With waves like Pasta Point, Sultans, Jail Breaks and Cokes, the Maldives is a perfect tropical surf trip.
Whether you score barrels and have the time of your life or get a little bit skunked for waves, the Maldives is a beautiful place to visit. If you’re staying on land, it is also an idea to take your wife or girlfriend with. In fact, it is an excellent idea, as there are no females to speak of on the islands, and in fact, there might not be too many female Maldivians at all.
The resorts are geared towards pleasure and luxury, as well as for surfing & yoga.
It is illegal to bring alcohol into the Maldives. Everyone knows it, and there are signs all over the airports. So if you bring a bottle, they are going to confiscate it. It’s that simple, yet so many surfers entering the country try to get a few bottles in. They always get caught. When I arrived, people were getting caught all around me. If you want to get alcohol in, then get those plastic tots that you can buy from the bottle store. They don’t come up on x-rays, and you can hide them inside bubble wrap between your boards, as long as they don’t burst. I got 112 tots into the country.
There really isn’t much travel once you’re inside the country. You’re living on an island and surfing that island break, taking a dhoni out for daily surf missions or living on a luxury yacht. You’ll fly in and get transferred to your boat or island, and the rest is taken care of.
There are plenty of surf camps, and new ones starting up here and there. The main ones are the Hudhurenfushi resort, formerly Lohifushi, and the Dohnveli resort.
Many of the more modern resorts are pretty expensive. Boats are good options simply because you have access to more waves. Still, there are some hardcore wave ownership rules going down over there with many surf camps owning exclusive rights to the waves on that island through the ‘house reef’ Maldivian law.
The best waves are those of Lohi’s, Pasta Point, Jailbreak, Honkies and Sultans. There is also Chickens and Cokes.
There are great waves to be found around the Kandooma Resort, and there are incredible waves further south, including Vodi Point at Niyama Resort.
Ninjas is a great wave that breaks in front of the Club Med resort, and there are even more great waves deep south that are accessed by boat.
There is not much to worry about while surfing the Maldives. There are a few things to watch out for. The coral is quite shallow at some breaks. Strong currents called the Malé Express that runs between the islands and can carry you out to sea in minutes.
The waves are not as intense as Indonesia, and the water is similarly bath-warm.
The exclusivity at the resorts works both ways. On the one hand, exclusivity goes against what surfers believe in. Waves are free, that the ocean is for everyone, and that surfers are a brotherhood (and sisterhood) that looks out for each other and shares what they can.
On the other hand, however, to enjoy an exclusive holiday at Pasta Point, where it can’t really get crowded, is unparalleled. The people there are usually salt-of-the-earth, and the vibe is incredible. It is something quite hard to describe and, after experiencing it once, I yearn for it again. I want to take my family there. It is expensive, but worth every cent of it.
"We left South Africa in September en route for the surf trip of a life time. We were headed to the central atolls. May, June and July have the biggest swells - but August and September offer even better conditions. As South African surfers travelling to the warm, idyllic Indian ocean island of Chaaya Dhonveli, we were frothing. Pasta Point is notorious for being the most consistent wave in the Maldives and it breaks almost year round. The famous left-hander breaks over smooth reef and is an incredible ride in all conditions, without being too sketchy. The island limits the number of surfers to 30 at a time, so crowds are controlled and waves guaranteed. The island is also the best positioned for quick access to nearby Sultans, Honkeys and Jailbreaks - all public waves - which enables a short exclusive window in the morning before the crowds arrives."
Film by Roarke Bouffe on location at Pasta Point