Niyama Private Islands Ups the Ante in the Maldives' Surfing Scene

Niyama Private Islands Ups the Ante in the Maldives' Surfing Scene

Niyama Private Islands in the Maldives, the only luxury resort in the country with its own wave breaking onto the shore, has three exciting new surf initiatives. Professional surf photographer Naomi Adbib is in residency at the resort until the end of July to capture action images of guests riding the waves. This will coincide with the visit of Cris Mills, a special surf strength coach, who is putting surfers through their paces throughout April until May 7. The luxury resort has also introduced a new speedboat to take intrepid surfers out to lesser-known waves further from the resort.

Niyama is home to two islands – Play and Chill, which are connected by a bridge. Vodi wave is just off the shore of Play Island and is a powerful and sometimes hollow left hander. Off to the west and five minutes away by speedboat, Kasabu is a rippable and hollow right hander. Surfing can be enjoyed year-round at Niyama with bigger surf from March to November and no crowds.

Naomi is a photographer and videographer who specializes in surfing, water and lifestyle shots. Born in Morocco and raised in Spain, she spends her European winters in Nazaré in Portugal, a renowned surfing destination, shooting big name surfers including Lucas Chumbo, Michelle des Bouillons, Rodrigo Koxa, Justine Dupont and Maya Gabiera.

Whilst at Niyama, Naomi is spending her days capturing surfing action at Vodi or out on boats to other surf breaks, taking pictures of surfing guests. Tailored to the surfer's needs, she can join individual surf sessions and lessons or spend up to 12 days with guests capturing their progress. For those looking for something extra special, Naomi can also take drone and video footage and compile one-minute surf video edits. Naomi also sends teaser photos to the Niyama Surf WhatsApp group highlighting the swell and encouraging guests to grab their boards and get to the beach.

Cris Mills

Cris is a Surf Strength Coach who has dedicated most of his adult life helping surfers improve their potential with movement, exercise and nutrition. He is offering both individual personalized coaching programs and group classes in the water and in the gym and spa. A highlight is the Surf Better program, a holistic and personalized process both in the water and on land that includes surf coaching, surf movement analysis, surf fitness and breath work, paired with pre & rehab techniques. Group classes include spine health and posture, breath hold classes, surf movement training and joint mobility training.

Sea Breeze speed boat at Niyama Private Islands Maldives

Adding a new dimension to Niyama’s surf offering, Sea Breeze is the resort’s new 2 x 350 horsepower speed boat, which is designed to cover long distances as fast and as comfortably as possible, making it possible for up to six guests plus a surf guide to surf in atolls further away and visit uninhabited islands. During the trip, guests will learn about the environmental challenges facing the Maldives and can make a positive impact by helping to remove washed up plastic and leaving the islands better than they found them.

After a day’s surfing, guests can hang out with Naomi, Cris and other surfers at Niyama's Surf Shack, with its bright red food truck, bean bags and swings to relax on, plus a reggae music soundtrack. The perfect spot for sundowners, the Surf Shack serves rum cocktails and gourmet snack food such as poached prawns, chorizo hotdogs, tacos, burritos and truffle fries with churros to wrap up.

Niyama Private Islands offers a collection of 134 villas, suites and pavilions, many with their own private pool, dotting along the beaches of both islands and extending out over the lagoon. The laid-back resort offers an abundance of space and privacy and a multitude of experiences tailored to adventurous honeymooners, active couples and style-savvy families.

Niyama Private Islands is 40-minute shared seaplane flight from Malé or a 30-minute domestic flight to Dhaalu Airport. Nightly rates start from USD $730 based on two sharing a Beach Villa with breakfast and dinner including taxes and fees. Surf photo packages with Naomi start from around USD $240 per hour; group classes with Cris Mills start from USD $60 per hour and private sessions from USD $280 per hour and trips on Sea Breeze with a guide start from USD $475 per person for a six-hour trip. To book visit