The waves in Hawaii are generated by different weather patterns in the area. There are four primary swells, the Easterly Swell, the Northerly Swell, the Southerly Swell, and the Northwesterly Swell. The Easterly Swell is made of smaller, two to six foot waves created by trade winds. The Southerly Swell is caused by storms around New Zealand. These swells can reach up to 10 feet tall. The Northerly Swell reaches up to 20 feet when winter storms roll towards the islands. Lastly, the Northwesterly Swell has the overall best high surf, created by storm fronts during the winter.
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