Rob Underwood is The Perfect Wave’s super friendly, talented surf guide at Kandooma Surf Resort, The Maldives.
Rob has clocked five consecutive seasons at the epic resort and might I add spent endless time in the tube out front.
“Undies”” was happy to share much of his knowledge gained in a recent quick catch up.
Interview by Ben Horvath.
Ben – Where and how best to score uncrowded waves – e.g. the best months, best locales?
Rob – The best way to score uncrowded waves in my opinion is to attend 1 of the 3 resorts where the waves are exclusive and are only allowed to be surfed by resort guests. Kandooma is one, and there is Lohis and Pasta Point………….. shoulder season would be the best bet and if you come early (April or May) just like last year and score a swell your in for a good time!
I’m at Kandooma all season so I can not remember the amount of times I’ve surfed by myself or with a couple of other guys in April/Sept/October as there have been so many sessions. If you’re lucky to have a job which is flexible in letting you take a week off, I would look at these times, check the forecast and try and time it for a swell. A 1-metre direct south east swell with an 11 second period is all that is needed to deliver double overhead waves.
Ben – When is the peak swell season?
Rob – The peak swell season is the same as Indo, however, July and August usually deliver the biggest swells.
Ben – Where’s best to go with the family?
Rob – If you’re bringing the wifey and kids, there is no better place to stay than Kandooma Resort. It’s equipped with all the comforts and services to look after the tribe while dad/mum get to pick and choose when to surf.
Having that world-class right-hander 20 seconds from your doorstep makes all the difference as you can paddle out for 30 minutes, catch 4 or 5 waves and be happy.
The kids club and staff is a great addition and round the clock babysitting allow mum and dad to enjoy the resort facilities to the fullest also.
Ben – Where’s best to learn to surf?
Rob – The waves in the Maldives are all breaking over coral reef, however, Kandooma has a learn-to-surf sand bank right next to the resort which is what we use for beginners…. it’s great as guests who have never tried or young kids can try their hand at surfing in one of the world’s most incredible and beautiful waters without the risk of getting cut up on the reef. It’s ideal.
Ben – How can I score the best deal?
Rob – We’re lucky that the peak surf season in the Maldives corresponds with the low tourist season there, so the rates are always favourable. To enhance the savings, either book early and score one of the Maldives early bird deals, or keep an eye on the last-minute deals that pop up throughout the season – if you are fortunate enough to take a holidays at a moment’s notice.
Either way, TPW has the best price guarantee so in any case, you are getting a great deal booking with them.
Ben – What board size, volume etc is best? Two best boards to bring?
Rob – The waves in the Maldives are a little more forgiving than other parts of the world so you can usually go a little smaller than usual but replace that with a little more volume and width. I would not suggest bringing your Indo gun and I see a lot of punters riding Firewire hot-dogging boards and Hypo Cryptos who catch a lot of waves and have a lot of fun……. those corky, epoxy boards seem to go real well over here as the wind is offshore creating smooth-like conditions for the majority of the season.
My usual board for Indo/Sydney is about 6ft but I ride a 5ft 10 in the Maldives and can still be on that when it gets double overhead.
Ben – Any other Maldives specific tips to make my surf holiday all time?
Rob – It is really hot over here, even in the water, so I would suggest bringing good zinc and sunscreen, a surf hat or hooded rashie. And a lot of those electrolyte replacement satchels. They will save your behind…
Other than that, if you’re coming here get real excited because it really is a surfers tropical paradise like no other. This will be my 5th year here and the place still never ceases to amaze.