With its incredible water clarity and typically uncrowded waves, the Maldives is one of the world’s most desirable surfing locations. In this interview with Dara Ahmed, famous for being an Oceanic Phoenix of the Maldives, we discover the best surfing opportunities the Maldives has to offer.
How long have you been surfing for?
27 years ago I tried my first surf and fell in love with the ocean and my soul since then is dedicated to it.
What inspired you to surf in the first place?
I grew up in the country surrounded by the ocean and it was my playground.
What is your top favorite surf spot in the Maldives and why do you like it?
My favourite surfing spot is Pasta Point. Pasta Point is the wave-machine of North Male Atoll. Less affected by wind than any of the other spots, this reef break consistently pumps out pristine left-handers of all sizes. Like any good wave-machine, Pasta’s long beautiful waves typically stay in the 4-6 feet range, but even in 1-2 foot waves it still breaks exactly the same.
Can you do any tricks on the waves? If so what?
Cutbacks, barrels, floaters, and if the conditions are right, I even surf standing on my head.
Why do you love the ocean and why do you love to surf?
Ocean is my life! It’s how I find my zen in life… Some people like to paint, others play music or sculpt… For me, my board is my brush, the wave, my canvas. I like to think of surfing as an artistic expression, I surf because that’s where I find my happy place!
What has surfing taught you about yourself and life?
Patients, joy for travel and love of exploration, harmony with nature, the list goes on… Suffice to say, surfing has the potential to teach you a lot about life, but what that is exactly, is personally reflective of a individual perspective!
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, and a representative of the International Surfing Association (ISA) in the Maldives, founded in 1964, which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing.
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. 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.