• Frequently Asked Questions

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Planning and booking your trip

How do I book and pay for my trip?

Simply get in touch and let us know which trip you would like to come on. We will email you confirming that we are holding a temporary reservation for you for the next 7 days. To confirm the reservation you will then need to pay a 25% deposit. We will include full details of how to make your payment to us in this email.

The remaining 75% is due one month before your travel dates. At that time we will write to you with a questionnaire asking you about your surfing experience and goals, medical conditions, dietary requirements as well as your flight details so that we can arrange your airport meet and greet.

What payment methods do you accept?

Typically we take payment via bank transfer (BACS) or CurrencyFair for international transfers. We can also accept credit/debit/paypal payments if you prefer. Please let us know if this is the case.

What if I need to cancel my trip?

If you need to cancel your trip more than one month before your trip start date, we will refund your payment minus a £150 admin fee.

If you cancel less that one month before your trip start date, we will not be able to refund you. Therefore it is important that you have adequate travel insurance to cover this. The most common reason for last minute cancellations are personal injury or a death in the family, so we advise that you check your insurer will cover this.

If your trip has been cancelled by us due to reasons beyond our control (such as a natural disaster), Renegade Surf Travel is not liable for any refunds. Most standard travel insurance policies will cover “operator cancellations” but please check this.

*Please note that a booking is considered cancelled even if you wish to make a alternative reservation.*

When should I purchase my flights?

Please do not purchase your flights until 3 months in advance of your trip unless the ticket has a free cancellation or date change policy. We are a small surf travel agency specialising in surf coaching holidays and therefore can only run trips that meet our minimum required numbers. On very rare occasions we may need to cancel, postpone or merge trips to make sure we are operating at capacity. In this instance your booking will either be postponed or merged with a different trip, or a full refund will be issued.

The trip will be confirmed ON or OFF 3 months in advance, at which time we recommend booking your flights and can help you do so.

Can my trip differ from the dates advertised?

Due to the fact we work with top level coaches and professional surfers who are in high demand, trips can only take place on the dates specified.

If you do decide to arrive or depart the Maldives earlier or later than the trip dates, we would be happy to arrange accommodation for you at our partner hotel on Thulusdhoo Island, Canopus Retreat. We would then arrange transfers to or from the hotel to the boat for the start or end dates of the trip.

We cannot accept any bookings for time periods less than that of the specified trip dates.

Can I book out the entire trip for me and my friends or family?

Yes, providing there are not already any bookings for the trip in question. Please contact us as soon as possible for the best chance of having the boat to yourselves.

Is there a minimum age?

Guests must be 18+ years of age or 16+ if accompanied by a parent or guardian.

If you are booking out the whole trip for your friends or family, we may be able to accommodate younger guests but please get in touch as this may vary.

Can I extend my stay?

You’re welcome to extend your stay in the Maldives after your surf coaching trip has come to an end. In this case we would be happy to arrange accommodation at Canopus Retreat, Thulusdhoo and take you and your bags there on transfer day for no extra cost.

*Availability depending

If you wish to stay elsewhere, accommodation and transport will be your own responsibility though we will be happy to provide any help and assistance we can.

Are solo travellers welcome?

Absolutely! Guests will often be a mixture of men and women, solo surfers and friends. Our guests tend to be like minded and with us for the same reasons, so you’ll always be in good company.

Are flights included?

No. Flights are not included in any of our packages.

However, we can assist you in finding the most suitable flights if you wish.

When should I book my flights for?

When booking your flights, please keep in mind that your first coaching session will commence the morning after the start date of the trip. For example, if the specified trip dates are 01 – 10 July, your first coaching session will be the morning of the 2nd. Your last coaching session would be on the 9th, but you’re welcome to freesurf as much as you wish up until your departure.

Where possible we recommend arriving on the morning of the start date of your trip. That way you have plenty of time to unwind, sneak in for a warm-up surf and have dinner with the other guests. However, it’s absolutely no problem if you can only book flights that arrive late on your start date.

