With white sandy beaches, warm crystal clear water, palm trees, colourful coral and fish and perfect waves, the Maldives is one of the last paradises on earth, a gift of nature for those who enjoy the thrills of beach and sea. Located on the equator, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, southwest of India and Sri Lanka, this archipelago forms a large “aquatic nation” of 26 atolls and around 1190 islands of which only 283 are inhabited. All of them are surrounded by shallow crystal clear lagoons, making the Maldives a unique tropical paradise, giving full meaning to Marco Polo’s description, “the flower of the Indies”.
Maldives weather is tropical, warm (29-32º C) and humid throughout the year, marked by two monsoons. From May to October, the southwest monsoon causes unstable weather with some wind and rain, but this is also the best surf season at Male Atoll. From November to April the weather is characterized by the northeast monsoon, a dryer and sunnier season, but with less swell formation.
• December to April / NE Monsoon – nice weather, perfect for beach
• April > transition period
• May to November / SW monsoon – good for surfing
• November > transition period
The Maldives offers two surfing seasons. From April until October, the Male Atoll (both North Male and South Male) works best. This is where most of the resorts with surf programs, and the most renowned and consistent peaks are located; March to Mid-May, and Mid-August to October is when the Southern Atolls take off, this is the more distant and remote region of the Maldives.
Offering a fair amount of wave power, warm water and spotless perfection, the Maldives has become a reference for all those seeking exotic and high-quality surfing, with higher comfort and safety levels. In the Maldives you will find several types of wave, for different surfing levels, ranging from 3 to 8 feet, or even bigger on some days.
Given the humid and warm weather, light and cotton clothing is best suited. For surfing we recommend booties, to prevent coral gashes, long sleeve rash guard, hat or helmet. Do not forget warm water wax, extra leash and chord, sunscreen and a board repair kit. Although board selection is always a very personal choice, for the Maldives we would recommend a quiver of 2-3 boards: One for small days, one for medium days and another for more powerful and bigger days.
Where to stay?
Resorts, Guest Houses, Boats or “combined programmes”.
In the Maldives you may choose to stay in a resort, where a large variety of services and activities are available, making it an ideal choice for couples, families with children or all of those who plan to spend a week with surfing and water activities – full comfort guaranteed; or aboard a boat, enjoying direct access to the best peaks, with full schedule freedom to take the most of the surfing potential; you can also opt for a “combined programme”, relaxing some days in a resort and spending others on a boat near the peaks.
The Maldives are a Muslim country and therefore there are some limitations in terms of alcohol consumption and dress code. In Male and other local islands (non-resorts) no alcohol is allowed. Outside of the resorts and the tourist boats you are advised to dress discretely and respect the Islamic restrictions and traditions. Men should always wear a shirt or t-shirt and women should keep their shoulders and thighs covered. Some local islands will nowadays allow bikinis or swimsuits in a specific beach area, but at others their use is restricted. Make sure to inform yourself about the dress code at the location you choose.