Jaws Lookout, Hawaii

Photo via Pixabay

Where in the West Should I Go? • 52 Places to Visit in 2022

Are you trying to see some of the biggest waves on the planet? Then look no further than Maui’s Jaws Lookout. Jaws is the local nickname for the Pe’ahi surf break, one of the best big wave surfing destinations in the world. 

If you plan your trip during peak wave season, between November and March, you may witness some of the world’s most dangerous and glorious ocean swells. This Maui destination sees at least one 75-foot wave every year, averaging winter waves between 35 and 50 feet tall. 

Thunderous waves rattle the sea cliffs as they send surfers into barrels crashing onto the shallow reefs. Contrary to what the name implies, Jaws gets its name from its unpredictable surf break that poses hazardous risks to anyone in the wrong place. 

The Jaws Lookout above the Pe’ahi cliffs provides the best vantage point for tourists and photographers to witness the sheer power of Mother Nature and the intrepid surfers. The lookout is situated on the road to Hana, seven miles outside of Paia town. It offers a bird’s eye view with 180 degrees of ocean visibility, where a pair of binoculars will keep you in the midst of surfing action. Witness the big waves firsthand at surfing competitions like the Billabong Big Wave contest that happens each year. Stop by the idyllic Paia town on your way to the lookout, splurging on local cuisine and tourist memorabilia to commemorate your trip.