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Headed to Hawaii? Go wave jumping in Maui

What's the deal?

Go old-school and get some big air on a windsurfing board.

Where's it at?

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These days, windsurfing's younger, flashier cousin, kiteboarding, gets all the attention. But on Maui's North Shore, the place where the sport took off in the 1980s, windsurfing is still very much in vogue. One reason is the island's perfect combination of wind, waves and warm weather, which make riding possible year-round. The other is the thrill of using waves as giant ramps.

To jump waves, you need at least a 12-knot cross-beach wind and a short board. That will let you hit waves head-on and launch skyward. Top riders can jump 10 metres or more and nail tricks such as forward or backward loops. But before you even attempt a baby jump, you need to know how to handle a board in flat water, how to get started again away from shore when you fall and how to jibe or turn the board around. Book a course with Hawaiian Sailboarding Techniques (hstwindsurfing.com), Maui's longest-running windsurfing school, and you'll soon be soaring. And after you've jumped those waves on the way out, you get to ride them surfer-style on the way back to shore. Going old-school couldn't be more fun.

Who's it for?

Those who like air time and water sports and aren't driven by the latest trends. A 2½-hour lesson with Hawaiian Sailboarding Techniques costs $79 (U.S.) a person.

Special to The Globe and Mail

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