Maldives is the perfect destination for stand-up paddling. You can SUP surf amazing waves before jumping out for snorkel followed by a flat-water SUP. This makes it a brilliant for stand-up paddle boarders who want to bring their partners.
Our trips cater for both SUP surfers and non-surfing partners. In September 2022, we ran a live-aboard charter in North Male Atoll, Maldives, with surfers and their partners for a week. Onboard was a fantastic group of people from Europe, South Africa, Australia, and Hong Kong. Although the group didn’t know each other at the start, they were brought together by their wish to improve their SUP technique, explore the ocean, and enjoy themselves.
We were so lucky to experience perfect weather, waves and a swell that grew gradually throughout the week. The calm, sunny weather meant there was 20 metre visibility underwater, so it was amazingly clear for snorkelling. The surfers could even watch the fish go about their business from the board above.
As we only allow a maximum of eight surfers onboard, each surfer benefitted from Beau’s expert coaching. By offering in water advice as well as video technique analysis, it was amazing to watch how quickly everyone improved.
We also had two people on our marine biology package. They went out snorkelling everyday with Clare and learnt so much about the marine environment.
The days would start early with a surf and/or a snorkel before breakfast. Often whilst the SUP surfers were being coached in the waves, the snorkelers were further up the reef exploring the drop off section of the reef. Then everyone would return to the boat, have breakfast and the SUP surfers would return to the boat to go through video analysis to improve their technique. The snorkelers would go through the fish we had seen that morning, building up their identification skills.
We would then have lunch and head out for an afternoon session of surfing, snorkelling or SUPing.
Each evening we would re-group and have sunset drinks whilst watching the sun disappear in an orange glow beneath the horizon. The atmosphere was happy and relaxed as everyone rested after a busy day.
SUP Surf Coaching
The improvements of the surfers were incredible! They managed to bring the skills they learnt the day before and build confidence as the swell size rose each day. Each evening we watched videos of the surfers, and it was incredible to see how far they had come! Each surfer left feeling that they had learnt invaluable SUP skills on the trip and improved more than they could have imagined. This combined with Beau’s follow up support of a short-term training plan and help with board choice means that our clients continue improving between our trips.
We saw so many black and white tip reef fish sharks, eagle rays, mobula rays and super pods of spinner dolphins cruising along the boat bow.
During the week, there was a large influx of plankton that ran through the channels, and we had two manta ray encounters with three mantas feeding at the surface. The mantas circled around us, feeding at their own speed, and letting us snorkel close by and watch. After identifying these individuals, it was great to know they were all regulars to the area and had just arrived back at the start of the manta season.
Over the week, the snorkelers and surfers became great at identifying fish and enjoyed climate discussions as a group.
At the end of the week, we had all spent hours in the ocean, our bodies were aching, but our hearts were full and minds were relaxed. To spend so many hours in the water was healing for everyone!
The snorkelling group were all women and one evening we decided to take a sunset SUP on the calm ocean. It was unforgettable as the glass-like water was reflecting the dark oranges and reds on the surface before the sun disappeared and the stars became visible. We even tried some SUP yoga positions to enjoy the moment.
Next Maldives Trip
We look forward to running our next Maldives live-aboard trip from 4-14th October 2023 in the Central Atolls. This trip begins in Male, Maldives and we travel south through the atolls looking for waves and beautiful reefs along the way.
Learn more about our other trips and those upcoming in 2023.
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