Sea Farer

Maldives

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LowPressure Stormrider Surf Guide says:

North Male Atolls

Over the last decade, Maldives has gained a solid reputation for clean, almost beginner-friendly waves that break on the most exposed parts of the atoll reefs. Comprised of 26 atolls, surfing in the Maldives has remained focused on North Malé, which claims the best density of lefts and rights within a 2hr cruise. Combined with an appealing proximity to Hulhumalé international airport, it’s an especially convenient, fun-wave playground for time-restricted, wealthy travellers. The Maldives surf has been one of the longest kept secrets, because Australian Tony Hinde managed to keep it quiet among his close friends between 1974 and 1988. These days, the 4 passes gathering the bulk of the swell are often crowded with all types and abilities of recreational surfers, from the resorts, guest-houses or charter boats, but the vibe is always laid-back and friendly.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.

 

Central Male Atolls

While the Maldives surf scene revolves around the popular breaks of North Malé atolls, there is also a number of breaks in the South Male Atoll area, including Quarters (Gulhi), Kate's (near Veligandu Huraa/Palm Tree Island Resort), Natives (Kandooma Resort, who claim exclusivity over the rights) and Riptides/Foxy’s (near Guraidhoo Island), a chunky mid channel right, facing a racy, shallow left. Vaafu misses out on east coast surf due to its extended south coast, but Meemu has a little cluster of waves accessed by the Medhufushi resort and occasional safari boats. Veyvah holds fun, zippy lefts with great length of ride. Tucked in a bit, Mulah needs more swell to serve up user-friendly rolling rights for improvers plus. Mulhi Inside is a full wrap right, that needs big swell but is SE wind protected, while the long walls of Outside work from tiny and are offshore in SW winds.

The western atolls of Alifu, Faafu and Dhaalu are wind exposed and cut off from the SE-S swell supply, although there are a few waves at southern and western passes in certain conditions, but few charters are bothering to look carefully enough.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.

 

Thaa and Laamu Atolls

The Maldives are 26 flat coral atolls ringed with 1,200 islands, only a few of which are known for the quality of their surf. With an Indian Ocean swell window from direct E through S to W, Laamu atoll and Thaa atoll are newly discovered central atoll surf zones with many high-quality reef pass setups. These two atolls alone present 150 islands and almost 650km (400mi) of coastline to the frequent swell. The central atolls of the Maldives enjoy an abundance of medium-sized, perfect reefbreaks, the majority of which are righthanders. A settled and peaceful area of sparse population, access to the majority of these waves is by charter boat alone, despite planned resorts. Unlike other island chains, the expense and low number of boats in this area of the Maldives keeps crowds low. With waves such as Mikado and Yin Yang known for their pristine barrels, under the right conditions the central atolls are tropical perfection.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.

 

Huvadhoo Atoll

The 26 pancake-flat atolls of the Maldives are coralline formations that formed around the edges of volcanic peaks, thrusting up from diverging plates in the Earth's crust. These peaks then subsided, leaving the characteristic ring shaped atolls to continue to grow around the original coastline. This pattern has created a surfing playground rife with reef passes amongst the 1,200 islands, which are part of the 2000km (3280mi) ridge extending from Lakshadweep to Chagos Islands. Southern hemisphere swells cross the equator bringing lined up, smaller swell to the shallow fringing reefs, and predictable monsoonal winds govern the seasons. The southern atolls, namely Gaafu Dhaalu (South Huvadhoo) has an exposed south-facing coast, boasting a dozen good passes, in a 2 hr cruising zone. Charter boats are the only form of access, making this an expensive, luxury type surf trip, but unlike the Mentawai's, only a few boats operate in the area. Three southern atolls tried to break away from the Maldivian government as recently as 1962, keeping this area well outside the "Tourist Zone" and government permits are required for foreigners to travel here. Maldivian pioneer, Tony Hussein, discovered the areas potential in 1973, keeping it to himself until the first charters began in 1993, but it remains a secluded destination on the world surf atlas. 

Huvadhoo atoll is about to see an explosion in numbers as a number of land based resorts open, leaving the long range charters with more crowds than they are used to.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.

