Get to know the Maldives - North and South Male Atoll

Get to know the Maldives - North and South Male Atoll


The Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is a small island nation in South Asia, situated in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India, about 700 kilometres (430 mi) from the Asian continent's mainland.

The Maldives are formed by 26 natural atolls, along with a few islands and isolated reefs today.

An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef that encircles a lagoon. The lagoon forms over an eroded/subsided volcanic crater while the higher rim remains above water or at shallow depths allowing coral to grow and form reefs. The word atoll comes from the local language Dhivehi (an Indo-Aryan language spoken on the islands).


  • If you’re looking for a slightly more mellow version of Indo, that is way more user friendly, and more chilled politically, then the Maldives is an epic travel destination that can be just as perfect.
  • The Maldives doesn’t generally pack as much punch and power as Indonesia due to its location in the center of the Indian Ocean, a fair way north of Indonesia.
  • However, the Maldives still picks up more than enough swell during peak season (April to October) to keep the majority of visitors totally stoked.
  • The secret to getting uncrowded waves in all the regions is to be patient and wait for your opportunity. Most guides will do their best to get you uncrowded waves, but sometimes it is unavoidable. If you arrive somewhere and there is already a boatload out give them an hour or so before you all hit it, they will appreciate it and probably go in satisfied and let you have the break for your session to yourselves.


    The North/South Male area has some real quality setups that are relatively close together. All require southeast swell.  When the surf is on, they are usually all breaking, so there are waves everywhere. It can get a little busy when its small, but the waves are great fun and when it's bigger the crowd thins out somewhat. You will get waves here most of the year from April to October.



    Male'atholhu Uthuruburi also known as North Malé Atoll is of irregular shape. It is 58 kilometres (36 miles) long and contains about 50 islands (including the capital Malé). There are also sandbanks and coral patches.


    COKESAt the eastern reef of North Male Atoll, this wave is a short but intense ride that is perfect for barrels with a steep barelling take off, then a very shallow inside section.

    CHICKENS - Eastern reef of North Male Atoll. This long, excellent left-hander has two sections with an enjoyable, thin, peeling, racing lip. Best winds are NW-NNE (offshore). Named after poultry farm on the island and is only accessed by boat.

    HONKEYS - One of the most consistent waves of North Male Atoll off the island of Thanburudhoo which is uninhabited. This is an excellent, long, world-class left-hander. Its mirror, Sultans, breaks on the other side of the island.

    SULTANS - Easy spot located off Thanburudhoo island. Excellent and long right-hander. One of the most consistent waves of the Male atolls that never closes out, even on large swells. It is best at high tide and with west to north.


    Male'atholhu Dhekunuburi also known as South Malé Atoll is separated from North Malé Atoll by a deep channel (Vaadhu Kandu). Oblong in shape, this atoll is 35 kilometres (22 miles) in length. It contains 22 islands, all except for 5 are situated in its eastern fringes. Inside this atoll there are also many reefs and little coral patches which make navigation difficult.


    TUCKY JOES / BOATYARDS - A fickle, but freight train of a lefthander that provides a long, perfect but intense ride.

    NATIVES / FOXYS - This wave is very fast and hollow breaking over relatively shallow coral. It's "Goofys Paradise" or if you're fast on the backhand you will love this wave. Breaks for 100 to 150 metres and provides many barrel opportunities.

    RIPTIDES - A right hander breaking for 150 meters on a reef in the middle of a channel. Need a transfer to this wave even though it is very close. Great wave for the longboarders and shortboarders as well as low intermediate surfers.

    QUARTERS - The wave has two sections, the outside is a fat, slow and meandering wave perfect for longboarders and even beginners and the inside section is a really nice, fast little right-hander that on its day delivers perfect barrels.

    What board size, volume etc. is best? Two best boards to bring?

    The Maldives surf points are long and range from hollow, fast, and shallow to fun, forgiving waves. The best surfboard for you to bring is the one you are comfortable on in your day to day groveling at home. No big guns required as even with some size most spots allow for an easy takeoff. The majority of the time you will be surfing waves in the 2-4ft range with long playful walls so a short hot-dogger and a more conventional board in the 6ft range.

    Check out these recommended boards from Rusty: Heckler, Slayer 2, Yes Thanks and Blackbird. Book a surf trip with us and you could receive a 20% discount on your next stick.

    Any other Maldives-specific tips to make my surf holiday all-time?

    Do some training before you come. Having some level of fitness will ensure you have more time in the water. Check out the Cris Mills Surf Strength Training.

    If you plan to do a fair bit of snorkeling and/or fishing, bring your own gear. You will know it works and fits. Don’t go too hard on the first few days and drink lots of water. Heat stress and dehydration can leave you feeling a bit off and you want to be enjoying every minute of your trip, not laid up in your room for a day.

    Don’t buy any duty-free alcohol as it is illegal to bring it to the Maldives and it will be confiscated at the airport. Bring a good attitude. Being friendly in the lineup helps maintain a good vibe that can make for a great session and sharing of waves. Wait your turn and give away a wave a day! There’s no pollution at all really. The resorts realize crew flies all that way to see crystal clear water. It’s one of the world’s best diving zones, the visibility is insane!


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