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Where and When to Surf in the Maldives

The surf in the Maldives has become world-renowned among surfers for the perfect reefs fringing the stunning atolls that make up this remote chain of low-lying islands. Since first being surfed in the 80’s by surf pioneer Tony Hussein Hinde, the perfect peeling waves and crystal clear barrels have been calling surfers to their shores.

With so many waves spread across a large area of ocean, knowing where to go and when makes all the difference for getting the best waves! In this guide, we have laid out the main surf regions in the Maldives, when is best to surf in each, and the best waves for you!

AWAVE Travel’s range of Surf Charters and Resorts covers all areas in the Maldives with options for all budgets. Speak with one of our team today for help finding your perfect surf trip in the Maldives!

When to Surf in the Maldives

The Maldives can be split into 4 main surfing regions, each one with its own distinct season for traveling. These areas are North/South Male, Central Atolls, Southern Atolls, and Northern Atolls. The main season for surfing the Maldives runs from February to November. During this time you will be able to find waves somewhere throughout the atolls, with swells even coming outside of this season for this ready to jump on a plane at short notice!

Maldives Surf Region

Surf the Classic Maldives waves in North Male Atoll

Best Months: March – November

North Male is the classic surf area in the Maldives and the closest to the international airport. This wave-rich area has been drawing surfers to the Maldives ever since its discovery! There is a wide range of quality waves in the region which attracts all kinds of surfers. Unfortunately, this easy access and availability of accommodations do mean the area can get crowded!

The Season for North Male runs from March to November with the peak swell months of June-August getting the biggest swells! Wave-wise North Male is an intermediate plus, surfers dream but with waves to suit all levels!

North Male Waves:
  • Pasta Point – The wave that started it all, a long left-hander with an amazing wall and tube sections. You must stay at Cinnamon Dhonvelli to surf here
  • Lohi’s – World-class left-hander, breaking privately for Hudhuranfushi! You must book to stay at the resort to surf here
  • Cokes – A world-class right-hander breaking on Thulusdhoo, expect fast walls and barrels
  • Chickens – Long walling left that can barrel breaking on the opposite side of the channel to Cokes
  • Sultans – Classy right-hand reef break
  • Honkys – Quality lefthander breaking near to Sultans
  • Jailbreaks – Intermediate friendly right-hand reef break on the Island of Himmafushi
  • Ninjas – Perfect right-hander for beginners on small days and for aspiring intermediate surfers!

Check the surf forecast here for North Male!

Enjoy Quieter Waves in South Male Atoll

Best Months: May – September

Less busy than its neighbour North Male, South Male is a real gem for the ones looking for more user-friendly waves in the proximity of the international airport. The atoll has a great variety of waves for all levels, from more mellow breaks to hollow and barreling waves.

Being quite protected from the swells, the Season for South Male is much shorter compared to the other areas of the Maldives. The prime months for surfing are June to September, with the shoulder months being more suitable for beginner/intermediate surfers.

South Male Waves:
  • Kandooma – The only private right-hander wave in the Maldives delivering epic barrels and long rides. You must stay at Holiday Inn Kandooma Resort to surf here
  • Quarters – A fun right-hander with two sections, suitable for all levels of surfers!
  • Foxies/Natives – Fast and hollow left-hander breaking on shallow reef providing many barrel opportunities
  • Riptides – Right-hander wave with playful walls breaking for 150 metres on a reef in the middle of a channel. Beware of strong currents!
  • Gurus – Left-hand reef break picking up the most southerly swells. it has a long, fast, workable wall.
  • Twin Peaks – the reef here breaks left and right. The left is best on high tides, the right is more consistent and popular among local surfers.
  • Kates – short left-hander which needs a big swell to start working. Nice, steep take-off with a fast wall.

Have a look here for the forecast for the only private right-hander in the Maldives, Kandooma Right!

Escape the Crowds in the Central Atolls

Best Months: March – October

The Central Atolls are located due south of North/South Male and where the crowds really start to thin out. In this region, there are very few budget options so the majority of surfing is done from luxury resorts or onboard boat charters. Generally, the waves are more spread on than in the North Male area. WIth reef passes facing almost every direction, there is very rarely not an offshore wave here!

The Central Atolls follows a similar season to that of North Male, with the best waves breaking March – November. Swell usually peaks in the months of June – August, when the larger swells arrive. We recommend the Central Atolls for all levels of surf looking for adventure and quieter surf!

Central Atolls Waves:
  • Vodi – Experience the pleasure of a private wave at Niyama. This super fun left breaks directly on the resort island just for their guests
  • Ying Yangs – A pretty special righthander located in Southern Laamu, can produce big barrels and beautiful walls
  • Mikado’s – Two distinct right-handers offer fun waves for all levels
  • Kasabu – Super playful righthander breaking near to Vodi
  • Machine – A beautiful right, that when conditions align is one of the most perfect small waves you will ever see
  • Secret Spots – Tons of secret spots that we won’t share with you here!

Surfing in the Remote Southern Atolls

Best Months: March-May and September-November

The remote Southern Atolls are approximately 350 miles from the capital of Male and offer unspoilt nature, beautiful waves and much lower crowds. This area is exposed to all swell, so gets the largest surf in the country. The best months here are March-May and then again, September-November. In the months in-between, good surf can be found but it is usually quite big and can be very windy!

