In 1973 a 20-year-old Australian set off on a journey of a lifetime, to discover the world and to find his destiny. As fortune would have it, the boat in which Tony Hinde was in became shipwrecked, and his initial mission to reach Jeffreys Bay scuttled.

The wreck was as serendipitous as could be, as the boat came to rest in the modern-day paradise known as The Maldives.

“It all started with that movie The Forgotten Island of Santosha back in 1973. ... I knew that’s what I wanted to do: find a perfect wave out in the middle of nowhere, live simple and surf. ... I’m a natural-footer. So I figured Jeffrey’s Bay in South Africa was the go. The plan was to travel up through Malaysia, over to India, then find a way to get to Africa from there. That was my dream.” (Surfline)

Don’t ever sail anywhere with a guy with an eye patch & a monkey on his shoulder.

While working on the shipwreck, Tony and his fellow boaters spent some time exploring the nearby islands, and soon discovered the perfection of Pasta Point, of Lohis, Jail Break, Honkies and Cokes to name a few. It was Pasta Point, however, that Tony settled on, and started up a surf camp.

It didn't take long for Tony to fully immerse into the local culture, and he married a local beauty and settled down in the Maldives, started Atoll Travel. The area where he had settled soon began attracting the hordes, and Tony adopted strict control of his piece of paradise, making sure that is was sustainable and eco-friendly. He put a cap on the number of surfers who were allowed to visit at any time and maintained that only the surfers staying at his resort were allowed to surf Pasta Point, using the local 'house reef' law of the territory. (45 max)

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Pasta Point is an incredible wave and an enjoyable experience. It is expensive, but worth every cent. The wave is a perfect, roping left that has enough excitement in it to be a total thrill on the sets, but enough of the Maldivian style of fun waves to not be too dangerous as to be scary. Only on the bigger, offshore days does it get heavy, but it still breaks in the same spot, and it is mechanical, so it is easy to get to grips with the wave, the take-off spot and the speed run down the line.

The wave barrels, particularly over the inside section, and it does break over shallow coral, so injuries do happen and you must have reef boots and medical insurance. There is a resident doctor at the resort, but only for emergencies, and you do need to have that insurance.

Across the channel is the perfect right-hander of Sultans. It gets crowded, but it is a perfect wave with a bunch of barreling sections and a long winding wall along the inside part. It is one of the better right-handers in the area, but it does get crowded and stay crowded.

Around the corner is Honkies, the left that gets hollow on the inside. It remains relatively uncrowded due to the inside coral and the chances of getting drydocked or injured. A little bit tricky for natural-footers, it is a quality wave that wedges due to the waves moving through the channel between islands.

Slightly further afield is Jail Breaks, the perfect right-hander with three barreling sections that join up to make a perfect wave on the right tide and ideal swell. It is a bit sectiony at times, but is still a famous wave and is never really that crowded unless a few boats are staying right there.

Even further afield is the perfect partnership of Cokes and Chickens, two perfect barreling waves within viewing distance of each other. Cokes runs down a ruler-edged reef and can barrel perfectly, but is not too dangerous or heavy.

Chickens is a class left, but it is fast and shallow, frequented by the goofy-footers.

If you're on the wrong side of the tide, and you need to paddle out to a boat against a dropping tide, beware of the 'Male Express' - the inter-atoll current that sweeps through the atolls just before the full low tide, and it is impossible to paddle against it. If you get stuck in the current you need to chill, and you'll get washed onto an island or around the corner and out of trouble, and your boat can send a tender to come and fetch you. It's all part of the Maldivian experience.

Catch It

Tony Hussain Hinde passed away while surfing at Pasta Point in 2008. He probably suffered a fatal cardiac event.

'Serendipity' pays tribute to the ultimate surfing destination, a legend and the journey that made a fairytale come true.

"It is the story of a man on an adventure who became a legend. By the most serendipitous chain of events Tony found himself shipwrecked on a deserted island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Tony stumbled across a multitude of discoveries, perfect surf on a chain of tropical coral attols, eastern islamic culture and a new personal identity. Tony had access to a fleet of perfect waves for 15 years. Alone! Over that time he had only a few select friends who visited. Amazingly non of the lucky few broke the agreed-upon code of silence. Eventually Tony’s secret was exposed, he protected those waves as long as he could. Tony realized that if he could not own the waves then he would provide the best surf travel experience by starting the only dedicated and most successful surf camp in the Maldives. Tony Hussein Hinde is considered to be the father of surfing in the Maldives, not only did he kick started the nation’s emerging tourism industry he also found his own personal nirvana and livelihood."

Serendipity is written and directed by Simon Lamb. Produced by Blacklamb Productions. Rent the Serendipity Surf Docu for 3.5 Euro

Cinnamon Dhonveli offers an exclusive experience in a surfer’s paradise.
Cinnamon Dhonveli. May to September is the most consistent.

Well-designed suites feature thatched wood ceilings and solid wood flooring. Located about 16 km, or a 20-minute speedboat transfer, from Male Airport.

Vibrant with tropical flowers, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa is a garden-style resort arranged as a traditional Maldivian village on its own coral island. Just a 30-minute speedboat transfer from Malé international airport, it offers for year-round sun, surfing and diving. Booking / Tropicsurf

In 2015 they suspended the development of a luxury surf resort on the Kaafu Atoll, home to the iconic Sultans and Honkeys.
Thanburudhoo Island (Kaafu Atoll). Photo: Jesse Little

"This will allow local surfers, surfers from around the world and organizers of surf competition to use the island in the best possible way," notes the Ministry of Tourism. We want Thanburudhoo Island to become a "surf heritage site."

Lhohifushi Island. Fully air-conditioned, the private beach and over-water villas come with en suite bathrooms and have an outdoor rain shower.

Photo: Rasheed

Being host to five WQS events (Deep Blue Open 2001-2005), Lohi’s is a longer wave than Pasta, but not as "perfect". Guests may also make use of the on-site water sports facilities to kite surf, dive and wakeboard. Booking