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Press Release | 16 March 2023

Niyama Announces Surf Residency with Brad Gerlach

Niyama Private Islands, the only luxury resort in the Maldives with its own wave breaking onto the shore, has two exciting upcoming surf initiatives. 1991 World # 2 pro surfer & Wave-Ki founder, Brad Gerlach, will be in residence at the resort from March 16th to April 19th to offer coaching sessions of his original and proprietary teaching methodology – Wave-Ki. During Brad’s residency, the in-house surf guides will become accredited Wave-Ki instructors, as taught by Brad, and will then continue the service at Niyama.

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. Up to four other waves in the local vicinity are also available, with nine other spots available with trans-atoll adventures in the resort’s 2x350 HP speedboat – Sea Breeze. Surfing can be enjoyed year-round at Niyama with bigger surf from March to November and no crowds.

For those aspiring to surf, learning to surf at Niyama is available all year, with in-house surf guides offering lessons to guests. Begin in the flat-water lagoon to learn surf mechanics & safety procedures, before hitting the channel wave with the guide to catch your very own ride. Guides will instruct in the footfalls of the best, with Brad Gerlach offering expert guidance, which can continue at home with a 25% discount on an annual membership to Wave-Ki available exclusively for Niyama guests.

Brad Gerlach is a professional surfer who finished #2 in the world in 1991 after dominating the leader board for the majority of the year. Brad developed Wave-Ki, his proprietary surf instruction programme, which is unique in that its approach is entirely land based, with a martial art-like focus on slow, precise movements, creating kinaesthetic motor memory for improved surfing once one hits the waves. The programme course is online and offers recorded guided videos, live session videos, regular open forum Q&A sessions, plus the option for 1-1 sessions with Brad via online facetime. Brad uses Wave-Ki to coach current pro-surfers, such as Parker Coffin, and works with many other aspiring pros, as well as every day bros looking to improve.

Whilst at Niyama, Brad will offer private land-based Wave-Ki sessions, as well as public group sessions at PUMP studio, overlooking the lagoon. Also, Brad will offer both private and family in-water surf coaching to compliment Wave-Ki performed on land. Many packages will include an annual membership. Land based group classes begin at USD 96 net, with private Wave-Ki land-based classes beginning at USD 319 net per person/per 45 minutes, and private in-water surf coaching beginning at USD 447 net per person/per hour.

After a day’s surfing, guests can hang out with Brad and other surfers at the Surf Shack with its bright red food truck, bean bags to relax on, and 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. 

If guests need any surf clothing items, they can purchase at two new locations at Niyama – the new Rip Curl Boutique overlooking the wave at Vodi, or the Rip Curl Tech shop alongside the dive centre. For holiday memories, Niyama offers Chill and Play branded retail items such as boardshorts, rash guards, caps, bucket hats, face zinc, and a Niyama Surf Coffee table book.

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 Male 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 Junior Garcia, the resident Surf Photographer, start from around USD 249 per private hour, or USD 489 for a seven-day package; and trips on Sea Breeze with a guide start from USD 385 per person for a six-hour trip. To book visit   


For media enquiries, please contact:  
Nathan Kemp
Surf Development Director

Anjelee Dabydoyal
Marketing Manager