Maldives Surf: Everything you need to know

The history of Maldives surf is rooted in mysterious adventure.

Sitting in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives offers serene beauty, soft sand, and amazing surfing to those who take on the long journey.

Grounded in luxury travel accommodations, Maldives surf rewards any weary traveler with warm waves and a refreshing atmosphere.

The best time for Maldives surf are April through October.

Maldives surf trips are one of a kind due to the crystal clear blue waters of Maldives. Most places best known for Maldives surf are in North and South Malé Atolls.

As a surfer venturing to the Maldives, you'll want to focus on surfing the eastern reef of the atoll. The Outer Atolls are 300 miles to the South and have about a dozen reef breaks never really surfed. The only time to surf these waves are when the winds are right. Which only happens every so often from February to April and September-November.

You can access the Maldives surf by taking  a surf charter vessel. Just know, Outer Atolls Maldives surf is generally a few feet bigger than the surf at the North Male Atoll.

Maldives Surf bird's eye-view photography beach

The best Maldives surf waves can be had from April to October.

The biggest swells likely to occur in June to September.

During these months the conditions are mostly off-shore due to the monsoon winds reeling in from across Indian and the uninterrupted swell coming in from the south.

The Maldives surf ranges in size from 3-8 feet; however larger waves have been experienced. A great variety of reef breaks exist ranging in intensity from quite mellow shred able walls to gnarlier hollow pits. There is something for everyone.

Weather for the Maldives surf is the result of two monsoons. The Maldives surf season begins from late February to mid November with the best waves coming in during March to May and then again in September till the end of November.

During the surf seasons, the average size of the reef breakers ranges from 4-5 feet, sometimes even rising to a height of 8 to 10 feet. There are principally two major Maldives surfing areas and thus two swell seasons:

  1. North Male Atoll [season: April-October]
  2. Outer Atolls [season – February-April]

April looks like the best time to surf Maldives and gives you the possibility to hit either swell window.

Maldives Surf Spots

  • Cokes – situated at Thulusdhoo in the eastern reef of North Male Atoll.
  • Chickens – also known as Kuda Vilingili, it is situated in the eastern reef of North Male Atoll.
  • Honky’s – also known as Thanburudhoo, it is situated in the eastern reef of North Male Atoll.
  • Lohi’s – situated at Lohifushi Island, located at eastern reef of North Male Atoll.
  • Guru’s – this famous surfing point is situated at southern tip of North Male atoll.
  • Natives – situated at Kandooma, in eastern reef of North Male atoll.
  • Kate’s – situated at Boduhuraa near Palm Tree Island, it is located at eastern reef of South Male Atoll.
  • Riptides – situated in Guraidhoo, it is located at the eastern reef of South Male Atoll.
  • Sultans – located at Kanu Huraa, it is situated at eastern reef of North Male Atoll.
  • Tomb Stones – located at Thamburudhoo, this surfing spot is adjacent to Sultans, in eastern reef of North Male Atoll.
  • Piddlies/Ninjas – situated in Kanifinolhu Island, it is on the eastern reef of North Male Atoll.
  • Quarters – known as Gulhigaathuhuraa, in the uninhabited island attached to Palm Island Resort.
  • Male Island Point – located in Furana Fushi Island in the eastern reef of North Male Atoll.
  • Twin Peaks – situated at Miyaru Faru near the island of Gulhi in eastern reef of south Male Atoll.

Surf Hazards of Maldives Surf

While the reefs are sharp, the waves are pretty flat and gently sloped. Even at low tide the reef is ever present, however, you don't have to worry too much as the waves aren't massive enough to crush you into the reef. If you’re not careful, not only will you be caught out of position, you could be sucked out to sea. Pay attention to the tides and keep land lineups as often as possible. It’s also the tropics, so the standard drink lots of water and use heaps of sunscreen and a rashguard is in effect.

Best Surf Seasons in the Maldives

Similar to Indonesia, the Maldives are monsoonal rather than seasonal and receive swell from the lower Indian Ocean storms — and when the swell gets to the Maldives, it tends to be much more groomed as it’s traveled further. 

1) Maldives surf in the Summer

(April-October) The Southwest Monsoon (Hulhangu) has more storms, more swell, and winds generally come from the southwest. April-June is considered the best time to surf the Maldives as there are many glassy days along with fairly consistent swell. (Though it’s so far in the ocean, swell forecasting for this area is very difficult.) July-September can get pretty stormy and windy.

2) Maldives surf in the Winter

(January-March) The Northeast Monsoon (Iruvai) tends to be the driest time of year, with few rainstorms and winds clocking around from the east to the north (onshore at many spots, mainly rights). Infrequent swells during this time of year can be quite large, but are often messed up by local winds. Not the best season for surf.

3) Maldives surf in the Fall

(November-December) Not a good time for surfing. Not much swell, and divers get priority on the dhonis, so even if there is swell, you may not be able to get to it.

Directions to the Maldives surf spots

Every country in the world has their specia visa rules and requirements. Just know, in the Maldives, you have to already have your accomodations booked before you even land in the Male Airport. All the travel to the Maldives is highly regulated. Also, you have to be part of a tour with a land or boat based agency.

Also, the Maldives is far. For example, if you're traveling from California, expect a 30+ hour trip. Singapore Airlines is your  best airline choice. 

Some of the best options for staying in the Maldives is staying in a land-based resort. As opposed to staying on a boat charter. 

Staying on land is more comfortable and roomy (obviously) but you can’t surf as many spots as much as if you’re on a boat the whole time, as you’re dependent on the resort’s group surf taxis.

Book Your Surf Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book your flight
Find a cheap flight by using Google Flights. They are our favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know you're getting the best flight.

Book your surf hotel or surf accommodation
You can book a really unique and local place with AirBnB anywhere in the world. We used it recently in Sri Lanka to book a place withing a 3 minute walk to a surf break. If you want to stay somewhere other than an AirBnB, use, as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.

Don’t forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, surf gear theft, and cancellations. Basically, you get protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a surf trip without it. We’ve been using World Nomads for close to ten years now.

Protect your personal data
When you travel, you're constantly logging into public Wi-Fi. VPNs are designed to protect all of your Internet traffic. This includes email, streaming music and video, voice calls, and anything else you can think of. We use ExpressVPN when we're on a surf trip.

Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out our resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all those I use — and they’ll save you time and money too!