Maui is not typically in the surf world’s news cycle in July. But the Code Red 2 swell that we first watched churn out all-time Teahupo’o waves was no ordinary swell. This is why and how all that energy made headlines (and history) once it arrived on Maui’s south-facing shores.
Ma’alaea Bay’s Freight Trains is a finicky wave — one of those spots that requires a lot of compounding conditions working just right for it to really turn on. Swells have to split a narrow gap between the southern part of Maui and the volcanic island of Kaho’olawe. That same pulse has to also fly over the Molokini Crater with enough energy intact to turn Freight Trains into what’s considered one of the fastest waves in the world. There’s about a 10 or 11 kilometer gap that all this energy has to split with the kind of precision that will turn Freight Trains into the proper, heaving barrels we saw over the weekend. How rare is all that? While the wave itself does break every once in a while, even Kai Lenny had reportedly never surfed this spot on his home island.
“It was 4-6 feet in the morning and jumped up to eight feet solid with bigger sets around 2 p.m.,” videographer Marcus Rodriguez told The Inertia, who called it the biggest day (s) there in 20 years.
Lenny shared a first-person look at the wave and the lineup. It’s as steep as those shots from the beach make it look. Only you can’t hear all those onlookers screaming and hooting at every barrel from the shore.
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