When you think Maldives, think perfection.
Everything you hear about the Maldives is true, it’s perfect.
Crystal clear 29 degrees water with perfect waves airbrushed by a light offshore trade wind. Dolphins and manta rays swim around you as look to the shore to see a perfect tropical island with white sand and coconut palms.
If you ask me is that is what it is really like I have to tell you, it is.
The surf season runs from late March to the end of October, during this time if you forecasted the waves to be 3-4ft perfect every day you’d get it right 75% of the time. The busiest time is the mid season of July and August but if you have a boat that’s willing to travel you can escape to your own empty paradise very quickly.
Most people think of the Maldives as small to medium size fun waves every day, as that is a true statement I was fortunate enough to be there this year during an amazing run of bigger swell. I found that not only do the surf breaks cater for 2ft-6ft swells perfectly, they actually get even better the bigger it gets making the Maldives the best surf destination I’ve ever been to.
it’s not hard to research all the great things this amazing place has to offer so I thought I’d give you the ‘Need to know’s’ when heading to the Maldives that no one ever tells you about.
There are no beach breaks! that’s right none, zip, zero
What does that mean? All the waves you will be surfing there will be coral reef or rock underneath you. This is good news for competent surfers of intermediate level and above as the waves break perfectly every time. If you are learning to surf, just know you are going to be learning to surf over coral reef and will need to take reef boots designed for surfing. My personal recommendation is to wait until you are a competent surfer before heading to surfing areas like the Maldives.
It is very hot.
That’s a bit of an obvious thing to say although you would be surprised how many people come home looking like a lobster. Protect yourself from the sun. Take plenty of sunscreen, zinc cream, a long sleeve rash vest, hat, sunglasses and drink plenty of water. There is nothing worst then getting sunstroke at the start of your surf trip.
Life is better in board shorts…. although it has it’s pros and cons.
If you surf in a wetsuit at home, when you surf in board shorts you’re going to board rub. What is board rub? You skin has always been protected from the elements by your wetsuit, once you start surfing in board shorts your skin will be sensitive to getting rashes from rubbing against your surfboard, yours rash vest, your board shorts and even your arms will rub hard against your armpit.
Here is how to manage the ‘rubs’. When you are out of the water wear cotton pants, the fabric is softer then board short materiel and will give your board short rub a chance to recover. Surf the mornings in a tee shirt, this will protect your chest rubbing against you board and protect you from the morning sun. The lunch time surf should be done with a long sleeve rash vest, this will give even better protection from the midday sun. The afternoon sessions from 4pm onwards you can get away with no shirt or rash vest. No matter what you wear or don’t wear you will get some rubbing, to stop it from getting too painful keep rotating what you wear each surf.
It’s hard to find out here so bring your own. Make sure you brings a spare board or two, extra leg ropes, enough wax to last the entire trip, sunscreen, solar resin and your own first aid kit for small cuts and bruises.
There isn’t any wave bouys or accurate wave data in the Maldives. So when you check surf line or magic seaweed don’t expect it to be exactly the size they are saying on their graph. They are great with swell direction so if you look at a map then the swell direction, if the swell goes straight in it the break the waves will most likely be bigger then what the charts say and if the swell is hitting on an angle it will most likely be smaller.
Early Season means storms
The surf season starts as early as late March, this is the start of their monsoon. This means there will be time of rain and storms. You may not see a drop or rain or you may get hit with a tropical storm. The storms normally pass quickly and normally stop by June.
You get what you pay for
There are all types of different accommodation available in the Maldives from surf camps, charter boats to resorts with the amazing water bungalow. You do get what you pay for though, If you go too cheap you may regret it. I advise towards having a surf guide.
Search for lonely islands and empty beaches
All the postcard pictures you see of untouched islands and sand bars sitting out in the middle of the ocean are there but they aren’t right on the surf breaks. You need to be on a experienced charter boat or to be staying on a resort to experience this. If you didn’t need a boat then they wouldn’t be empty would they.
If you go to the Maldives and you don’t go snorkelling or diving then you are crazy. Everywhere you surf there will be an amazing snorkelling or diving spot right next to you. It is paradise after all! Who know’s you might be lucky enough to swim with Manta Rays, Dolphins and small Reef Sharks.
It’s a Muslim country
They are very welcoming in the Maldives. it has it’s own rich culture. Each culture has it’s rules, here’s a quick heads up. Outside the resorts and boat charters there is no alcohol. They don’t allow you to bring any alcohol in to the country (no duty free bottles sorry). When on a resort or a boat you can live in your board shorts and bikinis. If you choose to take a look at a local island, guys wear shorts and a shirt. Girls you will need to cover yourselves from your shoulders to your knees.
Have travel insurance
If anything happens there are local doctors on almost all islands with a village while resorts should have in-house medical staff and there is a good hospital in the capital Male. If something serious happens then you may need to be flown out. That’s not cheap.
If you have time, stop off in Sri Lanka
The Maldives are very close to Sri Lanka and it’s cheap to fly to or from Maldives to Sri Lanka. If you choose to add Sri Lanka to your itinerary, start there first and finish your trip in Maldives.