North and South Male Atolls
North Male Atoll has nine surf breaks with most of them being considered World Class Breaks. Two are still ‘private’ waves (Lohi’s and Pasta), where only the resort guests have the right to ride them. However, with diplomacy and politeness sometimes these are open to boat surfers too. Speak to your surf guide and they will advise you if it’s possible and how to go about it.
South Male atoll offers 7-8 waves. It’s 90 minutes from North Male Atoll but still receives smaller waves than those you will see in Jails, Sultans, Cokes and neighbours. Why? If you have a look at the map of the Maldives, the ‘L’ shape of Huvadhoo Atoll (right under South Male Atoll ) ‘shades’ the SE swells giving a smaller size to the surf breaks. But this does not affect the quality of the waves, which are often ‘perfect’! Guru’s is one of the best left handers in the country whilst Riptides is shortish, really fun and often a barrelling right hander that comes out of nowhere, Quarter’s right hander gives the chance for both beginners and experienced surfers to share the same wave, with its outside section giving a smooth and ‘fat’ wall, easy to ride and great to practice cut backs, and its inside section gives a fast (often hollow and barrelling) fun ride. Whenever a bigger swell hits the country, you definitely will not want to miss what South Male can offer!
Laamu, Meemu, Thaa and Daahlu are the main atolls in the central area delivering the swells that hit the Maldives. Meemu and Laamu receive S/SSE/SE swells. Most of the breaks, more than nine, can hold bigger swells with waves of up to 8-10ft. Thaa and Daahlu are mostly known for the breaks that work with SSW/SW swells even though some SSE and SE swells with larger gaps between waves can generate decent sized waves.
Famous spots include:
JAIL’S BREAK (North Male Atoll) :
A long down the line right hander with 3 sections that will connect with a proper swell direction. Often the 2 section offers nice barrels. 100 to 300m ride. Not shallow.
SULTAN’S BREAK (North Male Atoll) :
It’s the right hander of Thamburudhoo Island and an easy right hand take off, leading to faster and often barrelling second section. Really fun and long ride wave. Due to the position and inclination of the reef, it’s known to pick more swell than the other breaks around when it is small.
HONKY’S BREAK (North Male Atoll) :
This is the left hander of Thamburudhoo Island . With a proper swell direction it can give you a fun long ride, connecting the outside section with the inside one. And watch out for the surprise! The reef formation of the inside section has some ‘channels’, which will suddenly make that inside section almost double the size of what you surfed in the outside! Could be tricky but surfable and really fun.
GURU’S BREAK (South Male Atoll) :
With a proper swell (with a period bigger than 10 seconds) and a proper wind direction (light W). This wave could be the best left hander of the country. It breaks on a rounded corner reef which has no island in front of it. The wave perfectly wraps around the long reef giving you the chance to have long rides with barrelling sections and manoeuvrable sections. Better to surf in mid to high tide due to the shallow reef though.
MACHINE’S BREAK (Laamu Atoll) :
The name tells it all. It’s a right hander that, when generated by a good SE swell, just keeps on giving and giving perfect long waves. First top peak section is fast and barrelling. Second mid section, your manoeuvres can be expressed at its maximum. Third (and shallower) inside section brings you back to fast and wide open barrels. Unless experienced and hard-core, better surf this section only in high tide. Really fun wave.
MIKADO'S INSIDE (Thaa Atoll) :
This is one of the most magic places to surf in the Maldives. The inside reef of a deserted island with white sand and beautiful foliage and palm trees. When hit by a decent swell from SW (bigger than 9s period), it gives a perfect, really perfect, right hander. Usually never hit by westerly winds (SW-W-NW) because it’s really close to the island that protects it, so most of the time you can surf it glassy and clean. A smooth wave good for every level of surfer. It can give nice barrels on the take off at the top top section when hit by a big swell.