Surfing in the Maldives developed in the early 1970s, and quite by accident. Sailing from Sri Lanka, two surfers, Tony Hinde and Mark Scanlon, ran aground in Malé—the capital of the multi-island nation. After seeing the surf, Hinde decided to settle and eventually opened a surf camp.
Waves of warm, clear water welcome visitors throughout most of the year, though summer sees the most sizable swells. The spots for speed are Honkies and Jails, while beginners are better off paddling out at, oddly enough, Ninjas and Tombstones.
For the past seven years, Kuda Huraa has played host to the world’s most luxurius surf contest; The Surfing Champions’ Trophy. Six of the world’s best surfers, five male and one female, are invited to surf a multi-disciplined contest in the pristine waters of the Maldives. This year’s invitees: defending champion Taj Burrow, Rob Machado, CJ Hobgood, Ross Williams, Ismail Miglal, and big wave charger Maya Gabiera.
They surf single-fin, twin-fin and thruster boards across three separate days, each accumulating points with the two highest point getters facing off in a final on the board type of their choice. Each surfers heat time is decided by their age, allowing a little more time for the guys who aren’t paddling as quickly as they used to.
This year how ever it has an even greater twist, with style king Rob Machado shaping a quiver of single-fins and twin-fins for his opponent and friend, Ross Williams. Some might say this is an interesting decision from both parties with the opportunity for sabotage begging and a close friendship on the line. But it turns out the two of them couldn’t be happier to collaborate.
“I shaped kind of different twin fins for the each of us. I shaped him one that I surfed here last year because I knew it went well. I changed mine because I’m always trying to mix it up, I’m never satisfied and always like to push myself. It will be an added bonus if he beats me because I’ll know I shaped him a good board. It will definitely be a win win for me either way, which is super cool,” said Rob.
A sanctuary for the sophisticated surfer, the Four Seasons Resort at Kuda Huraa features 96 accommodations—including thatched-roof beach bungalows and suites—four restaurants, two lounges, and a spa that is set on its own private island. This may be one of the few places you could take your girlfriend and make everyone happy.