“Who would have thought to find a place so perfectly placed between the ocean and the sky.” – Billabong model/surfer & singer/songwriter Catherine Clark
What a great way to describe the uniqueness of the Maldives. Describing its perfection for surfing, but really a key piece of so many things that he Maldives is world renowned for …
- Honeymoons – The romance of a plot of pure white sand and a palm trees nestled in a tranquil turquoise lagoon.
- Diving – One of the tops in the world for its endless coral reefs easily accessible by the 100+resorts.
- Snorkelling – Arguably the very best in the world for reasons very close to Catherine’s quote above.
- Children – Calm waters, shallow lagoons, contained small grounds, many activities.
One really has to add Surfing to that list things the Maldives tops the world as a top destination. Not big waves like Hawaii, but long, moderate breaks for extended rides. The pro surfing circuit regularly holds premier events in the Maldives now. I’ve had to break out a special ‘Surfing’ section from ‘Sport’ in the ‘Best of Maldives’ page because of all the special offerings resorts have brought out.
And of all of those resorts, Tropicsurf at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa is quickly becoming the epicentre of the surf Mecca. Their latest project was hosting the iconic Billabong Girls for an video ‘diary’ posted by Billabong, but now on video sites and surf online mags across the net. One of the best is the extended (17 minutes) piece featured in Surfing Magazine. The link on Catherine’s quote above features her diary entry with her poetic descriptions of the Maldives, and there’s ‘Maldives Vibe’ for a simple music video of the vibrant footage.
“It’s really cool to have the pearly white beaches, then go into the icy-blue clear water that you don’t have anny where else in the world.” – Courtney Coulogne, US Women’s Surfing Champion
Plenty of great surf spots in the Maldives (even more if you do kite surfing), and a number of resorts offer surfing equipment and instruction, but there is only one ‘Surf Shack’ around – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa’s TropicSurf.
The Surf Shack sells a whole range of surf gear. It also provides video analysis as part of its instruction offerings. But it really just has a whole surfing vibe to it.
A great example of its surfing vibe and great offerings is its recently announced its ‘Champion Trophy Package’. Maldives.Net reports…
“The Maldives is set to host the world’s most exclusive surfing event this August. The event organized by Four Seasons Resorts Maldives, will feature six world champions, a leading five-star surfing resort, a luxurious 39-metre three-deck catamaran, and the perfect reef break waves. Conceived in conjunction with luxury surf pioneers Tropicsurf, the Four Seasons Resorts Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy will see the sport’s biggest legends such as four-time world champion Mark Richards compete across three disciplines that showcase the evolution of modern surfing.”
So if you are a hang-ten pro or a even bit clueless on the surfing front (like this lot), then head over to the Surf Shack.
March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. As such it is classic kite flying season. The seasons are a bit different in equatorial Maldives, but we are heading into the half of the year with a bit more precipitation and breezes from the southwest trade winds. Not much too much to fret about since most of this time is still sunny, tropical paradise. But if you want to embrace the breezes when they blow, then Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru is the place for you. They have 9 boards and kites varying from 2 to 17 metres. And if you needed any further inspiration, Sakis just posted the dazzling masterpiece on his site last week. If you want to find other resorts with kite surfing, it is one of the activities noted in the Maldives Complete profiles.
Once you get going on your surf board and can stay up longer and longer, when you want to go longer still, then you need to head over to Adaraan Hudhuranfushi. Their ‘Lohis’ search break is renowned not just in the Maldives, but the world over. It is the best ‘Left Hand Break’ in the Maldives and the 8th best spot in the world. Enthusiasts report that you can get a 14 second run which is a relative eternity. In fact, you might get coaching tips from the resort General Manager Asim Mohamed himself as he is a regular on the waves there. He has even included some great action shots on his Flickr site. And even if ‘falling off’ is more your forte, you can still enjoy the long runs from the superbly positioned beach bar (where my wife snapped the pic at top).
In light of the ASP World Tour which started this week with the Quicksilver Pro event, I thought I would do a few surf pieces. I’ve already covered the Maldives hosting this very same event in June 2009. But you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy surfing in the Maldives. In fact, it would be an ideal place to start. It doesn’t feature the giant rip-curl waves of Hawaii. Instead, the Maldives are famous for long runs of gentle rolls as more modest waves hit the long breakers of extended reefs. If you have never even surfed at all, then the place to go is Four Seasons Kuda Huraa and their Tropic Surf surfing school.
They offer special beginner course for 2 days called the ‘Dream Programme’ where you learn safety, paddling, standing-up and falling-off (I thought that I might be able to skip that last bit seeming well proficient in fall off many things, but the instructor informed me that there is a ‘proper’ way to fall off). They then take beginners to surfing spots that are ideal for novices for guided and supervised outing.
Tropic Surf has a “100% success rate getting people to stand up on the first lesson.” They feature ‘soft boards’ and an instructor is always in the water with the student. I met with the manager Chris Prewitt (see picture above) who described the programme as a “shortcut to success”
For the more ambitious, Kuda Huraa also offer a 4 night ‘Surf’s Up’ package as well as surf cruises on various boats (including the Four Seasons Explorer yacht) to different locales around the Maldives. The Male atoll itself has 8 surf breaks for all levels of skill such as ‘Sultans’, ‘Jails’, and ‘Honkys’. For more information on Maldives surfing check out the Surf in Maldives website or the Maldivian Surfing Association Facebook page
The Maldives are more renowned for their swimming pool like tranquillity with ocean waters stilled by the reef enclosed lagoons. However, once you go to the right places on the edge of the atoll reefs where the currents hit just right, you can find some quite ideal conditions for surfing. So ideal that Chaaya Island Dhonveli is hosting the world surfing circuit Sri Lankan Airlines Pro Maldives event this week.
“Widely regarded as the most striking event on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS), the SriLankan Airlines Pro – Maldives has again drawn a brilliant field of 128 international surfers from 20 nations around the surfing world.”
More specifically, the event was held at Pasta Point off the island famous for superb 3m wave surf conditions.