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Cheat Notes – Lohis Left

09th Dec 2021

Lohis cheat notes with Richard Kotch, someone who knows North Male’s most consistent wave better than anyone else! A swell magnet, Rich talks us through why Lohis is the best place to be based for a Maldives surf trip and how to maximize your wave count.

Hudhuranfushi Resort, commonly known as “Lohis”, is situated on the North Male Atoll, approximately 30 minutes boat ride from Male airport. Lohis is the ultimate surfers paradise with a perfect left break right on your doorstep!

THE WAVE: Optimal conditions are a solid South or SE swell with light West or NW offshore wind, but Lohis is good on a small swell too and it’s super rip-able 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 trip. There’s typically four main take off areas at Lohis. The deepest is way up the reef past the surf 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 Surf 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 we might surf Smiley’s – the end section down in front of the third umbrella where Issey (Smiley) often sits and picks up all the left-overs. It’s a fun semi close-out 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/Aug/Sept) 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 /Nov/Dec/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/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.

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