Cheat Notes – Lohis Left
Having spent 13 years working at Hudhuranfushi Surf Reosrt, no one knows Lohis Left (and the North Male Atolls) better than Rich Kotch. Surfer, photographer, family man and full time Surf Travel Specialist at World Surfaris, Rich is always ready for any question you want to throw at him. Keep reading for Richard’s cheat notes on surfing Lohis Left and how to maximise your wave count.
Hudhuranfushi Surf Resort, commonly known as Lohis (the name of the wave out the front), is situated on the North Male Atolls, about a 30 minute boat ride from Male International Airport. Hudhuranfushi Surf Resort is the ultimate surf trip destination for surfers chasing uncrowded and consistent waves, with Lohis Left breaking right on your doorstep.
Optimal conditions are a solid S or SE swell with light W or NW offshore wind, but Lohis is good on a small swell too and it’s super ripable with a light onshore. It’s a magnet that picks up any available swell so it’s a great place to be based for a surf trip. There’s typically four main take off areas at Lohis. The deepest is way up the reef past the Surf Guide Team office, just down from a clearing in the trees on the island. If you sit up here you are too deep for most sets but you can sometimes connect with empty waves that run from way up the reef all the way through. The most consistent take off spot is straight in front of the office where you can paddle in, take the high-line through the first section, then set up for a barrel or a series of big turns. This is where the majority of guests like to sit as it’s the most perfect looking section. My favorite take-off spot is in front of the pathway going into the water – it’s the best place to get one of the big wide sets that barrel straight from take-off, but there might only be a couple waves that swing wide so it’s not the best place to sit if you are keen to get your wave count up. If its busy out the back you could surf Smiley’s – the end section down in front of the third umbrella where Smiley the surf guide often sits and picks up all the left overs. It’s a fun semi closeout but great for turns and the occasional barrel. My mantra was always to try and do the opposite of the pack and find a bit of space… a wave will come to you!
What Board To Bring
I went through a few different board phases at Lohis – from short fat fishes and quads when I didn’t ride a board over 5’6 all season, to standard high performance shortboards when my average board was a 5’9. What I always advised is to bring at least three boards – your favorite everyday board that you ride most days at home, along with a step-up incase it’s bigger (more likely in July, August or September) or the current is running and you want extra paddle power, and a step-down in case it’s 2-3ft every day (quite possible in Feb, March, April and November, Dec and Jan). If you are bringing four boards I’d bring a backup of my favorite everyday board. Something I noticed when pro surfers came to Lohis was the way that they enjoyed parking up on the deck with a bunch of boards and riding four or five different boards throughout the day – it’s so easy to pop out for a quick session, then come in, have a snack and a drink, then go back out on a different board. They said it was the best place to really dial in boards to see what worked best. If you’re a high intermediate or advanced level surfer looking through an extensive quiver deciding what to pack, you might find that lower volume boards feel great in the Maldives. Boards just seem to feel more buoyant over there and the waves are so nice that a super responsive low volume board feels great!