A quick guide to surfing in the Maldives
Not only are the Maldives an idyllic bucket list destination for their stunning beaches and numerous exclusive resorts, but they're also home to some world-class surfing breaks.
With the opening of local islands to international tourists in recent years, surfing the Maldives numerous quality breaks is becoming easier than ever.
Predominately situated in the North, a short boat trip away from the international airport and the countries capital of Male, the Maldives best surf spots are far more easily accessible than you think!
Check out this quick guide on where to surf, stay and when to go below!
Possibly the most well known surf break in the Maldives, Cokes is situated on Thulusdhoo Island. Cokes is one of the most consistent and accessible waves in the archipelago.
This reefy right hander offers up fantastic barrel sections on bigger days and is a short paddle straight off shore from the main Thulusdhoo Island resort area.
The wave breaks in sections on smaller days making fast left rides possible but it's most famed for its 'ripable' right and hollow barrel sections on solid swell.
Stay: Season Paradise Hotel on Thulusdhoo Island offers direct walking distance to this break within two minutes. Thulusdhoo is the largest local island and also has a surfboard rental and repair shop, local surf guides, photographer and videographers on hand and even a sports maseause!
Also directly accessible from Thulusdhoo Island, although not on the main island, Chickens is a long peeling left reef break a short one minute boat trip to the neighbouring island.
This reef break also offers hollow barrels on bigger days and breaks over a shallower inside section with plenty of suck.
It's possible to sit wider in the channel for shoulder section waves if you're less experienced or even riding a bigger craft.
Stay: Season Paradise Hotel on Thulusdhoo Island for the best access to this wave via a short boat trip organised through the hotel whenever you want. They also have a newly equipped Dhoni boat perfect for surf trips and snorkelling for non surfers which can cater up to 35 people.
For the totally fresh beginner surfers Thulusdhoo Island offers lessons and rental surfboards at Baby Chickens surf break.
Baby Chickens is a totally mellow break a short ride across the channel from Thulushdoo on idyllic Chicken Island.
This break is a very small reef break which is totally protected and the perfect spot for beginners as it's mostly impossible to hurt yourself!
Stay: Season Paradise Hotel on Thulushdoo Island is a fanttic option for beginner surfers as not only do you have the ability to learn from experienced instructors from the local surf school but they can also customise your trip to include snorkelling, island visits and other activities.
Only accessible by boat, Sultans surfbreak shares the uninhabited island of Thamburudhoo with Honkey's break.
This right hand wave breaks deep and starts with a fairly easy peak then forming into a wall across the reef with plenty of opportunity to hit the lip.
A strong current runs either side of Thamburudhoo island meaning surfers might need their boat to drop them back out at the peak should they score a longer ride.
Full day and half day trips to explore this break and the other surrounding breaks such as Honkey's & Jails would be advisable.
Stay: As Sultans is on an uninhabited island, its best accessed by the surrounding islands such as Thulusdhoo & Lohis.
The bigger and gnarler brother break to Sultans, Honkey's is arguable one of the best left handed waves in the Maldives when the conditions are right.
Also breaking off uninhabited Thamburudhoo Island, Honkey's can only be accessed by boat and also suffers from the same strong currents as Sultans.
On sizeable conditions Honkey's wraps around the island for around 100 metres and can provide a solid wall with a super hollow inside section often providing quality barrels to riders.
Best surf around head height to double overhead and on a low tide if the swell isn't too pumping.
Stay: As Honkey's is on an uninhabited island, the best option is to stay on a nearby island such as Thulusdhoo with easy boat accessibility to the break.
Jailbreaks or Jails
Named after a former Maldivian jail which has since been closed down, Jailbreaks went unsurfed for years from fear of trespassing when the jail was still in operation.
Today Jails is a staple right hander surf break in the Kaafu Atoll that can only be accessed by boat.
Jails can break in sections but if you're lucky to get it when it's lining up it can also offer some great barrel sections working at everything from 3ft to 6ft.
Stay: Only accessible by boat making it easiest to stay on a nearby local island such as Thulusdhoo where boats are possible. A great hotel choice with the ability for daily surfing trips is Season Paradise Hotel.
Ninja's is the most commonly surfed break for less experienced surfers as its generally breaking smaller and more manageable than the other breaks.
Across the channel from Lohi's Ninja's has a few take off peaks on offer but mostly offers a right handed break.
Not as good quality as some of the other breaks around but worth a wave if nothing else is on.
Stay: As Ninjas is only accessible by boat, staying on any of the nearby surf islands such as Thulusdhoo is your best option.
Exclusive Resort Waves
Unlike other countries around the world, the Maldives actually has a number of surfing breaks that are exclusively owned by the resorts on their respective islands.
These breaks include Pasta Point and Lohi's, both offer quality left handed waves in the Kaafu Atoll however come at quite a high cost of around US$150 per day for a surfing pass.
Depeding on your budget, these waves can be a great experience, however don't offer anything that can't be surfed at the likes of Honkey's, Chickens or Cokes.
Stay: Your best option budget-wise for accessing these exclusive breaks is to stay on the resort situationed on that particular island. These islands generally offer all inclusive surfing and accommodation packages. These do come at a considerably higher cost than the likes of local islands such as Thulusdhoo.
If you want to know more about surfing the Maldives or my best recommendations for accommodation and transport, then just drop me a line here!