Surfing in the Maldives is an extraordinary life experience. Maldives’ waves can’t be considered super powerful, as the swell normally reaches shoulder-to-head high, but it offers big chances of barrels and long fun waves. It’s the perfect trip for intermediate and advanced surfers.
The surfing season in the Maldives depends on the Atolls, but most of the archipelago is good for surfing from April till October, yet March and November are also good and have the best weather.
I looked into three places for you.
Cokes is the best big wave spot in the area, and the poster wave of the North Male Atoll. Although shorter than the left at nearby Chickens or the right at Jailbreaks, Cokes has two really good sections that provide consistent, if brief, shelter from the heat of the Maldivian sun.
The steep and heavy takeoff on the outside section guarantees quick shade time, followed by an even wider tube on the inside—compliments of the shallow reef. Although this is not the place you want to get caught on the inside, the inside section lines you up to make a shot for the channel, leading most surfers to overlook the sharp reef and charge the second section as well.
The location of the break makes Cokes consistently bigger than anywhere else, but that benefit comes with the price of being more susceptible to the southwest wind. It’s ideal during a straight south swell with northwest winds and head high to double overhead waves. Like Chickens, it is best on mid to high tide when the dreaded current is a little more forgiving, but a larger swell usually makes low tide manageable. This is one of those waves you must add to your boat trip schedule. Cokes is definitely most enjoyed during the magical Maldivian months from March to October that bring both consistency and size—peaking in July and August.
The northern-most break in North Male Atoll, Chickens, breaks off an island that was once known strictly for poultry. That was before Australian surfers Tony Hussein Hinde and Mark Scanlon’s boat shipwrecked nearby in the 70s. With the island’s poultry farm long gone, Chickens is now known as one of the longest and lively lefts in the Maldives.
A nearly mirror image of Jailbreaks, the left at Chickens is a reef break that can stretch almost three times longer than the left at Pasta Point, capable of producing over ten second barrels in the appropriate hands and conditions. The appropriate hands would be those capable of gliding through the strong current and then keeping up with the zipping lip. Considered the fastest wave in the area, Chickens basically has two main sections. The long shoulder starts at the second section, but the initial point hollows out nicely when the wind doesn’t interfere—a southwest wind really impacts your chances for that ten second tube.
Although fairly consistent, Chickens particularly favors clean groundswell from the southeast, meaning it performs best in the summer months. The wave handles all stages of the tide, but the best chances for getting that double-digit barrel are on wind-free days at incoming mid to high tide when there is the least amount of current. Since Chickens gets better with size—best at head high to double overhead—the ideal time to visit is between May to October, with the southeast swells of July and August providing the most consistent surf, typically ranging between 2-8 feet.
If the idea of riding and traveling the same well-trodden surfer’s paths is starting to wear a little thin for you, this might be just the solution. PER AQUUM Niyama Surf Resort takes you off the beaten track and away from the crowds, without compromise on the waves. Quality breaks and a fresh design, luxury base are offered here, proving you can have it all.
Situated in the Maldives’ Central Atoll, you will have some unique resort facilities at your fingertips. Fancy dancing the night away at an underwater night club? No problem – PER AQUUM Niyama has one of those and what’s more it’s the only one of its kind on the planet.
Solo surfer or families will find pavilions and studios
Whether you are a solo surfer, family group or one of a traveling surf crew, you will find something to suit your party size, with a range of pavilions and studios on offer. Although accommodation types might vary, one thing however remains constant throughout here – all offer 5++ star comfort and all you might expect from something of that high standard (and quite probably a few things that you might not expect too).
Waves are waiting on the west side of the atoll
Off to the west, and just 5 minutes away by speedboat, is your closest break – the superb, hollow right hander Kudahuvadhoo. Head off in the other direction, east, for 10 minutes by speedboat and you will arrive at another barreling right hander. There’s something on the menu for goofies too – on the staff’s island is a classic, powerful left hand ride. There are further breaks besides these, ready for you to explore on the west side of the atoll.
Packages on offer at PER AQUUM Niyama Surf Resort include some great family rates and specials.
Comfort, luxury, tropical, something different, crowd-free, off the beaten path – if all these words and phrases feature highly on your surf vacation ‘essential’ list then the PER AQUUM Niyama Surf Resort could be a great fit.
I was actually pretty impressed by the diversity and after having some nice chats with locals and tourists I was proven right. There is something for everyone in the Maldives. Some like it low-key, easygoing and rather simple. All that counts is their board and the perfect wave. Others wanna have both, the benefits of a luxury resorts and the best waves, far from mass tourism. And as it turns out, the Maldives have it all.
photo credits: V’s World, also check out Surf Atoll for more surfer insights
sources: Surf Atoll, Niyama, Visits Maldives