With its incredible water clarity and typically uncrowded waves, the Maldives is one of the world’s most desirable surfing locations. In this photo essay, we discover the best surfing opportunities the Maldives has to offer.

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A Dhoni is a traditional, centuries-old design that has been perfected over time. Originally propelled with a sail, almost all are now powered by diesel engines. Dhonveli based surf instructor and tour group Atoll Adventures uses the Dhoni as its main workhorse, ferrying surfers out to the lineup of Pasta Point or across to other nearby waves depending on conditions.

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The view from underneath the wave, of a surfer streaking past, is perhaps one of the most poetic experiences in all of surfing. It’s not uncommon to find yourself accompanied by a school of fish or reef shark, adding to your experience.

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The long, gently sloped yet powerful waves of Pasta Point is a rare gem that suits everyone from those relatively new to surfing, through to experienced riders. With a maximum of 10 to 15 surfers allowed in the lineup at any one time, every surfer gets the opportunity to enjoy their experience.

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The view looking out of the barrel down the line at sunset is one of those postcard perfect scenes, yet ironically it makes for a difficult ride during the dying hours of the day as you are staring straight at the sun.

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Dara Ahmed is the Director and surf instructor for Atoll Adventures, a sustainable surfing tour company based at Cinnamon Dhonveli, home of the famous Pasta Point wave. When the original 24-room resort Tari Village was built on the island, it was owned by Italians and catered to Italian tourists. The kitchen staff would throw the leftover pasta out onto the rocks at the surf point end of the island; thus the name Pasta Point was born.

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The top-down view of Pasta Point shows not only the incredible water clarity, but also the cracks and contours of the reef below. As the swells come in from deeper water, they wrap around on the shallow parts of the coral reef and cause the swells to break, then continue down the line of the reef as it hugs the island.

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The origins of surfing in the Maldives were born when Tony Hinde, a young surfer from Sydney, along with his friend Mark, hitched a lift on a private yacht sailing from Sri Lanka to South Africa in 1973. The yacht ran aground on a reef in the Maldives, and they spent several months salvaging the boat and exploring the atolls. In early 1974, Tony discovered the collection of surf breaks near Himmafushi village island, including Pasta Point, Sultans, Honky’s and Jailbreak (all unnamed at the time), and decided to take up residence on the island.

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You can surf all year-round in the Maldives, but the best surf season is from March to October. Here you can see surf instructor Dara duck-diving through a wave with streaks from the sunset cascading around him.

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When Tony Hinde stumbled upon the paradise of the Maldives in 1973, he maintained the secret of the incredible waves for more than 10 years. When word did eventually get out to the rest of the world, he wanted to make sure a sustainable surfing experience was had by all who visited, and created Atoll Adventures. Part of the philosophy of Atoll Adventures was to not overcrowd the waves. Looking down the line at Pasta Point, you’ll never see more than 30 people in the lineup at one time.

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The convenience of being able to sit and watch the waves from the boardwalk overlooking the point can make for some entertaining viewing.

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