Will somebody meet me at the airport?

Yes. Simply arrive in Malé International Airport and your Renegade Surf Travel guide will be on hand to pick you up. Your return transfer will also be taken care of by us.

Is travel insurance included?

No. Travel insurance is not included in any of our packages.

We strongly advise that you only travel with valid and relevant insurance as Renegade Surf Travel can not be held liable for any losses.

About the surf

What sort of waves can I expect to be surfing?

The Maldives is a true surfers paradise offering perfect left and right reef breaks that are powerful yet forgiving. This makes it the perfect destination for surf coaching. The waves give you the speed you need to try new techniques and the confidence to pull into the barrel without the fear of getting slammed onto shallow reef.

There is a fantastic range of waves from long walls to shorter hollower rides. The majority of the time you will be surfing waves in the head high range, with bigger swells generally peaking around double overhead. April to October is almost never flat and therefore surfable 99% of the time – that’s why we come here!

What if the waves are too big or too small?

Of course, we can not always predict Mother Nature. However, the beauty of the Maldives is that the waves very rarely get too big or small. Also, the beauty of a surf charter boat is that we have the flexibility to surf different spots depending on the conditions. These two factors, combined with the knowledge of your surf guide, will ensure that you progress your surfing in the best waves available.

How are the crowds?

As with any surf destination, the easier the access to the region, the more crowded it tends to be. The Maldives is a long way from most of the major surfing populations and is difficult to do on a shoestring, which helps keep crowds to a minimum.

The Malé Atolls are the most well known, the most accessible and therefore attract the most people. However, there is a large number of super consistent spots within a short distance which helps to thin the crowd. It is not impossible to surf alone and not uncommon to surf with just a few others if you know how to be in the right place at the right time. That’s where your guide comes in.

As a general rule, the further south you go the more remote and uncrowded the waves become. At almost any given moment there are perfect waves peeling down a reef somewhere in the Maldives with not a soul in sight…

Can I surf outside of the coaching sessions?

You are more than welcome to surf as much or as little as you want. However, we recommend pacing yourself for the first few days. The Maldivian sun is strong and you don’t want to be burned out just half way through your trip.

Will there be video coaching every day?

There will be one mid-trip ‘lay day’ which will be your day off from being filmed. This is to give your mind and body some down time after 4 days of intensive coaching. As always, if you’re frothing to surf and work on your new skills you are more than welcome to do so. Otherwise this is a great day to chill out, arrange a massage or enjoy the incredible snorkelling and fishing the Maldives has to offer.

I’ve never surfed before, can I come and learn?

Unfortunately our surf coaching trips are not suitable to complete beginners. The waves in the Maldives break with power over coral reef and are therefore not suitable for learning.

Renegade Surf Travel’s surf coaching trips are aimed at surfers that can comfortably catch head high waves without assistance, duck dive oncoming waves and perform basic manoeuvers such as bottom turns and cutbacks.

Upon booking your trip we will send you a questionnaire including sections to tell us about your surfing experience and goals. This will help us to plan your trip accordingly and help you get the most out of your time with us.

Do I need to bring my own board(s)?

Yes, you will be required to bring your surfboard with you.

What board(s) should I bring?

Depending on how many boards you want to bring with you, here’s what we recommend:

1 Board
A typical average to good wave shortboard such as the Pyzel Voyager 1
OR
A ‘1 board quiver’ style shape such as the Fourth Doofer

Even on the bigger days in the Maldives it is rare that you will need a step-up board as the waves generally offer an easy entry.

2 Boards
A ‘daily driver’ style board that is loose and fun to surf in chest high to overhead waves, such as the Pyzel Phantom.
+
A good wave shortboard comfortable in hollower surf and up to double overhead, such as the Pyzel Ghost.

We think a 2 board quiver along these lines is ideal to cover you for all the waves you will come across in the Maldives.

3 Boards
A ‘daily driver’ as above.
A good wave shortboard as above.
+
An alternative shape that will fly in smaller surf or provide a different feeling when the waves are good, such as the NS Surfboards Twin Fin.

