Maldives Wave Guide

The Maldives Are A True Surfers Paradise

The island paradise is exposed to the same swells as surf mecca Indonesia, but due to its higher latitude and the tighter window for exposure, the surf usually doesn't get as big or powerful.

December through to March is the prime tourist season for honeymooners, cruisers, divers, etc., who come for the "view" rather than the surf. Conditions during that time are sunny and dry, while May to November is a more humid and unpredictable time of the year, with more wind and thunderstorms, which ultimately leads to better surf.

1200 coral islands. Just shy of 700km of open ocean, scattered with reef passages, island formations. Roughly 500km away from the next landmass. You guessed it; there are waves in the Maldives - lots of them!

5 Regions of the Maldives

Northern Atolls

The Maldives' last surfing frontier! Not too much is known about the island formation 115km north of Male other than the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, located in the Baa Atoll, is a popular diver pilgrimage site. The region has yet to be fully explored, but there are plenty of waves around the Maalhosmadulu, Baa, Raa and Lhaviyani Atolls that need a strong SW or SE swell, depending on the direction they face, to start working. The country's last kept secret isn't really on the map of conventional surf travelers and traveling by surf charter with an experienced captain is essential. But if you are the soul-searching, free-spirited adventurist who knows how to read a map and swell charts and you time your trip for April to September you'll be graced by perfect empty lineups with not a single head in sight for miles.

North Male Atoll

This is where it all began! The Maldives surfing mecca and the first location surf travelers come across when landing in paradise. North Male is by far the most popular and crowded area in the Maldives with plenty of options to stay. The place is filled with guesthouses, camps, hotels resorts or charter boats, satisfying all types of budgets, especially in the prime summer months. A lot has changed since Tony "Hussein" Hinde's boat ran into trouble in the 70s, but the place has been as beautiful as ever with an abundance of waves to choose from. North Male has by far the highest concentration of world-class waves in the area, ranging from picture-perfect barrels a la Pasta Point and Cokes to long rippable walls you'll find at Jailbreaks or Honkys. North Male is also incredibly consistent and hardly ever goes flat from March - October. While crowds can somewhat be a factor, it is nowhere near as bad as Indonesia, Australia or Hawaii and you have the luxury of surfing Pasta Point and Lohifushi, two world-class and exclusive waves to keep your wave count up.

South Male Atoll

The quiet brother of the brash North Male Atoll is an easy 40min speedboat ride from the country's Velana International Airport, and the surf doesn't get nearly as crowded as "up the road." Many surf charters and safari boats favor staying in the North Male Atoll and rival other operators for the prime real estate at the slightly more consistent waves in the area. South Male has a much more mellow vibe and is perfect for families and people who prefer to surf less-crowded lineups. It might not have the same reputation as other Atolls, but South Male can rival any other region in the Maldives regarding waves. Always a little smaller than up North but truly world-class when the conditions are right. Don't be surprised when you show up to a perfect 5ft barrel with not a single soul in sight. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just that crowds aren't really an issue here!

Central Atolls

A must for all surf explorers! The central Atolls might not come with the chatter as the more well-known North and South Male Atolls, but nothing but paradise awaits you here! Home to some of Maldives’s best waves in Machines, Inside Mikado, Kasabu or Ying Yangs, the Central Atoll’s know how to throw on a show with pristine empty lineups for miles on end. It might never get as big as spots up North, but consistent fun-sized waves are as abundant and perfect as you could wish for. In the right conditions with a strong Southern push (South facing spots) or Eastern push (East facing breaks), this otherwise idyllic and remote paradise comes truly alive, and you'll encounter waves, so perfect, you won't believe it until you see it. What adds to the flavor is the fact that there are still spots only a few lucky ones have surfed. They are the true definition of secret spots just waiting to be named! Due to the shape and location of the individual Atolls, you'll always find a spot that's protected from the wind. All breaks are close by which makes it easy to alternate between them and hunt perfect conditions all day.

Southern Atolls

The Southern Atolls are a real gem and one of the least explored surf destinations on the planet. Deep in the Indian Ocean and a 45min flight from the hustle and bustle of Male, the Southern Atolls are as remote as it gets. There isn't much around other than empty world-class waves, a few resorts and even fewer boat charters. More exposed to the far-traveling Southern groundswells the Southern Atolls have a more extended surf season that starts in early February and doesn't end until November. The Huvadhoo Atoll is a magnet for waves and picks up more swell, from every direction, than any other Atoll in the Maldives. The selection, quality, and quantity of waves down South are out of this world! There is everything from heavy barrels to steep walls and ultra rippable corners in the world's most beautiful and idyllic backyard with no one else around.