How a Bournemouth lad swapped south coast shore­breaks for the en­vi­able job of surf guid­ing in the Mal­dives.


does a lad from Bournemouth get to surf perfect waves ev­ery­day? Per­sis­tence and a fair dose of luck! I’m a surf guide/coach and I’ve been work­ing my way around the world the past few years. For the past 6 months I’ve been based in the Mal­dives at an atoll fur­ther south than the clas­sic waves that it is known for. There are a few gems around here and crowds are few and far be­tween.

Where are you from and what were your lo­cal breaks ?

I’m from Bournemouth, cen­tral South coast UK. High­cliffe beach is my home break but I spent most of my time grow­ing up around Bournemouth Pier and the lo­cal reefs.

Who did you hang around with at home ?

My brother and I had a lit­tle wreck­ing crew, and surf wise it was any­one and ev­ery­one who was game ! All us grom­mies would set up base in Sorted Surf Shop down by the pier and jump in with who­ever was keen when­ever there was swell.

What was your av­er­age day like ? Well I’ve been com­ing and go­ing pretty spo­rad­i­cally the past few years, but an av­er­age day if there wasn’t any work on would be a mix of surf­ing, eat­ing (lots), hang­ing out with mates and some gym time. There aren’t many waves back home so a lot of the guys cross over into other sports. I had my­self as a boxer for a while un­til I came to the stark re­al­i­sa­tion that I’m a big softie!

When did you de­cide the south shore wasn’t for you and how did you go about get­ting qual­i­fied for your job now ?

Oh since for­ever Steve! I was just like any other kid that frothed out in the surf and it to­tally pos­sessed me and drove me out of town to places with

qual­ity waves. I think I was 16 or so when I got qual­i­fied as a life­guard and did my surf coach­ing cer­tifi­cate and then I was good to go. I started work­ing sum­mers down in Cornwall, which lead to sum­mers in France and then it just went on from there.

So where is home for you th­ese days, where are you based ?

My par­ents and my mates are still in Bournemouth so that’s my base. There aren’t any waves at home but I love it there. My con­tract is nearly up here in the Mal­dives so I’m look­ing for­ward to a bit of time at home be­fore the next stint away.

Out of all the is­lands waves where is your favourite ?

Ying Yang down in the Laamu atoll. Je­sus that place is in­sane. I’ve seen the best waves of my life down there; it’s a big swell mag­net of a reef that has this bru­tal in­side sec­tion, and there are just no crowds. It’s quite a mis­sion from Male to reach it so I doubt men­tion­ing it here will im­pact the num­ber of guys out in the wa­ter there. Be­sides when it gets heavy the com­pany is wel­come !

Ob­vi­ously the Mal­dives is the perfect des­ti­na­tion for many trav­eller. Do you have any tips on when to come if you are on a tighter bud­get – air fares drop­ping/late sea­son etc

I would look at what kind of deals dif­fer­ent re­sorts are of­fer­ing dur­ing the surf sea­son. July/au­gust co­in­cide with low oc­cu­pancy with most of the re­sorts be­cause of the rainy sea­son. In re­al­ity the weather isn’t that bad and the surf pumps, so it’s worth look­ing to see if there are any deals go­ing if re­sorts are look­ing to fill rooms. For ex­am­ple I know the re­sort I’m work­ing at of­fered a 40% dis­count for Au­gust, and my god the surf was out of this world!

What do you do out of sea­son ? Do you still stay in the Mal­dives or travel a bit?

I’m on the ros­ter with a com­pany called Trop­ic­surf. They have nu­mer­ous lo­ca­tions world­wide so I’ll bounce from place to place with them. I’ve just started with them and the next few years are set to be crack­ing, I’m ex­cited !

a There few are around here gems

No won­der he’s so happy

Surf guid­ing is a filthy job, but some­one has to show the guests the way around the lineup!

that is in­sane place

Mal­dives has some grunt too

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