Surfing in the Maldives dates back to mid 1970s, when two Australian trailblazers, Tony “Honky” Hinde and Mark Scanlon surfed the pristine waters, seemingly for the first time. While not known for its vigour, Maldivian swells give out nice barrels, and are a sight for sore eyes; crystal clear waves glisten in the sun, while thriving marine life and the reef beneath beckons you.
By late 1980s, Maldives began gathering hype for its unexplored reef breaks. Over three decades later, surfers still flock here from far and wide to get a taste of Maldivian waters. The Maldives experiences the same monsoon winds as Indonesia, and the seasons consist of North East and South West monsoons, with the latter being longer. The biggest waves are likely to occur in June, July and August.
The most famous breaks are located in the Male’ Atolls, and though they are known to attract a crowd, the region is quite popular among seasoned experts, and for good reason. The island reef chain has great waves all year round, especially between April and October. An abundance of resorts and surf safaris in the location also means that surfers need not compromise on their comfort in search for the perfect wave. Some of the best spots in the this region are:
Named after a poultry farm in the uninhabited island Villingilimathi Huraa, Chickens is a great break for left footers. The waves’ swell size ranges from 3 feet to over 10 feet. These left hand waves give out nice barrels, and rides can be up to 500 metres long. As Chickens is known to get the most swell from the region, the waves are great for experienced surfers. Ideal for beginners, Baby Chickens nearby is a gentle break a short ride away.
Close by Chickens is Cokes, the most famous break in the Maldives. Recommended especially for right footers, the break was named after a Coca Cola in factory in Thulusdhoo, a near by island. Tubular waves with large swells can be expected from this break, and is especially good for intermediate and experienced surfers.
Given the name due to its close proximity to a former jail in Himmafushi, the area is known for some fast consistent waves. Only recently opened for public, surfers can expect longer right-hander waves here. Barrels up to 6 feet can be expected here though it can break into sections.
Named for the island Lohifushi, the break is great for left footers, and breaks into two sections. Though ideal to surf during north-west winds and high swells, the break will definitely not disappoint. Lohis is also renowned for its annual WQS O’Neill Deep Blue’s tournament.
Exclusively catering to guests staying in the area, Pasta Point offers great waves for left footers, and has two famous sections; Macaroni bowl and Lock jaws. While the former has earned its name for its unique section, the latter is ideal for days when the swell is big. The break requires a surfing pass, which in turn promises less of a crowd.
Another ideal break for novices, Ninjas is more protected and the waves tend to be smaller. Ideal for right-handers, the spot offers good waves for long-boarders as well. The best conditions in this area can be expected during North West winds.
Ideal for when the winds are in favour of the west, Sultans is known for having fast right-hander waves. Located near the uninhabited island Thamburudhoo, the waves are known to break deep and rise to an easy peak. Even though accessible only by boat, the spot makes up for it by promises of consistent waves year long.
Last but not the least, close by Sultans is Honky’s, a left footer’s paradise contrary to the former. The break enthralls its surfers with some of the best waves in the Male’ Atoll when the winds are ideal. Best surfed on low tide, the waves reach up to double overhead during March to October. Ideal for seasoned surfers, this break is a personal favourite for many.