The Maldives are a chain of 26 coral atolls lying southwest of Sri Lanka. These atolls extend across the equator in a north-south direction and are 754 km in length and 118 km in width. The 1192 recognised low-lying coral islands are so small that dry land makes up less than 4% of the country's total territory. Some islands are just uninhabited sandbars with a patch of scrub, while others are coral atolls visible only at low tide. The rest of the atolls vary in size and shape with some being several kilometers across and quite well vegetated. The atolls deliver countless reefs offering countless breaks! You can relax at a resort, or explore the atolls by boat in search of a perfect Maldivian barrel.
Surf the Maldives, it's the perfect surfing destination, with great consistent waves amongst tropical beaches, reefs and idyllic surrounds, all which adds up to a fantastic surfing get away. The Maldives are an ideal location for almost all surfing standards with it possible to find a wave at most times of the seasons to suit most beginners to the seriously advanced.
While the resorts offer you the chance to relax on land and surf their exclusive waves or those that are located nearby, charter boats are also a great option that give you the access to more breaks, a greater array of waves and they allow you to escape the crowds!
As time goes by, more and more waves are being ridden and becoming known to the general surfing public. Not only are the North & South Male atolls surfed these days. Further a field with far greater options of uncrowded waves can be found in the Central and Southern Maldives as well as the far Northern Maldives.
STC has a wide range of options to suit most budgets whether it be charter boats or resorts.
The Weather In The Maldives
Climate in the Maldives is equatorial, since they sit 3-5 degrees north of the equator - So you can expect humid, hot, and sometimes rainy conditions... these will vary depending on the time of year you travel.
The climate of the Maldives is hot throughout the year and is determined by two totally different monsoon cycles. Generally the monsoons are quite mild and not as strong as neighbouring countries. The winds tend to be softer throughout the atolls, although at times they can get pick up without notice to epic proportions.
There are 2 distinct seasons in the Maldives - the wet season and the dry season. The dry season (North-East Monsoon) is from November to April and the wet season (Southwest Monsoon) is from May to October. June and July traditionally tend to be the wettest, although rain can occur at anytime during the wet season period.
Water temperatures remain at around 27'C year round.
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What's The Surf Like?
The Maldivian surf season runs throughout the various atolls from mid February to November when swells are produced by winter low pressure systems in the southern Indian Ocean. Swell consistency and size vary throughout the many atolls during these months. In general, March, April and May have very clean conditions, June to August the potential for the bigger swells and September and October are known as consistent swell months with variable wind conditions with the area's tropical storms starting to dissipate. The Maldives has a great array of left and right reef breaks suiting most intermediate to advanced surfers. The Maldivian waves aren't generally as intense as Indo, the Mentawai's or Tahiti surf but like anywhere, any break over 6' and over reef deserves your respect! You can still pick up some small clean waves in the dry season of November to February but it is not regarded as part of the main swell period. It would still be worth packing your board. It is generally more suited to diving or spending quality time with that special partner!
In the North and South Male Atolls waves are best between February and October, peaking between March and August. The months of June, July and August are potentially the best months for the biggest swells but tropical storms are more prevalent. February, March, April and May have good swell consistency with more favourable weather conditions. North Male Atoll has the best known breaks such as Pasta Point, Chickens and Lohis and usually gets bigger swells than the South Male breaks. North Male atolls are more accessible due to the higher concentration of resorts. South Male waves usually break a bit smaller than those in the north, the waves are excellent and can be had with fewer people in the surf. The region is easily accessed by charter boat, with it being only a couple of hours sailing time from Male.
The Central Atolls of Meemu, Thaa and Laamu have the ability to produce the longest swell periods as it sits between the northern and southern atolls. This area depends more on the right swell direction and no wind or the right direction due to its positioning of the atolls to get it all time but it is always as consistent as its neighbouring atolls. This area has secret spots only known to the genuine charter operators of the area and is well worth the time to explore.
Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll also known as Huvadhoo Atoll offers arguably the best surf conditions of the Maldives with the greatest quantity and variety of waves. It works best during March through to mid May and mid August through to November. It picks up more swell than any other atoll in the Maldives and from every direction. Almost every island on the outside of the atoll you can find waves. There is everything from barreling and hollow walls to softer seemingly never ending playful type waves. Mid May to mid August can be wind affected as winds turns more southerly and can affect many of the breaks. As a result the breaks of the Southern Maldives are not generally surfed between mid May - mid August.