DANG jaws: Footage of Maui’s Jaws (Peahi) Living Up to Its Name

by Owen James Burke


Screenshot from ACL Digital Cinema‘s Vimeo montage

Maui’s premier big wave break, Jaws, or Peahi, was in full form on January 21st and 22nd, as were photographers and drones. Note that the surfers featured are not using jet skis to catch these waves, but sheer man power, paddling hand over hand — something that was unthinkable until only a few years ago.


Screenshot from ACL Digital Cinema‘s Vimeo montage

It was only sometime after 2010 that big wave elites like Shane Dorian, Mark Healey, Kohl Christensen and Greg Long began paddling into these explosive walls of water at Jaws (as opposed to towing in behind a jet ski). Now it seems that the only jet skis in the lineup are there for rescue.

“Before it was ‘Jaws,'” says legendary Hawaiian surfer Gerry Lopez (aka Mr. Pipeline), “we called it ‘Atom Blaster’ because it broke like an atomic bomb.”

The name Jaws speaks for itself, but “Local surfers also know the break as Peahi, Hawaiian for ‘beckon,'” writes Scuttlefish friend and surf historian extraordinaire Matt Warshaw.

Read more about the history of Jaws (and surfing) on Matt Warshaw’s site, Encyclopedia of Surfing, and in his book by the same name. — OJB

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