For surfers, Maldives is a hidden gem. At the 2011 Four Seasons Surfing Championship, world champions reported pleasing new experiences on the Kuda Huraa break. Moving among atolls, waves generally measure four to eight feet high. Beach types vary from silk to coral cheese grater, although few have reported any beach that wasn't worth the scrapes. If you're worried about your skin, it can't hurt to bring a wetsuit. But one of the beauties of the Maldives is its warm waters, so you'll want to do at least one bikini- or swimtrunk-only wave.
If resorts seem limiting to your surf-spiration, consider a safari boat vacation (see our Safari Boat forum). With plans to expand its 150-strong fleet, the Maldives offers plenty of options for the water adventurer. But if your significant other needs to be grounded, several resorts can arrange a safari boat to take you to different breaks. Paradise Island is one resort with such a service.
For the original surf flavor, you can't pass up Chaaya Island Dhonveli. The first surf resort, it's known for the cross-generational pack that spends days on the break, enjoying waves and the private bar on that end of the island. The beach is man-made and less than silky, but once in the water the sand is safe underfoot.
If you want a challenge but don't want to go home sore, Six Senses' Laamu is hard to pass up. The famous 8-foot Yin Yang wave breaks just off the shore, which isn't far from a naturally integrated spa. For the non-surfers in the group, Laamu also offers a range of water sports.
If you're traveling with family or friends who aren't so gung-ho about waves, Adaaran Hudhuran Fushi is a good fit. While you catch some prime, predictable breaks, others can enjoy a range of activities including diving, badminton or the gym. Four Seasons at Kuda Huraa is also attractive on a range of levels. If you like fame, it hosted one of the first resort surfing championships featuring world champions Layne Beachely, Mark 'Occy' Ochilupo, Nat Young and others in 2011. You can access those breaks from the resort's Explorer, a first-class catamaran equipped with boards, food and drink. Or if you're still learning, try the surf school, a feature difficult to find at most resorts. But again, if your traveling companion(s) just don't surf, there's a marine center for some intellectual fun, good snorkeling, a kids club and a spa.
A few pointers: for reliable breaks, shoot for the east coast of North Male atoll. And watch the monsoons: waves are generally at their best during the transition from South West to North East (March to October), with peak waves coming June to August. Wavehunters offers a breakdown of wave types and where to find them.