 

Addu Atoll

With 26 atolls, Maldives obviously has much more to offer than the crowded spots around Malé and the charter boat reefs of Gaafu Dhaalu. Directly below the Equator is the southernmost Addu Atoll where Gan island was used as a British Royal Air Force base until 1976. When tourism started to boom in the 80’s, many people from Gan and neighbouring Foammulah were recruited in the resorts because they could speak good English. The result now is a thriving population of 20,000, living in some of the biggest villages in the Maldives, connected by the second longest road system and causeways, linking the western shores of Addu. Best known for diving wrecks like British Loyalty, torpedoed by the Japanese in 1942, the Maldives is slowly unveiling it’s potential for surfing. First scoped by Tony Hussein in 1996, very few people have surfed Addu until recently. The Quiksilver Crossing briefly stopped there in 2003, Antony Colas scored in August 2004, meeting Welsh pilot, Andy Burr, who stayed there for a year, becoming the first “local”. The reality is that Addu Atoll doesn’t have Maldivian standard, perfectly shaped, soft-breaking waves. Beginner/improvers will struggle with the technical breaks that require speedy riding techniques and the sharky, shallow reefs can be intimidating.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.

 

Central Male Atolls, Maldive Islands

While the Maldives surf scene revolves around the popular breaks of North Malé atolls, there is also a number of breaks in the South Male Atoll area, including Quarters (Gulhi), Kate's (near Veligandu Huraa/Palm Tree Island Resort), Natives (Kandooma Resort, who claim exclusivity over the rights) and Riptides/Foxy’s (near Guraidhoo Island), a chunky mid channel right, facing a racy, shallow left. Vaafu misses out on east coast surf due to its extended south coast, but Meemu has a little cluster of waves accessed by the Medhufushi resort and occasional safari boats. Veyvah holds fun, zippy lefts with great length of ride. Tucked in a bit, Mulah needs more swell to serve up user-friendly rolling rights for improvers plus. Mulhi Inside is a full wrap right, that needs big swell but is SE wind protected, while the long walls of Outside work from tiny and are offshore in SW winds.

The western atolls of Alifu, Faafu and Dhaalu are wind exposed and cut off from the SE-S swell supply, although there are a few waves at southern and western passes in certain conditions, but few charters are bothering to look carefully enough.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.


Condition descriptions provided by the Operator:

General Conditions Maldives

The North Male Atoll contains the more well known and surfed breaks of the Maldives. The North Male Atoll probably offers the most consistent spots especially during the summer months June and July. Most spots are well protected from the dominant south westerly winds and the reef set ups usually pick up quite a lot of swell. Some of the breaks in North Male are perfectly shaped and offer highest wave quality. Unfortunately the spots are prone to heavy crowds, because the breaks can be accessed so easily. There are plenty of boats operating in this area and many resorts offer surf transfers to the breaks. The Central Atolls including the Meemu, Thaa and Laamu and the Outer Atolls including Gaafu Dhaalu and Addu offer more than 30 world class reef breaks that are rarely surfed. Occasional troublesome weather patterns with heavy storms during the months of June to August make it difficult to cross channels between the atolls and to operate surf charter trips without well equipped boats in this area. Logistical challenges of food supply and technical support add to the fact that only very few boats stay in this area for a longer period of time. This vessel offers safety standards and equipment that allows to operate in the more remote regions for sporadic trips. Therefore it can guarantee empty breaks. While it may happen that you will see another charter vessel during your stay you will have the breaks on your own for the most of your time. It is not based down there permanently though and extra costs for relocation may apply.


Conditions North & South Male Atolls:

The North & South Male Atolls usually offer the most consistent surf conditions of all parts of the maldives. Pretty much all of the spots are facing to the east or south east and are a well protected from predominant south westerly winds. Occasional southerly winds may affect the spots in the North Male Atoll more easily than in the South Male Atoll where spots are facing more to the east rather than south east. Especially the spots in the North Male Atoll pick up a lot of swell and have proven to be quite consistent. The South Male Atoll is always smaller but once big enough can offer awesome breaks.

 

Detailed spot decriptions of North Male Atoll:

"Chickens" Lefthander

is probably the fastest wave in the North Male atoll. It holds swell size from 3ft to well over 10ft and provides rides up to 500m long. A good place to go if spots to the south are too big.

