Maldives: surfing is a business in this atoll

Two of the most popular surfing waves in the Maldives will be off limits to most traveling surfers and local riders.

The surf spots of "Sultans" and "Honkys" will only be surfed by paying clients of a surf resort with exclusive access to the breaks. The Maldivian Ministry of Defence decided to sell the Thanburudhoo Island on a 50-year lease plan for $5,000,000 dollars.

The future "boutique surf resort" promises "hospitality offerings and eco-green ambience", but the foreign and local surfers will be out of the popular peaks.

Although Maldivian wave riders were promises a "special surfing session", twice per month, the offer is unacceptable, according to the Maldivian Surfing Association.

The idea of reserving waves is not new in the Maldives. Pasta Point, one of the best lefthanders in the Maldives, can only be surfed by customers of the Dhonveli Resort.

Money buys waves. Telos Investments, the company behind the new resort near "Sultans" and "Honkys", is run by a man who is also Senior Advisor to the Maldives National Sports Council.

"We believe the waves should not be owned and should be accessible to all locals and visitors", says Hussain Salah, from the Maldivian Surfing Association. "We want the waves to be free for all and managed in a way that they can be enjoyed by generations to come".

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