Nov 4, 2008
Ismael Miglav aka “Issey”
26 years old
First surf experience : 16 years ago
Quiver : 4 surfboards from 5’5” to 6’0
Fav move : Air 180° frontside
Fav surfer : Taj Burrow
Fav’ food : Roshi mashuni (grated fish, coconut and onion), orange juice
Best result : 2003 Maldives champion
It seemed to me that every time I’d go surf the break in Malé, Issey would be there busting some real airs on the rights. Being quite a low profile guy like most of his peers, I did not interact much with him apart from a few smiles in the water. I just knew he was considered as the 2nd best surfer after Iboo.
Then, on one of my trips in the Central atolls, I suddenly saw Issey cruising out of the blue on a small fishing boat. He had injured his knee on an air in Malé and had decided to go home in his native village, he had never been back for 20 years ! For years, he’s been working at the Quiksilver shop in Malé, with a small sponsoring deal and taking advantage of his 25 days vacation a year to go elsewhere. Like he travelled to Australia to compete in a Pro Junior at Narrabeen in 2000. He only stayed there 5 days as travelling there was a huge gap in his budget. He went to Sri Lanka to do a contest in Hikkaduwa and also in Phuket, Thailand for a Quiksilver event.
He started surfing in Malé really young at 8years old, riding local bellyboard first, then bodyboard before Tony Hussein gave him his first surfboard. When he was 10, he got knocked out really bad in the head, consequently leaving a deep fin cut. He had a narrow escape and since then, he admits not being super comfortable in big surf. “Malé can be really powerful and shallow on the lefts, I’ve seen some near-death experiences there”.
It took him 12hours by dhoni to go from Malé to his original village and now he finds out that a really wave breaks next to it “ I’ll come back more often” and teach some village kid to improve their surfing skills, still low because noone was there to show the tricks. Now, they have a master to follow. You might meet Issey as a surfguide on Voyages Maldives boat trips.