 

"Cokes (Colas)" Righthander

breaks 3-10ft and is fairly protected from the southerly winds that may affect other breaks such as "Lohis". This wave has been well photographed and is the hollowest in the North Male atoll. This will test your tube-riding ability.

 

"Lohis" Lefthander

long spitting left-hander that breaks off Lohifushi Resort - very consistent (paddle looks easy, but not recommended, strong current out to sea!

 

"Ninjas" Righthander

breaks off Kani Resort. fast and sometimes quite fickle.

 

"Pasta Point" Lefthander

a fun left hander that breaks 4-8ft. At 6ft is a perfect wackable face. Please note: you may or may not be welcome here as the resort next to the break owns exclusive rights on the spot.

 

"Honky's" Lefthander

is a fast wrapping left at 4-6ft and needs the right swell direction.

 

"Sultans" Righthander

Just paddle up the peak at "Sultans" and keep paddling about 100 yards to the peelign wave.”Sultans is an easy right hand take off which leads you to an intense wrapping section at the end. Breaks 3-8ft. Please note: this wave is the most protected from the southerly winds in the North Male atoll and collects the most swell - so go there if it is small. NORTH MALE Atoll

 

“Jailbreaks”

(righthander). Super nice long and speedy walls. Quite consistent break with basically two take off zones. Fast and hollow end sections will challenge you.

 

Detailed Spot Descriptions of South Male Atoll:

"Quarters" Righthander

Righthander Really nice, fast little right-hander that picks up less swell than most other places. Best in winds W to NW. Named after the resort workers’ quarters on the island.

 

"Last Stops" Righthander

Righthander Fast wave with a great bowl section.

 

"Gurus" Lefthander

Lefthander is near the Southern tip of North Male Atoll and near the capital island of Maldives, Male. A left that works well when there is a north wind and a big south swell.

 

"Natives" Righthander

Located near the Kandooma Resort, on the eastern reefs of the North Male Atoll. Surfers are provided with a short right, which works well with a South West wind and a solid swell.

 

"Twin Peaks" or "Left & Rights"

Located on the eastern reef of South Male Atoll, Twin Peaks picks up more swell than most of the breaks in South Male’ Atoll.

 

"Riptides" Righthander

Small reef in the middle of the channel on the southern side of the island; fast right-hander, one of the best waves in the area. The area is subject to strong currents. Best on W to SW winds.

 

Conditions Central Atolls:

The Meemu, Thaa and Laamu Atoll offer spots exposed to all directions and for all levels.

All Spots in the Meemu Atoll are on a coast line facing to the east. There is always a left or a right hander well protected from the predominant south westerly wind directions. South easterly or even easterly winds may affect all spot negatively. All spots are close to each other so that you can change spots within a few minutes!

The Thaa Atoll picks up south east swell and may be even bigger than spots on east facing coastlines of other atolls. Due to its secluded location it is almost guaranteed that you will not even spot another surf charter during your stay. The spots are well protected from North to Northwest winds. Conditions may be fickle with other wind directions. This area will be choosen only in very stable weather conditions.

Spots in the Laamu Atoll are spread from the south facing coastline along the east facing up to the north east corner where waves wrap around. As a result you will find spots protected from all wind directions except a rare straight easterly breeze.

 

Detailed Spot Descriptions of Meemu Atoll:

"Veyvah" Left Hander

Perfect wave with long wall. Easy take of with several options with long rides. Not too heavy - Great Fun.

 

"Mulha" Right Hander

Can hold bigger swells. Easy to ride even when it is big. Good for intermediates and even beginners.

 

"Mulha" Left Hander

Pretty shallow, fast wave. Works only in certain times of conditions.

 

"Muli Inside/F1" Righthander.

Very fast, long walls, hollow, barreling, can be shallow but still save ending. Very well protected from southerly winds. Needs bigger swells.

 

"Muli Outside/Mushrooms" Righhander

Picks up more swell, good in sw winds, long walls, can max out easily, on the corner easy exit.

 

Detailed Spot Descriptions of Thaa Atoll:

“Malik’s” Lefthander

When the wind is from the southeast and the swell is large from the southwest you should head to the island of Hirilandhoo. The reef pass there can produce some great barrels on long and speedy walls.

