As of April 1, 2023, the County of Maui has committed to opening the gates at Hoʻokipa Beach Park at 5:30am in perpetuity. Hoʻokipa is one of the most consistent waves on Maui and heavily used by local surfers - especially during the winter months. It is also the one of the only surfing beach parks that does not have safe parking access on the ocean side of the highway. Gates were installed at Hoʻokipa over a decade ago to keep out overnight campers. Prior to COVID, the gates were regularly opened early for surfers and fishers to access the beach park. Since 2020, however, the gates remained locked and closed until 7am, forcing working surfers and keiki to park mauka of Hāna Highway and dodge heavy traffic.
In the fall of 2022, concerned North Shore community members requested that the County open the gates early for dawn patrol surfers and shoreline users. Nearly 1,000 people signed an online petition and many showed up to county budget hearings to ask for early access hours at the park. Beginning December 16, 2022, the Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter partnered with the County of Maui to open the gates at Hoʻokipa at 5:30am through March 31, 2023. While this was an important victory, the community and Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter spent nearly $3,000 to keep the gates open over this 3 month period. The longterm solution was to transfer the responsibility of opening the gates back to the County of Maui.
On March 28, 2023, the Maui Chapter was informed that the County of Maui Parks and Recreation Department was officially going to take over opening the Hoʻokipa gates at 5:30am year round. The earlier hours ensure safe beach access for early morning beach and ocean users.