To the original op..... it depends on what your definition of waves is. I mean are you looking for a 20'-30'+ swell or are you talking just scoring some decent waves?
Typically in Hawaii that is the time for waves. Biggins!!! If you are not used to surfing big surf then you are probably going to be spending your time trying to find a smaller break. The beginning or November is when the crowds start flocking. Actually probably well before that but anyways that's prime time!
With that being said you will most definitely need to make arrangements well in advance. Unless you know somebody. It would be like trying to find a hotel room in Daytona during speedweek!
I currently live on maui...we have had one big swell that yes was 20+ feet. Big enough for the boys to be hitting jaws. But as of today its flat as a pancake. That being said this is a time of year where you can score some BIG waves, or get skunked surfing 2-3ft mush.
And in regards to the crowds, its always crowded in the water here, but the tourists have yet to arrive. They'll start around thanksgiving. Hopefully sooner cause most of us rely on them for our paychecks and the wallet is getting tight.
Like I said Maui is famous for food. You can try variety of food there. There is a famous restaurant called "mama's fish house". Its on the way to the famous road to Hana. Also off the coast of Maui is the coral reef called Molokini. It was absolutely gorgeous.
best time to go is January.yes youll miss a few good swells,but the wqs and wct guys will be gone and itll be all locals.u always see footage of pipe with 200 guys in the water,maybe 20-30 of them are real locals who live on the northshore.the rest are from maui,kaui,etc,and America,australia,africa,indo,outdo...iv been to Hawaii twice,and it really sucks going nov/dec.u can paddle out at sunset or off the wall,pipe,and be out for hours not catch anything.thats why u have to go for the huge doubleup closeouts.people will see your crazy and let u get a few good ones= pipe,way too crowded.did anyone see that recent black Friday swell where eala stewart(kid with the fro) jumped off at the bottom turn because someone was in his way and took that lip to the head!??holy shyt phuck jesus.i thought about entering the volcom pro just to try to get a few waves at pipe.also on that black Friday vid,jamie o brien was takin off near backdoor,and backdooring pipe.anyone who thinks john john is a freak at pipe never watched job.idk I got to meet job a few yrs ago and he is just a freak of nature.watchin him in person is better than drugs lol.makes me want to try to go left on a right,right on a left.like Christian fletcher said,if u came out the barrel u weren't deep enuf