Surfing in the Maldives
If you haven’t ticked off the bucket list destination of the Maldives yet, the chances are that you still have a fairly good idea of what it looks like (you are sure to have seen the pictures in high-end travel brochures or on Instagram feeds). Stunning beaches fade into glistening aquamarine waters that teem with an array of sensational marine life. It’s a tranquil oasis where luxury resorts unravel across their own private islands and exclusive villas are perched on stilts in the tropical water; it’s a dream destination for many travellers.
With sensational surrounds and beautiful year-round weather, this gorgeous destinations offers guests a plethora of thrilling things to do, one of the most popular being to go surfing in the Maldives. The (often) expansive sensational lagoons that are exhibited in the travel brochures don’t scream “surfing hotspot” but in some parts of the Maldives, just outside of the reef-protected lagoons, you can find close to perfect conditions for surfing in the Maldives.
A destination that is fast gaining the attention of avid surfers from around the world, the Maldives is a collection of some 1190 islands and is truly a surfer's paradise, one that is far more relaxed than many of the other surfing favourites around the world these days (Indonesia comes to mind). While the waves here don’t quite match the power of other surfing destinations, during the peak season (April to October), there is still more than enough swell that rewards eager surfers with stellar barrels, thrilling pockets and long waves. The waves here break on the dead reef but the only real risk of contact is if you surf during the low tide. The biggest waves tend to materialise between June and September when the swell picks up from the south thanks to the offshore conditions, so advanced surfers may want to plan accordingly.
The warm, tropical waters here mean wetsuit-free surfing and the array of reef breaks allow for surfers of all abilities to have an enjoyable time in the water. Each region in the Maldives has specific areas that present great surfing opportunities and experiences, but they are all a little different. The main surf spots can be found in; the South Atolls, the Central Atolls and the Male Atolls.
The atolls in the south are far less popular than the Male Atolls which makes for easier surfing conditions. This region has two prime surfing periods; the first is between March and April and the second is between October and November, where light winds and clear skies, as well as world-class right-handers, are the norm. These are also fantastic months to snorkel and fish in the area, which makes it a popular time to head to the Maldives. In this region, you can get the best of both the southwest and southeast swell, which ups the chance of excellent waves and numerous setups.
The atolls in the central region provide great breaks mid-season that are suitable for surfers of all abilities. The distance between breaks can be quite long but a huge advantage is there aren’t many crowds here which allows for stress-free surfing.
The setups in the North and South Male Atolls between April and October are great quality and frequent but require a southeast swell. When that swell is there, however, it comes with lots of extraordinary waves. Being a well-known surf spot, the one downside is that it can get a little busy here, specifically in the prime surfing period, so you might just have to be a little patient, hang back and allow the crowd to thin a bit—it will be worth it.
For those looking to go surfing in the Maldives but have never surfed before, there are a few surfing schools that will be more than willing to show you the ropes. For more advanced surfers, it would be worth checking out the surfing charters as many of the best surfing spots in the Maldives can only be reached by boat. On the flat days when surf conditions aren’t at their best, you can still enjoy one of the other wonderful things to do in the Maldives, such as go diving, snorkelling or try your hand at one of the many other water sports on offer.
If you are looking to head to the Maldives and want the most sensational home away from home, then Kanuhura is sure to delight. This magnificent five-star gypset haven is the perfect place for wild-hearted adventurers looking for the perfect slice of paradise.