai Ranch closed operations times are tough and tensions are high.

There aren’t any jobs left and water is threatened to be cut off from the ranch operation who wants to shut down.

This is all because the local community tried to control how the Ranch could develop the land it owned. So the Asian owner just shut down everything and fired everyone and now wants to also shut down the water pump operation they were providing to the island on contract to the state.

Also there’s battles with alot of outside silicon valley billionaire investors who bought land and are now trying to develop it into gated communities

Obviously its not a real happy place right now.

The sharks are because the waters are abundant with sealife

The sharks on land are because of the huge unemployment

Watch that plane ride on Island Air in it’s a doozy…

Beautiful people, beautiful place.

More Hawaii in culture than the rest of Hawaii except Niihau

Change your last name to Ritte or Duvachelle and you’re in



Beautiful people, beautiful place.

More Hawaii in culture than the rest of Hawaii except Niihau

Change your last name to Ritte or Duvachelle and you’re in


Interesting microcosm of the bigger picture.


in the correct circumstance

sharks are exaulted

not deamonized and vilified

sharks validate such a place

in time molokai is a

special island,to visit

is a gifted privilege.


… ambrose…

Thanks for everyone’s responses. I do consider it a privilege to visit Molokai. I also consider it a privilege to visit any of the sacred places I have visited. My uncle was born in Hawaii and owned a house on Molokai until his death. He loved it because it reminded him of the Hawaii of his childhood. I try to treat people with respect wherever I go and try not to presume anything. I would love to build a board for the trip and leave it for whoever could use a board. I was glad BamBam suggested this because I thought of it, but would not want to insult anyone and presume they needed charity from me. The lottery in which I won this trip was the end of what we call the Fiesta. Our Kiwanis club takes the last week in July every year for this event. It included a golf tournament, a BBQ with live music, and a weekend in the park that includes live music, arts, majicians, animals, food, booze, etc. It’s a fun event and the money we make goes to local charitable causes. Mostly kids sports leagues, youth centers, scouts, college scholarships, wheel chairs, seeing eye dogs, etc. It’s an honor to serve your community and we have a lot of fun doing it. We work hard, drink beer, and I get to hang out with a bunch of old guys with artificial knees, hips, and reemed out prostrates. Anyway, thanks for the feedback. I’ll probably cruise around, enjoy the people, land, and ocean. If I can get a few waves I’ll be stoked. If I don’t surf, I’ll still have fun. No worries. Mike

There’s surf on Molokai. But not much. Like anywhere else, though, on the right day it’s unreal. I would not look for waves on the south side, generally it’s real muddy. Try, if there’s a big north/west, outside the breakwater of Hale O Lono harbor where the Molokai Ho’e canoe race (Molokai to Oahu, the international Super Bowl of paddling), starts. May be tough to get there though. At the other end, and since it’s been named already, Halawa Valley can produce a screaming left if the swell is right.

It’s nicknamed “The Friendly Island”. Lotsa mahu’s there, and plenty mokes too IIRC

I can’t say more than, at some level, the hardship of living there has been brought on by the activism rampant there.

If I can get a few waves I'll be stoked. If I don't surf, I'll still have fun. No worries. Mike

A winning lotto ticket, congrats. A surfing friend of mine on a honeymoon there was awed by the break in view from his window, he had the same attitude. Never surfed it but showed me the photos.


Howzit rooster, It's a small population on Molokai so ask about a friend of mine named Eddie Lavoy who has lived there since the early 70's. Tell him you know Mike Williams from Kauai, he should fill you in on where the surf is.Aloha,Kokua

Thanks Kokua! Mike

I would love to build a board for the trip and leave it for whoever could use a board.
Again, since it's already been named, I'd be tempted to leave it with someone at Halawa Valley. They don't have much by way of possessions despite living in a small paradise over there. And if you go up the valley to the falls, pay the locals for the trip. A young local guy takes people up there. You can organise through some agency in town, or just turn up there and ask the young guy and negotiate a price directly. It's well worth the trip and he and his family are super nice. It's not compulsory to pay, you can do the trek yourself, but you're walking through their backyard and he's got lots to show and tell you about.

Thanks for the tip, Toby. Sounds perfect. Mike

If you drive all the way to the end of the sealed road, there’s a grassed area on the right w/ ablution block and some ruins. Find somewhere to park there not underneath a coconut palm and the guy’s family who does the tours is opposite, directly down through the thick trees and brush maybe 100yds. No fences or gates or anything, just straight down there. It’s probably kind of intimidating walking down there into their yard but they were all very friendly people. If the guy’s taking a tour at the time then maybe go and have a picnic and/or surf at the beach, it’s pretty nice (google images shows what it looks like). Each trip is maybe 2-3hrs w/ a swim and rest. Take some snacks and water. Young guy does the hike every day to exercise his dogs whether he’s got a group or not, so if he gets paid it’s a bonus. Take a camera for sure, lots to see on the way there and while you’re in the valley. You’ll also pass some worthy beaches on the way there for swimming/snorkelling/surfing if conditions are right.

Interesting surf-related trivia - the young guy was apparently on whatever the world bodyboarding tour is called for a year or two but gave it up due to family commitments.