I don’t want to moan but sometimes I just can’t take another glassy morning in board shorts. I understand how sick this sounds but I’m sure we have all experienced something similar. - It’s not that we don’t like warm water and clean conditions. It’s not that we don’t appreciate a regular salary and a reliable transport network. It’s not that a comfortable sofa and Netflix doesn’t float our boat. It’s just when variety is missing from your life in general, or just from the waves you are riding, those usual pleasures can lose some of their shine. It’s a huge cliche but without a doubt, variety is the spice of life.
Fortunately enough for us Sri Lankan based, already wave soaked gluttons, there is an easy prescription to this first world problem. The Maldives is just an hour away.
Easily one of the richest countries in the world, if waves fitted in a bank. Variety is not something you have to worry about. And the real joy about having the Maldives on our doorstep is that we can make a quick call if the conditions look good. This comes into its own during their "off" season.
Avoid the Usual Suspects
A lot of the more popular breaks around Male can be wind affected during off season. While wind is a factor determining the Maldives seasons, we’ve found the most relevant factor for good surf to be swell size. If you are one of those people lucky enough to have a flexible schedule we suggest you keep an eye on the forecasts October through April. As long as there is some size, the south of the Mid Atolls and the Southern Atolls will still offer more spots than you can shake a stick at.
Surfing The Maldives doesn’t have to break the bank
There are relatively economical options. Check out the islands with airports and see if there are any hostels/ homestays/ B&Bs- correlate this info with nearby waves- there’ll likely be a few waves in striking distance. Dhoni access is usually still pretty expensive so unless you can share the cost between a group of friends it’s best to look for breaks with access from the land. Land access reduces the options further but unbelievably you’d still find uncrowded waves.
You don’t have to take an internal flight either. If you are OK with a 5 hour speed boat trip I know of at least one place that could sort all your needs.
True, if you've got a way to travel it seems like a bit of a gamble, and boat stay or not, costs soon add up. But it is not nearly as bonkers as it sounds. With some careful research you’ll have a high success rate. And when you’ve scored once, you’ll be scheming your return trip before your HABU boardies have dried out.
I was fortunate enough to experience off season Maldives last December. Not your every day, and with off season coming round again soon, something I hope to make the most of in the not too distant future.