We consider a spin-1/2 Bose-Einstein condensate initially prepared in a single-spin projection. The two channels of dynamical excitations existing in such a system (density and spin waves) are discussed and we show how pure spin waves can be excited in the presence of local magnetic defects. We analyze the role played by spin excitations on the Landau superfluidity criterion and demonstrate the absence of absolute superfluidity for the antiferromagnetic condensate. In the ferromagnetic case, we identify two critical velocities for the breakdown of superfluidity.