There is only one resort in the area and very few charter boats travel to the area due to the expense. This means that the lineups are significantly quieter year-round than North Male!

Southern Atolls Waves:

  • Blue Bowls – a fast and well-shaped right-hander that is very consistent
  • Love Charms – a long left-hander breaking over well-covered reef
  • Two Ways – A-frame peak, good for beginners to intermediates when small
  • Tiger Stripes – Quality left, breaking over beautiful coral
  • Beacons – Arguably the Maldive’s heaviest right, deep tubes are on offer here when conditions align
  • Secrets – more waves are waiting for you in the right conditions with a good guide

How to get there

All international arrivals to the Maldives arrive at Velana Airport in Male. From here you will either jump on board your chosen charter, take a speedboat to your resort, or camp if staying in North or South Male.

For trips starting in the more remote Central, Southern, or North Atolls, you would then take a domestic flight to the starting point. For more information about arrivals, AWAVE Travel’s Expert Surf Team is on hand to assist you!

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Customer Reviews

AWAVE Travel

Customer Reviews

Justin West 19/04/2022

I run surf coaching trips to perfect, uncrowded waves and I relied on the AWAVE team to deliver for my clients a month long boat trip to the Maldives. We had great waves on an absolutley 5* boat called North Seven which I REALLY recommend you enquire about.

I was dubious at first as a few boats were changed, in for repair but James assured me correctly this was a usual thing and they would endevour to find us the very best replacement (which they did). North Seven was so new we were the third guests but the crew were super experienced and could not have given us a better service. Captain Usmaan, the Chef great food, Hasan and Azim our surf boat operators could not have worked any harder and always had a smile even after the 50th request to speed us to the line up or spend four hours cruising looking or waves.

AWAVE team were always on hand to answer any fears and smooth out any worries. The payment system using Revolut was super easy.

We did have a few hiccups with the local airlines which was resolved and partly our fault (as for a month trip we took alot of surfboards and in some cases were over weight).

Take the fear out of booking and especially group bookings by using the AWAVE team. Justin West Coaching recommended.

Alex J. Zalewski II 12/11/20

These guys are the BEST! Massively knowledgeable, fun and absolute shredders. I approached them asking for a UK winter getaway somewhere in the Indian Ocean and they suggested the perfect place, awesome setup with the beach a short stroll from my accommodation with 3 sick waves breaking over reefs to chose from. Real life doesn’t get much better than this. I also popped my barrel cherry in a big way on this trip so it was a truely memorable one. James also somehow wangled a boat charter to some super remote islands where we scored epic surf and landed some massive fish. James’ broken Indonesian language skills will get you places. Thanks again guys you rock.

Christine Losser 04/27/21

James was very helpful and always there to answer all the questions. I will definitely book again with him!

Mark Carless 05/11/21

James is a super knowledgeable surfer with a great ability to match any trip requirements to the right locations. He has arranged several trips for me and my friends in France, Morocco and more recently Indonesia. Awave have a great knowledge of all the surf spots and will go the extra mile to make sure your trip is all set up. With limited time to do this myself their service was invaluable.

Andrea Gomez 05/19/21

Giuliana has been amazing to work with!! She was always available and answered all my questions. Thank you for all your help! We can't wait for our trip!

Adam 05/23/21

Fantastic service from start to finish from James and his team. After having several ‘self organised’ trips to Asia end with only a handful of good surf days I decided this time to use Awave in hope of maximising my valuable holiday time. James custom built a trip for me and my friends tailored for our abilities and requirements. There were no days wasted waiting for transfers as he organised it all from the airport to the beach. We scored pretty much every day whilst also having a surf trip that had that ‘off the beaten track’ feel we wanted. To round it off there was also a secret boat trip in the end where we surfed an awesome spot just us...Unforgettable. Will be using again.

Micio Pardo 07/13/21

Fantastic service and support from Giulia during our trip. During a self organised trip to Maldives, we ended up in a sketchy situation: the hotel was far from the described plus the owner 'forgot' to mention that the whole island was in lockdown for a covid emergency. I quickly realized that I would need support and the best in class. That's when I decided to use Awave! Giulia answered reactively and custom built several solutions for me and my girlfriend, based on what feasible, our budget and surfing preferences!! No other words needed. Thanks Giulia, we'll be in touch again!

Caroline 07/18/21

A wave travel were great! They helped me organize my trip to Sumatra. I would definitely book with them again!

Harry Vargas 07/19/21

My friends and I recently went on a trip to the Maldives. We booked a week on the Hudhuranfushi resort which was amazing! The staff was very welcoming, flawless facilities and tasty food. One day our surf guide Ryan caught a fish and made some sashimi on the spot! I think that was pretty thoughtful! Awave agency really made sure all our needs where met as we where a big group of friends. A very personal approach and clear communication. Epic surf, great service, memories of a lifetime! I highly recommend traveling with Awave!

A. Laprell 09/03/21

I had just arrived in Bali when the whole of Indonesia went into lockdown again. Despite travel restrictions such as mandatory vaccination and PCR tests, flight cancellations and even the fast ferries to the Mentawis being cancelled, Giulia tried everything to get me there. It was a hell of a trip to get there but totally worth it.

I scored pristine and empty Mentawis. The resort was affordable yet very luxurious given the remoteness. And with their great surf guide and their boat, I scored amazing empty waves!