All the waves in the Maldives break on coral reefs. The best surf is on the eastern and southern edges of the atolls, where the reef has just the right orientation to swell and wind direction. In those perfect spots, the Maldives surf season produces consistent, clean, straight swell lines.
The Surf Season
The Surf Season runs from mid February to November, when low pressure systems in the southern Indian Ocean generate consistent swells.
The early part of the season has the most stable weather, with light, favourable winds. Swell consistency and size improves from February, with March, April and May having very clean conditions.
June to August have the most potential for big swells (the annual WQS contest has been held in June), although tropical storms can be more common in these months.
September and October are also very consistent months for swell, with winds less variable and tropical storms becoming less frequent. November is still quite consistent for small to medium size waves and the weather is usually perfect for a beach holiday.
North Male’ Atoll Breaks
North Male’ Atoll has the biggest concentration of resorts and the most accessible, best-known, and most popular breaks in the Maldives. The best option for surfers is to stay at Chaaya Island Dhonveli, which gives exclusive access to Pasta Point, as well as all other breaks using Atoll Adventures boats and surf guides. A good alternative is a boat-based Inner Atoll Surf Charter trip.
Pasta Point: Perfect long peeling left. Most consistent of North Male’ Atoll breaks. Good from small to big swells. (Access restricted to Atoll Adventures guests at Chaaya Dhonveli).
Sultans: Excellent right with great barrels over 4′. A great peak takeoff that turns into a thick tube on the inside.
Honky’s: Long wrapping left. Best wave in the Maldives on its day. Perfect 150 yard ride with long walls and an inside section that stands up bigger than the takeoff.
Jailbreak: Long right that is brilliant. The fastest wave in the Maldives with long walls and three tube sections.
Chickens: Long & fast left. Best on higher tide.
Colas: Barrelling right.
Lohis: Two-sectioned left off Huduranfushi Resort. Links up well on a big SE swell and high tides. (Access restricted to guests of Lohifushi Resort)
Piddlies (Ninja’s): Mellow right. Good long board wave. Moderate Swell.
Tombstones: Great long right that needs a big swell
South Male’ Atoll Breaks
South Male’ Atoll breaks are usually a couple of feet smaller than those in North Male’ Atoll, but can be excellent if there’s a big swell. There are a few resorts here, but the best option for surfers is a boat-based Inner & Central Atolls Surf Charter trip.
Gurus: left that works well with a big south swell and a north wind
Quarters: small, quick right
Kates: short little left-hander
Natives: short right that works with a south-west wind and a solid swell
Last Stops: fast right with a great bowl section
Outer Atoll Breaks
Huvadhoo Atoll has over a dozen named breaks, accessible only by live-aboard surfari boats. The only way to surf this region is with an Outer Atolls Surf Charter.
Five Islands (Right),
Love Charms (Left),
Bluebowls (Right) and
Two Ways (Left & Right)
Most surfers will find a short fun board suitable for most conditions in the Maldives, but bring a longer board for bigger swells. The water is warm enough to swim without a wetsuit, though a light suit or rash vest is a good idea, for protection from the sun and from the coral. Booties are essential for picking your way over exposed coral reefs, and a helmet is recommended.
If you’re doing a boat-based surfari holiday, bring all the gear you’ll need because nothing will be available in the atolls. Atoll Adventures has a range of quality Rental Surfboards available at Chaaya Island Dhonveli.