Welcome To Wai

“Out of the water, I am nothing.”
—Duke Kahanamoku

Water is the most essential element on Maui. It surrounds us and flows across the island. 

The ocean is a source of joy for locals and visitors alike: for surfers, kiters, snorkelers, fisherman, paddle boarders, whale watchers, and countless others. Our streams and waterfalls are world-famous sources of tranquility and beauty.

This special issue is dedicated to wai, H20, the source of life.

We profile a fourth-generation waterman and interview an author who wrote the book on big-wave surfing. We explore the complex history of Maui’s four great waters and why our freshwater resources are so essential. We take a dive into eco-friendly surf gear and plastic water bottle alternatives. 

And, when you’re looking for something to do on dry land, you can peruse the island’s most comprehensive events calendar.

Enjoy the water. Conserve the water. Respect the water.

Read all our Water Edition stories below:

Building a Better Board – Timpone Leaf Lite EcoBoards sport novel, natural materials

The Four Great Waters – The ocean makes Maui famous—but our freshwater is a precious resource

Thirsting for a Solution – The high cost of alternatives to single-use plastic water bottles makes conservation a luxury

Out of the Shadows of Giants – Fourth-generation waterman Austin Kalama takes flight on his own 

The Way of Wai – Blending the old with the new to bring water security back to Maui

Going Big – Author Ugo Corte explores the joy—and danger—of tackling monstrous waves

Jacob Shafer