When it comes to tropical surfing a Maldives surf trip is hard to beat – stunning backdrops, world class waves and a good mixture of both left and right handers to choose from.
Whether you want stand up barrels and 5* resorts or carveable walls and local island vibes there’s a good amount on offer in The Maldives for all budgets.
So if you’re busy planning your dream Maldives surf trip here’s everything you need to know…
The Ultimate Maldives Surf Guide – How To Score Maldives Surfing Perfection!
How To Get There
Tourism isn’t new to The Maldives – its been a booming honeymoon destination for years – which means there are plenty of international flight option to the Maldives from all over the world.
If you’re travelling with your own boards (which I suggest you do) carriers such as Emirates, Ethihad and Qatar all offer a generous luggage allowance which also includes sporting equipment too – winning!
If you’re already bouncing around South East Asia low cost airlines such as Scoot and Air Asia offer a variety of connections from the likes of Bali, Singapore and even Bangkok – making it even more affordable.
Scoot even run a connection from Gold Coast in Australia too, which you can pick up from $250USD one way!
As always, smash your dates and route into Skyscanner to get a good overview of options.
How To Travel Around The Maldives
If you’re surfing on the local islands then the local ferry options provide the most budget friendly way to get between spots – from just a few dollars each way. The trade off however is it’s by far the slowest way to get around and you could find yourself doubling back to Male for your onward route when surfing multiple islands.
If you’re willing to pay a bit more for speed and convenience then the local speedboat option is a step up and well worth the extra cash! Expect to pay $25+ each way depending on your location, but it’ll cut your travel time down heaps!
If you’re staying at a Maldives resort sometimes the only option is the resort speedboat transfer. These dont come cheap though (not that you really mind if you’re dropping cash on a resort already!) and spots like Cinnamon Dhonveli (home of Pasta Point) are about $75 each way per person.
Going all out, do’nt have a budget or want to explore further away from Malé? Go full luxury with a seaplane transfer! These don’t come cheap though with a 25min flight easily costing over $250USD!
Top Maldives Surf Spots
Ok so the most important thing you’re going to need to know is the Maldives surf spots on offer, as it’ll really determine where you want to be based and what kind of other waves you’ll have access too!
Some of the most famous surf spots in The Maldives include;
- Ninjas – super fun right suitable for a wide range of surfers
- Chickens – opposite Cokes this left has some looooong walls
- Jailbreaks – punchy right hander offering barrels and walls
- Pasta Point – an exclusive left hander for those staying at Cinnamon Dhonveli
- Cokes – one of the most famous Maldives surf spots. A reeling right off of Thulusdhoo Island
- Lohis – a reeling left hander and pre season training ground for Gabriel Medina
Other awesome options for some epic Maldives surf fun include;
- Yin Yang
- Blue Bowls
- Tiger Stripes
Top Surf Resorts
Want to mix your Maldives surf trip with some serious luxury?
Well there are some epic Maldives surf resorts to choose from – including overwater bungalows, incredible locations and some even come with their own private surf spots so you can really escape the crowds!
Some of my top picks include;
- Cinnamon Dhonveli
- Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
- Niyama Private Islands
- Anantara Dhigu
- Six Senses Laamu
- Gili Lankanfushi
Click here for my full Maldives Surf Resort guide – with a full rundown of resort inclusions and the best waves they all have access too.
Local Island Surfing
When it comes Maldives surfing on a budget then you cant really beat the local islands! Sure you wont be living it large like the luxury resorts, but you can still kick back on stunning beaches and most importantly score some world class waves!
There are a lot of options if you want to venture further afield from Male – however there are two Maldives surfing islands that are certainly the most popular, Thulusdhoo and Himmafushi.
Both offer incredible waves just off the island, a good selection of other waves close by, accommodation for a variety of budgets and are easily accessible from the airport, making them price friendly and convenient too!
In terms of beauty and the vibes of the island Thulusdhoo is certainly my favourite of the two. Home of Coke surf spots (which is arguable the most famous wave in The Maldives) the island has a solid selection of guesthouses, surf camps and even a couple of hotels to choose from.
When it comes to the waves Cokes sits a short paddle off of the island and this reeling right hander is quick and barreling. It can also hold a solid amount of swell so when its pumping its for advanced surfers only.
Across the channel lies Chickens which is a personal favourite of mine as a goofy footer! This long, peeling left hander is certainly less demanding than Cokes but expect long walls and a few cover up sections when the swell is firing through.
If you want to venture around to other spots Jailbreaks, Honkys and Sultans are a short boat ride away – or spots like Ninjas (popular with loggers and intermediates) are about 25 mins away.
Just 30 mins from the airport, Himmafushi is certainly the most accessible surf island in The Maldives (if you’re not surfing Male of course!) and is home of Jailbreaks.
