Surfing the Maldives is not your typical surfing adventure. Because the Maldives is not your typical surfing destination! Remarkable due to its impossibly soft sand and turquoise water, this is one country that takes beach vacations to an unworldly level. And as if the splendid coral reefs, luxury resorts, and gorgeous beaches were not enough, the Maldives also has superb surfing spots. While Indonesia and the Maldives are exposed to the same swells, the punch differs greatly. The Maldives may not have the same hardcore waves and mind-blowing swell Indonesia is known for, but it sure packs some strength and rewards surfers with attention-worthy surfing conditions.
If you’re after the largest swells, visit the Maldives in June, July, and August, when the storms come bearing gifts. You will get the much-loved point breaks with fun pockets, workable corners, and long rides. Surfing in the Maldives is more user-friendly than the Indonesian version. You will mostly find reef breaks and reef points under the caress of light winds. Indeed, surfing doesn’t get as exciting as when you explore the reef breaks in Hawaii or Tahiti, but neither can offer the pristine water and spectacular resorts that await in the Maldives.
Surfing in the Northern Atolls
The most popular of the atolls, the Northern Atolls are also known as the Male Atolls. It was here where surfers first rode Maldivian waves in the 1970s and later hosted international and professional surf contests. Among the many breaks available in the Northern Atolls, you’ll discover sensational places such as Pasta Point, Sultans, Jailbreaks, Chickens, Coke’s, and Lohi’s. All are located in the North Male Atoll and delight intermediate surfers, who will get waves up to 8 feet, even more, if they visit in late summer.
The South Male Atoll doesn’t like being left behind and enters the surfing scene with breaks like Foxy’s, Guru’s, and Riptides. While the North Male Atoll gets la crème de la crème of passionate surfers conquered by incredibly long rides, the South Male Atoll has the advantage of being located closer to the Hulhumale airport and entertaining smaller crowds. However, if you are serious about surfing in the Maldives, head to Coke’s for a right-hand reef break that delights with barrels, or stop at Chicken’s if you’re looking for a left-hand point.
Both areas of the Northern Atolls provide quality setups for memorable surfing experiences as long as they are under the spell of the southeast swell. When the surf is on, the waves are ready to deliver! You will get the opportunity to experience the best of surfing in the Maldives if you visit from April to October but target the mid-season for the best of the best. This is when hollower waves will keep experts on their toes for a little while. However, most waves are perfect for intermediates, who appreciate a good swell, but are not eager to meet their Nemesis yet. Beginners will also find their share of gentle waves with no interest in testing their limits.
Surfing in the Central Atolls
Fewer resorts and fewer boats can mean only one thing: fewer crowds on the beach and in the water. The Central Atolls are the perfect destination if you love to surf alone and take your time when riding the waves. Intermediate surfers who are not keen on the crowded Northern Atolls but want to have their share of swell extravaganza usually meet in the Thaa and Laamu Atolls.
The barrels are pristine and the swell is consistent in the Central Atolls, so you will get all the medium-sized waves you wish for. However, while they may be medium, they are fast and furious, forcing suffers to burn down the line in their mission to make the section.
Yin Yang has proved to be the most consistent surf spot in the Laamu Atoll and, even though it might trick into believing that all it has is a mellow wall, it will soon surprise you with a hollow and rather powerful inside section. The Thaa Atoll takes pride in spots like Malik’s, Finnimas, and Mikado.
Malik’s is not consistent, but when the easterly winds and southwest swell meet, you can expect a fulminating left-hander, excellent barrels, and waves up to 10 feet. Mikado is a straightforward right-hander that packs a lot of swell, and we also have Tsunami’s, a consistent and obedient break that fits just perfectly in your schedule when there are no monsoon winds in the area.
Keep in mind though the Northern Atoll breaks can be easily accessed from the resorts, but the Central Atolls waves ask for a bit more effort and a boat trip. For the best surfing conditions in this region, book your trip between May and October, when the Central Atolls are exposed to the southwest monsoon.