West Maui has a gently arcing convex coast. From south to north, the shoreline changes exposure from southwesterly, to westerly, to northwesterly. The islands of Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe offer partial protection from swell.
West Maui beaches do experience energetic seasonal swell that cause significant changes in the beach profile and shifts in seasonal sediment movement along the coast. The coastline is influenced by alternating south-southwest and north-northwest swell events. The shoreline is characterized by lengths of sandy beach interrupted by rocky headlands and engineered structures.