Channel Guide to Swimming Maui Nui
Better channel swimming through shared knowledge
Hosted by Maui Nui Swim
Welcome to the Channel Guide brought to you by Maui Nui Swim. This reference is intended to show historical data and images pertaining to swimming across the Maui Nui channels for educational purposes only. Do not attempt any channel crossing without safety support and be sure to follow all local, cultural, state, and federal regulations. Maui Nui Swim does not provide travel advice.
As of 2022, only 3 of the Maui Nui Channels are legally swimmable: Pailolo, Kalohi, and Auau. Each channel has its own unique attributes and strategies for a successful cross. Since the inception of the Maui Nui Swim in 2017, 33 out of 37 entrants have successfully completed all three channels with several additional swimmers coming along for the adventure and completing a channel or two. Several swimmers have come back to repeat the event one or more times. The following channel guide is broken up into sections for each channel with data sourced from decades of channel crossing certification forms, our own experience with the Maui Nui Swim, Steve's data from his 31 swims of the 3 channels including 2 successful double crosses (Auau and Pailolo), and contemporary data that includes GPS course, swimmer speed, current and wind data. Be sure to visit each channel page for specific information.
Updated December 21, 2022
Visit this site to see current graphs of the channels. This site helps to understand general relationships between current, moon phase, and tides. The data is not always accurate and sometimes changes closer to the swim date.
This data rich site is best used within a 5-day window before your swim. We use it primarily for wind data but there are multiple environmental data sets available.
Hawaii tide charts: In general the tides change about every 5-6 hours. Most channel crossings are between 4-6 hours. It is best to avoid landing in shallow areas during low tide when possible. Otherwise starting on a falling tide or landing on a rising tide provide almost neglible benefits to the swimmer.