 

"Adonis" Righthander

needs bigger swells as it is more protected. Can get fast and hollow, shallow sections. If it is on the rides can be pretty long.

 

"Outside and Inside Mikados" Righthander

Powerfull waves with fast, hollow walls. Can produce some awesome barrels. Catches more swell than other spots in this area but is less protected to winds. When it is on it can give you the surf of your lifetime.

 

"Finnimas " Lefthander

Speedy, shallow left that can produce some firing waves. When it is on it can provide some greenroom time.

 

"Finnimas" Righthander

On the other side of the island there is a right hander that sometimes breaks.

 

“Timarafuri” Lefthander

Pretty straight reef. Tends to close out. Can be fun in a sectiony swell with a beach break style.

 

Detailed Spot Decriptions of Laamu Atoll:

 

"Langon Bank" Righthander

which needs large easterly swell but very well protected from southerly winds. This spot is rarely surfed due to a lack of anchorage. Surf charters stop by on the way to the south.

 

"Opposite Tsunamis" Lefthander

This break picks up probably the most swell of all east facing spots in the Laamu atoll. As the reef is quite straight it tends to close out though. When Tsunamis is too small this left can be fun though. It is well protected from westerly to northerly winds.

 

“Tsunamis” Righthander

When it is on it is on! When the swell is big this wave is just perfect. It has three parts to it. The outside, corner and the inside. All three parts are connecting when the swell is right and make the wave tons of fun. Usually you take of at the outside. The reef is pretty straight here and you can pull into the barrel just after take off. When you are fast enough you get to the corner where waves are a bit more mellow and give you a little break to do performance turns. Stay on from there to the inside and you will get another long and heavy barrel section. Unfortunately this waves is always smaller than Ying Yang and has its flat spells. Also currents can get very heavy to make this impossible to surf.

 

"Refugee’s Left" Lefthander

Heavy left that tends to close out. Picks up a lot of swell.

 

"Refugee’s Right" Righthander

Fast and shallow take off. Barelling, spitting, perfect wave. Only for those who can handle the speed! Quite dangerous wave. Tsunamis usually works better.

 

"Ying Yang" Righthander

First surfed by Callahans 1996 boat trip with Pat O'Connell and Satoshi Sekino, Yin Yang got epic during Oxbow seaplane trip in June 2004. Yin Yang is a long and typical outside -typical reef corner right in a pass. Outside is a mellow wall, often cross shore, with safe rides in deep water. Then, the wave bends in the corner, mush out for a while, then wraps into one of the most critical sections in the Maldives. Inside section can be long and tubular, guys getting barreled 3 times but it can be fairly heavy too on pretty uneven reef, producing potential intimidating barrels on the first bend.

 

Conditions Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll:

It is said that the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll (also named Huvadhoo Atoll) offers the best conditions of the Maldives. It works best in March, April and September to November. It picks up more swell than any other Atoll in the Maldives and from every direction. The Gaafu Dhaalu offers the greatest quantitity and variety of spots. To almost every island on the outside of the atoll you will find one or two breaks. There is everything from barreling and hollow walls to soft and never ending playful waves. May to August can be fickle as the wind turns more southerly and may affect some of the south facing spots. During the windy days the Gaafu Dhaalu still offers good surfing on the east facing part of the atoll. There are plenty of reef passages with left and right handers. They pick up less swell than the south facing spots but will be mostly big enough as it is peak swell time in June and July. The great advantage during that time is that there are no crowds guaranteed.

Please note: There will be a resort opening close to the break of Blue Bowls. It is unclear when the resort opens and if it will affect crowd levels at this break.

 

Detailed spot description of Gaafu Dhaalu:

"Kaededhdhoo or Airports" Righthander

is fun when the swell is large. As it is on the west side of the atoll it doesnt receive as much swell as the other breaks. Lucky Punters will score good at Airports with a strong S-SW swell and NE wind.


"Beacons" or "Barracuda Point" Righthander

2 hrs away from the airport, at the first southern reef pass. Touted as the Maldive's gutsiest wave, Beacons powerful rights tube onto a shallow, unforgiving reef. SW swells will break down the reef, but a SE swell will create peaks slamming straight onto close-out sections of coral. Beacons is flanked by an unnamed left across the channel, which have its days in a big swell and tend to go unridden.

