Richard Kotch On, The Best I've Ever Seen The Maldives
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Hudhuranfushi Report, July 2016
Report & Gallery by Richard Kotch for World Surfaris
If I had to pick one month of the year to be in the Maldives it would be July. Typically we enjoy plenty of swell, great weather and light crowds. This July has been a strange one. It started out nicely with a week of mid-sized swell from the S/SE and some excellent conditions for all of the waves in the North Male region, but then something peculiar happened – we were smashed by eight days of the worst waves and weather I have seen out here. Tiny waves, blown ragged by howling cross/off-shores, and clouds so low you could reach out and touch them.
I can’t sugar coat it. It was brutal. To make matters worse we had two different pro groups on island and expectations were high! Yes,there were windows, Lohis still had some fun moments, compared to say, surfing the English channel in February or long nights spent dish pigging at a one-star hotel, but it was not the waves, or weather, that you’d want to fly across oceans for. However, pro’s are pro’s and they worked really hard with what was on offer and remarkably both groups left happy. They’d found the island delightfully photogenic and the waves had delivered just enough to somehow ‘get the shot’!
Mother nature can be a cruel mistress… not ten hours after the last stickered up shred sled had sped away from the island, the wind backed off and the swell (that had been there all along) started to wrap it’s way down the Lohis reef. The next two weeks have been the best I have ever known out here. Truly world class waves every single day! I’m writing this looking out over 4-5ft Lohis with just four guys out. If I could still paddle or kick I would be surfing or shooting, but I can’t so I’m drinking coffee and enjoying the AC and answering relentless questions on the subject of ‘when will the swell drop off so I can have a break”.
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