Twenty-three years after we started the fight to preserve the surf break at Ma’alaea we succeeded. It is now saved. Photo: Brewer/Surfrider

Twenty-three years after we started the fight to preserve the surf break at Ma’alaea we succeeded. It is now saved. Photo: Brewer/Surfrider


The Inertia

Twenty-three years after we started the fight to preserve the surf break at Ma’alaea we succeeded. It is now saved.

To put that amount of time into perspective, Surfrider Foundation came into existence in 1984, twenty-eight years ago, and the campaign to preserve this wave has been going since 1990.

What was at stake was a wave called Freight Trains. The name refers to the speed of the wave. It’s thought by many to be one of the world’s fastest waves.

At the end of last week we were thrilled to see the end to this long-fought campaign.

The victory became a reality when the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and the United States Army Corp of Engineers announced that they were abandoning plans to extend the breakwater at Ma’alaea Harbor.

The Surfrider Foundation and other groups have long opposed the project for fear that it would destroy large sections of coral reef and irreparably damage the nearby surf break.

Protecting our world’s surfing resources is at the very core of what we do so wins like this one are especially meaningful to us.

A huge congratulations to the many volunteers and activists that have fought over the last twenty-three years to make this a reality.


  • Tom Wegener

    Congratulations!!!  That is a massive victory for surfing.  Your hard work and determination will benefit surfers for generations!

    Tom Wegener

    PS:  I got such a good day there in 1978!  It would be a very good wave on the alaia and I just wonder about the name Ma’alaea and it’s close sound to the Alaia.  Mmmmm.  Maybe a connection… I would love to buy you guys a big round of beer.

  • TONYCBLACKSURF

    I GOT TO SEE IT WHEN THE SEA-FLIGHT DOCKED THERE IN 1974-5, NEVER SAW IT BREAK MORE THAN 8in. BUT ‘MIND SURFED IT’ PLENTY THEN…i STILL HAVE HOPE TO RIDE THE ‘TRAIN’ …THANKS  ALL YOU PEOPLE FOR SAVING MA’ALAEA…GOD BLESS YOU ALL…
    TONY CORLEY, BLACK SURFING ASSOCIATION