Private Islands X Local Islands
Most of people who decides to visit Maldives choose to stay between Resorts (Private Islands), Local Islands (Surf camps & Guest Houses) or Staying in the Boat.
In the photo bellow you can see, from the Botton to the top, 3 boats (2 Dhonis and 1 Dingi) from Local Islands...a bit up a bigger boat that is a Safari Boat, or the island behind its a Big Resort. All enjoying the same waves, snorkeling points and enjoying Maldives.
Which one to choose?
Your choices it will depends of your needs.
Nowadays Surf Camp and Guest Houses its can be more comfortable than stay in a Safari Boat (unless the luxury ones...that can be incredible according with the prices). Specialized Surf camps its really great option with surf guides, surf coach, yoga classes, massage therapy and much more...
Prices of guests houses can be very cheap comparing with European prices. But most of the times guest houses are receiving Europeans. Staying with Surf camps and Guests houses it the best option if you are not too much exigent.
Once is not allowed alcohol, Resorts and Safari Boats got a step forward from the local islands.
The Bikini costume its not allowed in local islands...but nowadays some local island give a restricted area for tourist wear bikinis.
Apart from this small diferences...you will choose your best option.