*PLEASE DO NOT BRING ANY MORE THAN 3 BOARDS DUE TO SPACE ON THE BOAT*

Do you coach traditional longboarding?

Our surf coaching trips are geared towards ‘high performance surfing’ rather than traditional longboarding – ‘logging’ or nose riding.

However, regardless of what board you like to ride, if you want to surf more critically with better technique and increased speed, power and flow; our trips are for you.

What should I wear to surf in the Maldives?

Both water and air temperatures consistently hover around 28 degrees celsius, so its board shorts or bikini weather all day every day. That said, the sun can be relentless and you will be putting in a lot of hours in the water so we strongly advise using a surf t-shirt or rash vest. If you burn easily it may even be wise to wear leggings and a surf hat. These can also help to protect you from sea lice which occasionally blow into the lineup giving a tiny but slightly irritating sting.

Make sure to bring some good water-proof SPF 50+ sun cream for your body and zinc sun block for your face.

The forecast looks terrible, what will we do?

First of all, don’t panic! Surf forecasting sites are notoriously poor at forecasting for the Maldives. We’re not sure why this is but they seem to consistently underestimate surf size in the region.

For the most part, swells in the Maldives come from the SE and are produced by the Indian Ocean trade winds. If you’ve ever been to Indo in the dry season you will be well aware that the trade winds blow all day every day. This sends a constant stream of swell straight towards the Maldives, often greeted by light offshore winds creating perfect surf.

For reference, if you are looking at Magicseaweed and it’s showing 2ft 9s, this normally equates to fun chest to shoulder high surf. 3ft 10s can often be a good head high+ day. Anything over 4ft or 12s and you’re looking at some fairly solid swell!

As with most equatorial regions, storms and squalls can blow through, but they are usually short lived and you’ll be back to surfing in no time.

What if we can’t surf for some reason?

In the very rare event that we can’t go surfing for some reason, (be it prohibitively small or large swell, storm force winds or another unforeseen circumstance) we will do our best to make up the time in the water as soon as the conditions allow.

Preparing for your trip

What can I do to get in shape for my upcoming trip?

Whilst you can still have the time of your life without doing any preparation at all, the better shape you’re in the further you will be able to push your surfing before your body becomes a limiting factor.

Here’s a few things we recommend:

Surfing – It goes without saying that if you have the option to surf then this is the best form of preparation! Even if the waves are bad, your paddle fitness and awareness in the lineup will serve you well once you get to the Maldives.

Swimming – Freestyle (front crawl) swimming is the next best way to condition your paddling muscles whilst improving your cardiovascular endurance. Aim to swim twice a week for 4 weeks leading up to your trip and you’ll be able to surf with more energy for longer. Do cycles of 4 laps with a very slow and steady rhythm, followed by 1 sprint lap to mimic your workload in the surf and improve both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.

Stretching / Yoga – Often flexibility can quickly become a limiting factor for surfers, particularly for men and older surfers. We highly recommend joining some yoga classes in advance of your trip to increase your mobility, strength and lessen the likelihood of injury.

What type of plug sockets do they use in the Maldives?

The Maldives uses the same 3 pin style sockets as the UK.

What is the currency and how much cash will I need?

Both US dollars and Maldivian Rufiyaa are used in the Maldives and are accepted forms of payment on your trip. Most of the time tourists will bring and pay for things in USD and receive the change in Rufiyaa. You can bring USD out with you or there are ATMs at the airport where you can get Rufiyaa.

You will not need much cash during your trip with Renegade Surf Travel as nearly everything is included. The only things you will need cash for are the bar (e.g. a can of beer is 4USD) and extra activities such as massages.

Do I need to bring a towel?

No, towels will be provided.

About your stay

Will there be WiFi?

Yes there is WiFi available on all of our trips. However, bare in mind this is on a boat in the middle of the Indian Ocean so don’t expect the same service you are used to at home.

Am I expected to tip?

