The Maldives, a tropical paradise consisting of 26 atolls and over 1,000 islands, is one of the most sought-after surf destinations in the world. With its crystal-clear waters, warm weather, and perfect waves, it’s no wonder that surfing has become an integral part of Maldivian culture. However, the history of surfing in the Maldives is not as well-known as its reputation as a world-class surfing destination.

The first surfers in the Maldives were believed to be a group of Australians who arrived on the island of Thulusdhoo in the early 1970s. These surfers were looking for new and unexplored surfing destinations, and the Maldives was a perfect fit. They discovered that the reefs in the Maldives produced some of the best waves in the world, and word quickly spread among the surfing community.

In the 1980s, a group of Maldivian surfers emerged, and they began to explore their own waters. One of the most prominent Maldivian surfers was Ahmed “Ammaday” Aznil. He was one of the first Maldivians to take up surfing, and he quickly became a pioneer of the sport in the Maldives. He was instrumental in organizing the first-ever Maldives Surfing Championships, which were held in the early 1990s.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, the Maldives began to develop as tourist destinations, and surfing became an important part of the tourism industry. Resorts began to offer surfing packages, and surfing charters started to operate in the Maldives. As a result, the number of surfers visiting the Maldives increased significantly.

In 2001, the Maldives Surfing Association was formed, and it became the governing body for surfing in the country. The association was instrumental in organizing local competitions and promoting the sport to a wider audience. In 2004, the Maldives hosted the Asian Surfing Championships, which helped to put the country on the map as a serious surfing destination.

One of the most significant events in the history of surfing in the Maldives was the 2007 Tavarua-Maldives Surfing Championship. This competition was held in the Maldives and featured some of the best surfers from around the world. It was a significant event for the Maldives, as it helped to showcase the country’s world-class waves to a global audience.


Since then, the Maldives has continued to attract surfers from all over the world. Today, the Maldives is home to some of the most luxurious surfing resorts in the world, and surfing has become an integral part of the country’s tourism industry. The Maldives Surfing Association continues to organize local competitions, and the country is now recognized as one of the top surfing destinations in the world.

The Maldives Surfing Association is working to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the country’s reefs and preserving the Maldives’ surfing heritage for future generations.

In conclusion, the history of surfing in the Maldives is a fascinating one, and it is closely tied to the country’s development as a tourist destination. From the early days of Australian surfers discovering the Maldives’ perfect waves to the formation of the Maldives Surfing Association and the country’s hosting of international surfing competitions, surfing has become an integral part of the Maldives’ culture and tourism industry.