The invitation came at the beginning of the year by email from a friend: to go on a boat trip in the Maldives. Past experiences told me not to accept. It immediately came to mind a press conference aboard a Portuguese Navy boat off the coast of Lisbon, which ended with the sailors advising me to “look at the horizon so you don’t get seasick”.
Attached to this message was a presentation of the trip and the boat… Perhaps the idea was not completely out of place.
However, it was the images of the perfect waves, long and tubular, with islands full of palm trees, that led to the final decision and made me travel to the country that they say will one day be under water.
How to surf the Maldives
There are two ways to surf the Maldives. First, you can stay on land, either in one of the many luxury resorts in the country or in a more low-cost format on one of the local islands. In this case, you can choose to pay for the small boats that transport you to the waves each time you want to surf… or, you can opt for a boat trip!
You can do this through an operator if you want to spend days in a boat hopping between waves in a sleep-eat-surf format.
In my case, I made this trip through Lapoint, in what was their first boat trip with only female surfers.
On board the Hope Cruiser
The meeting point was the international airport in Malé, where 10 girls of different nationalities boarded the small Dhoni boat that would take us aboard the Hope Cruiser, our home for the week.
This 36-meter vessel, with six cabins, a lounge and decks with sunbeds, is maintained by a local crew, including a cook who prepares the various meals from morning to evening.
Life on board is relaxed and always barefoot, with the day starting at 5:30 am and ending shortly after 9:00 pm, as no one can stand to stay awake any longer, such is the physical exhaustion of three daily surf sessions of two hours each.
What to bring for a surf trip in the Maldives
There are some essential items to take on a surf trip. Especially when we are in the tropics:
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The waves in the Maldives
The Maldives consists of 1,196 islands, of which only 203 are inhabited, and there may well be hundreds of surfable waves, depending on the swells that come into the country.
However, the atolls north of Malé offer the most surfing opportunities, with left and right-hand waves, many of which with international recognition.
Considering the swells we caught, we concentrated on Chickens and Ninjas on this surf trip. The first is known as one of the longest lefts in the Maldives and already requires some surfing knowledge, being more indicated for advanced surfers. Contrarily, the second is the wave of choice for beginner surfers since this right breaks slower.
During the trip, we had the opportunity to experience other waves. But I will leave you the challenge to go and discover them. 😉
But is a boat trip in the Maldives just surfing?
Essentially, yes. Make no mistake. The days are spent surfing or resting and relaxing until the next session.
But there are some other activities you can do. For example, you can go snorkeling next to the Hope or while waiting on the dhoni (the boat that takes you to the waves with the surfboards since the main ship is docked in deeper water), or you can ask a crew member to take you in a smaller boat to the nearest reef to see the marine species up close, with all their beautiful colors.
For fishing fans, there are rods for catching your next meal. Not to mention the fantastic sunset dives as the fire-painted sun sets on the horizon.
But this is a trip to practice your surfing and improve it in perfect waves that offer every opportunity to evolve. This, coupled with the fact that you can surf in shorts/bikinis, in warm water, in one of the most incredible aquariums in the world!
Back at the international airport, the last stop on this boat trip, the feeling is of new friendships made and memories that will stay for some time with us. The ground is now still, but our heads and bodies seem to keep rocking to the rhythm of the waves. The reality of dry land (and of our life in general) takes some getting used to, but the idea of going back to the sea takes hold and grabs us by the waves, hoping that the near future will bring a new trip to surf the Maldives.
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