Northern Atolls

North male atolls

The season stars on March to October The Northern Atolls are divided between the North Male Atoll and the South Male Atoll, both offering a pretty even mix of lefts and rights, Pasta Point, Chickens, Coke’s, Jailbreaks, Sultans, Ninjas and Lohi’s in the north, and Foxy’s, Guru’s, quarters dand Riptides in the south. Although hardly ever flat, the waves are best in the spring and summer when it typically ranges between two to eight feet, with the largest surf coming through in late summer.

While the North Male Atoll is in contention for having the best waves in the Maldives, it unquestionably hosts the most popular spots, and definitely provides the longest rides, with both lefts and rights regularly stretching over 100 meters. However, South Male Atoll is closer to Hulhumale airport than the North Male Atoll, and doesn’t get nearly as crowded.

North male atolls

Chickens: This long, fast left was one of the first Maldives surf breaks discovered byTony Hindewhen he was wrecked here in the 1970s. At its very best on rising to high tide with a swell over 2m and a light northerly wind, the wave goes up to 500m from a fast walling first section into long barrelling second section – a world class wave for skilled surfers, but great for intermediates in smaller swells.

Colas: (Cokes), across the channel from Chickens, this steep, hollow right hander breaks over a shallow reef, and is strictly for advanced surfers when the swell is up. With a big swell and southwest wind, it’s one of the best barrels in the Maldives.

Lohis: Two-sectioned left off Lohifushi island – access is restricted only to guests of Huduranfushi Resort, but can still get busy. The sections link up best on a big swell at high tides – with a northerly wind it can be a really long tubing wave.

Piddlies (Ninjas): across the channel from Lohis, and accessible to anyone on a boat, this mellow right is a good long-board wave and suitable for beginners. It’s best with a northwest wind (or no wind) on a moderate swell – it closes out over 1.5m.

Pasta Point: Breaking over the house reef of the Cinnamon Dhonveli resort, and limited to only 30 guests, this wave is never crowded. It’s a perfect, long, peeling left and probably the most consistent Maldives surf break. Works in winds from southeast, northeast, north and northwest. Small swells (under a metre) are ideal for intermediate surfers. At its best at 2m and over. It’s an easy takeoff to a long wall leading into the ‘Macaroni Bowl’, finishing with a fast, shallow section called ‘Lockjaws’. A classic.

Sultans: At the northeastern corner of Thamburudhoo island, this excellent right can handle any size swell. Best at high tide with wind from the south to the west. Even on a small swell it’s a fun, fast wall; over a metre, there’s a great peak takeoff that turns into a thick tube on the inside. The end section reaches barrelling perfection over 2m.

Honkys: At the southeastern corner of Thamburudhoo island, Honkys is a mirror to Sultans – a long wrapping left that’s best at low tides and in north to northeast winds, ie when it’s blowing onshore at Sultans. Perfect 150 yard ride with long walls and an inside section that stands up bigger than the takeoff. Best wave in the Maldives on its day.

Jailbreak (Jails): Himmafushi island is no longer a jail, but the break at its eastern tip has kept the name. It’s a long, fast right, best in a southwest wind, on a mid to rising tide. On a small swell it works as three sections, but up around 2m the three tube sections connect with long, super fast, walls.

Tombstones: (Furana) Off Furana island and the Sheraton Resort, this fickle right-hander needs a big swell to work well. With 2m plus, and a southwest wind, it’s a long, fast, hollow wave.

South Male Atoll

Gurus: Across the channel from the tiny island of Gulhi, this left-hand reef break picks up the most southerly swells, and works well with a north wind. If it’s 1.5m or more, it has a long, fast, workable wall. A fun wave for intermediate surfers.

Twin Peaks: (TwoWays; Panabal) At the eastern tip of Gulhi, the reef point breaks left and right, like Sultans-Honkys in North Male Atoll. The left is best on high tides; the right is more reliable. and popular with local surfers

Quarters: (Workers) at the south edge of the channel, this small, quick right needs a bigger swell to work. Punchy barrel in the right conditions.

Natives: (Foxys) hollow right breaking in shallow water over the reef, this is not for beginners. With a north-west wind and a solid swell it forms long, fast barrelling waves.

Kandooma Right: off the Holiday Inn Resort island, exclusive to its guests, this right hander breaks off the eastern edge of the reef with a relatively easy outside take-off. Works best on a bigger swell with a west to northwest wind, when the wave wraps around the reef corner jacking into a fast barrelling wall.

Riptides: fast right in the middle of a channel – beware of strong currents when the tide is running. On a biggish southern swell with a southwest wind it gives a 150m wall with hollow sections and a great bowl towards the end.