 

"Dhigulaabadhoo/ Castaways" Lefthander

across the channel from beacons we call it dhiraagu after the phone company in the maldives as the island is shaped like a phone. a sort of fat ride on the takeoff and if the swell direction is right can link up with another section on the inside where it produces a bit more speed and power, needs same wind as beacons and can be surfed on all tides.plenty of marine life around here common to see whale sharks.

 

"Blue Bowls" or "Voodoos" Righthander

Blue Bowls is the most flexible right, tucked inside the pass and protected from SW-W Winds. More of a point style wave, it has good a length of ride and nice bowly sections for performance moves. All swells, all tides and all sizes.

 

"Gani Point" or "Five Islands" Righthander

Five Islands is another righthander that breaks hard and hollow on the shallow reef inside. The eoutside section encourages deep takeoffs into racy walls and handles the biggest swells at all tides.

 

"Booga Reef" or "Two Ways" Right+Lefthander

Left and righthander - with the right usually coming up better but it needs a big swell to hit its protected position, making it at favourite with intermediates. Fun, peeling, long walls with a bit of depth to the water.

 

"Love Charms" Lefthander

are actually several reliable lefts, which can handle E winds and any size of swell. Low tide is the best when it is small, soft and broken into two distinct sections. Bigger swell morph into a long, hollow wall, with protected pockets.

 

"Rockets" or "Tiger Stripes" Lefthander

Named after the narrow gouges in the reef that give a striped effect, Tigers has some real growling left in a strong swell. Tricky take offs into a long speedy wall before committing to an inside tube section that wraps and peters out in the channel. Unimpressive when small, it always seems to be bigger than everywhere else. All tides, all variations of S Swells and and any N Wind.

 

"KH"

KH is almost east coast and the two distinct take off spots link together in bigger swell and tide conditions.

 

"Koodhoo and Viligili" Right+Lefthanders.

East facing spots. Very well protected from dominant westerly winds.

 

Conditions Addu Atoll:

The Addu Atoll is basically not described at all yet. Nevertheless some adventurous surfers have discovered the area and found several spots on the south but also at the west and east facing parts of the atoll. Especially the left hander on the island of Vilingili and the right hander just south of Gan are known to offer good days. The Addu Atoll doesn’t have the perfectly shaped soft breaking waves. It is technically more challenging as it requires more flexibility to make the sections or to get enough speed out of the less powerful faces. The swell exposure is the best of the whole Maldives. It is rare that it goes flat even in between Dec and March. During the summer months from June to August the monsoon wings more to the south east than in the other atolls which favors spots exposed to the west.

 

Detailed Spot Descriptions of Addu Atoll:

 

Airport Lights Righthander:

Very fast and powerful righthander that tends to close out unless you are really fast. If you make the sections you will be rewarded with nice barrels. If you are not you will definitely end up on the shallow reef. The spot is well protected from west to south west winds especially if the swell is large and once you can surf the more northern parts of the reef corner. Outsides can be really throwing and intimidating.

 

Vilingili/Madihera Lefthander:

This spot picks up a lot of swell but tends to be fickle. In the right wind directions it offers a fun lefthander with different sections and take off points. The waves hit from deep water and provide some heavy barrels at certain spots of the reef. The bottom of the reef is a bit uneven which makes the wave funny at times and changes from heavy to soft within a few meters. For those of you that can adapt quickly the Vilingili left can be tons of fun and high quality. Once the winds swings around more to the south east the end section of this wave can be firing.

 

Vilingili Right

Needs swell from westerly directions to stay open. Clean and small swells work the best at this spot.

 

Mulikede/Kanda Muli Left

Beach break type reef as it is too straight for a point break. Can be fun with small swells. Then there are tons of peaks favoring lefts.

 

Hithado/Kottey Right

Left Hander beach break type reef. Works in easterly and southerly wind directions. The spot is accessible by land. Take a cab from equator village or hire a motorcycle. The spot is in front of a dump and can have its heavy days.

 

Gaukendi Bridge Left

Works best when all other spots are too small. Then it may offer some short but fun rides on the south side of the bay

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