Like a growing number of businesses, Renegade Surf Travel does not accept tips due to the pressure and unfairness that tipping puts on customers and staff.

If you feel that we have gone above and beyond during your trip, we would prefer if you left us a review on Facebook as we rely on these to grow our business and improve our service.

If you feel that your boat crew has gone above and beyond, please rest assured knowing the Renegade Surf Travel pays an extra percentage to our local partners to make sure our boat crews are well compensated for the fantastic work they do.

Any monetary tips will be passed on as a donation to Surfers Against Sewage.

What can I expect a typical day to look like?

With Renegade Surf Travel, waves are our priority and so everything will be based around the surf conditions and timings will vary. However, you can expect a typical day to look something like this: 7am breakfast, 8-10am video surf session, 10:30 chill time, 12pm lunch and talk through your morning session, 2pm yoga or body mechanics theory, 3:30-6pm surf, 7pm dinner, 8pm analyse your footage from the morning session.

Are there any non-surfing activities to do?

Yes, there is basic fishing and snorkelling equipment on board the boat and we highly recommend checking out the incredible marine life the Maldives boasts.

We can also arrange yoga sessions, massages and island hopping as per your request.

*Please do not bring a spear gun as spear fishing is banned in the Maldives*

Health and Safety

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes. Travel insurance is a must have for your trip with Renegade Surf Travel. It will cover you in the event that you have to miss some or all of your trip and are not eligible for a refund from us. It will also cover medical expenses, loss or theft of possessions and is very cheap to purchase. It’s a no brainer.

We recommend looking for a policy with a Defaqto 5 star rating. Alternatively, www.surfoffsure.co.uk provide surf travel specific coverage which will give you extra peace of mind when travelling with your beloved surf crafts.

Will I need any vaccinations before my surf trip to the Maldives?

It is not common to get vaccinations before travelling to the Maldives.

However, you can check the latest travel health advice here: https://www.tmb.ie/destinations/vaccinations-for-maldives

About the Maldives

When is the Maldives ‘surf season’?

The Maldives is a year round surf destination but the predominant swell season is between the months of March and November. During this period there are two main swell sources; long period southerly groundswells and the incredibly consistent SE trade wind swells. Swells tend to be smaller with glassy conditions towards the beginning and end of the season. The biggest swells tend to arrive with the stronger WSW trade winds through the months of July, August and September.

There is a short period of North East monsoon winds that tend to blow through March and April. This makes it a fantastic time for surfing the remote and less crowded Southern Atolls. The South West monsoon then blows offshore in the Malé and Central Atolls through the months of April to October.

The Maldives is a long and varied chain of atolls and so surf can be found somewhere in the region pretty much year round!

Are there sharks in the Maldives?

The Maldives is not known for having dangerous species of sharks. That said, it is not uncommon to see black tip and white tip reef sharks whilst surfing. However, these sharks are not aggressive and generally pose no threat to humans.

What about bugs?

Living on a boat means that bugs are not an issue.

If you are planning to be land based before or after your surf coaching trip, you may want to bring long pants and sleeves as well as some insect repellent.

What wildlife am I likely to see in the water?

The Maldives is renowned for it’s incredible and diverse marine life. So much so, it can sometimes feel like you are surfing in an aquarium. It is not uncommon to see a variety of dolphins, rays, sharks and tropical fish whilst surfing or snorkelling. None of these pose any risk to you without provocation. Please look but don’t touch!

Other Queries

Do you only run surf coaching trips in the Maldives?

Yes. Currently we only run surf coaching trips in the Maldives as we feel it is the best place in the world to progress your surfing.

Do you ever offer discounted prices?

No. Renegade Surf Travel only work with the best surf coaches whilst keeping group sizes small and the service standard high. Therefore we can not offer discounts on our advertised prices.

I am interested in working for Renegade Surf Travel. How can I apply?

If you are interested in working for or with us as Renegade Surf Travel, please contact the owner Simon Hartley: info@renegadesurftravel.com