This fun right hander offer walls and barrel sections and like most reef breaks can handle a huge variety of swell – so it can go from playful to charging!
It’s an easy paddle out off the island (reef booties are a must!) and Sultans and Honkys lie just across the channel. Of course if you do want to venture further afield you can get a boat transfer to hit up Cokes or Chickens.
In terms of budget Himmafushi is also incredible value – with budget Maldives surf camps from $50USD per night, including double, A/C en suite room, breakfast and daily surf transfers…for 2 people!
Admittedly it’s not quite as picturesque as Thulusdhoo and is slightly more limited in terms of accommodation and places to eat, but that place tag is a good trade!
Maldives Surf Charters
Want some epic surfing luxury and to really make the most of the best Maldives surfing experience? Well much like the Mentawais in Indonesia a surf charter is the way to go!
As with surf charters all over the globe there are a range of options to choose from – covering a range of budgets and surf locations, but here are some of the most popular options;
- Soneva in Aqua – a more traditional sail boat style trip
- Sea Rex – it doesn’t get much more luxurious than this!
- Blue Star – a greta affordable option from under £100 per night
- Dhaainkanbaa – another crazy luxury option
- White Sand & Sun Kissed – awesome little catamaran option
- Sea Coral
- Ocean Divine
Check out Luex for a huge range of Maldives surf charters here
Can You Learn To Surf In The Maldives?
Most of the surf spots in The Maldives are recommended for intermediate and advanced surfers only – due to the fact they handle a large amount of swell and break over sharp, shallow reefs.
That being said some Maldives surf resorts do offer learn to surf packages in their more sheltered island lagoons, with Anatara Dhigu and Cinnamon Dhonveli being the ones I’d recommend.
Local island surf wise Thulusdhoo does sometimes offer up a more beginner friendly wave on the inside of the bay – but honestly it’s not the best spot to learn, despite surf lessons being offered there.
If you are looking to learn to surf there are much better destinations to choose from in Asia – including surfing in Bali or Sri Lanka which offer a bigger variety of beginners surf spots, mainly sandy bottom beach breaks or mellow points which are ideal.
What Kit To Pack
So what will you need to pack for your Maldives surf trip? Well as with any tropical surf adventure being prepared is the key, so make sure these make it into your board bag…
- Reefsafe sunscreen
- Reef booties
- Fins + spare fins
- Leash + spare leash
- First aid kit (including betadine for reef cuts)
- Ding repair kit
- Surf wax (tropical!)
There are some small surf shops in Male and also at some of the resorts, but surf kit isn’t the easiest thing to come by in The Maldives – so I’d certainly recommend bringing at least one spare set of the essentials, such as fines, wax, leashes and ding repair kit!
Maldives Travel Advice
Most countries get a free 30 day visa on arrival for The Maldives, which is awesome news. That being said visas do vary from nationality to nationality so make sure you check with your embassy for the most up to date visa advice to avoid messing it up. Also at the moment the visa isn’t extendable and there are harsh fines for overstaying, so be aware!
As a Muslim country alcohol isn’t freely available in The Maldives, with the exception of private resorts. So if you do head to the local islands don’t expect to order a cocktail with your dinner or enjoy a cold post surf beer! Some local islands (such as Thulusdhoo and Maafushi) do sometimes have floating bars moored up off the island if you do fancy a cheeky drink though!
As a strict Muslim country during Ramadan locals don’t eat during daylight hours and most restaurants will be closed during this time too. The dates aren’t set, but it usually happens during June time.
Again, this is more something to be aware of if you’re hitting the local islands than the resorts.
The official currency of The Maldives is the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR) – however $USD are also widely accepted across the country. If you’re hitting the local islands I’d strongly advise getting cash out at the airport ATMs as some islands either dont have ATMs (like Fulidhoo) or if they do they can be unreliable! A lot of hotels do have card payment facilities though.
And if you’re hitting the luxury resorts no worries, they offer payment by card.
If you want to keep connected during your Maldives surf trip mobile data in The Maldives is actually surprisingly cheap and actually fast too (well depending on what islands your on!)
The best option is to grab a local SIM card and data at the airport (come out of arrivals and take a right).
On my last few trips I’ve picked up one from DhiMobile and got 14 days with 15GB of mobile data for $32USD.
Make sure your phone is unlocked before you fly to the Maldives thought!
For local island travel – ladies make sure you cover up (mainly shoulders and to your knees) to avoid any offence and unwanted attention. Guys it’s also not cool to wander around topless either so be aware. Most local island now have a tourist beach for foreigners which are screened off and you can top up your tan in a bikini/boardies there, but make sure you are respectful on the walk to/from there.
Again in the resort you don’t have to worry, but there may be dress codes for in-house restaurants/bars.