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Surfing Sri-Lanka – Everything you need to know

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  • Author:tomerp
  • March 31, 2020

A Surf Trip To Sri Lanka

Surf vacation – how good does it sound right? We all share this excitement before going on a surf trip. After all, we’ve been waiting all year for this specific moment. There are many destinations for surf trips which differ in the intensity of the wave they offer, the season in which it is recommended to travel, water temperature and costs. If you ever thought of surfing in Sri Lanka this is the guide for you! In the following review we will share with you the knowledge we have gained over the years on how to make your next surf trip to Sri Lanka an unforgettable experience.

General info

Sri Lanka – A tropical island located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal and southeast of the Arabian Sea. The tropical climate in Sri Lanka offers great weather, with temperatures ranging from 26-30 degrees all year long.
The Sri Lankan population is a mixture of Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Most of the people can have a conversation in English and the general vibe from the local community Is always welcoming and warm. The local currency is a Sri Lankan rupee and the exchange rate is about 180 rupees per US dollar. It is most recommended to exchange some money in the airport upon arrival.
Best time to visit Sri Lanka
There is no one correct answer for what is the best time to surf in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has two surfing areas that provide good surfing conditions in different times throughout the year. During winter months (October and April), the south-west coast of Sri Lanka (from Hikkaduwa to Tangale) is the place to be. The long and lush coastline comes alive and offers dozens of surf spots suitable for all levels. During summer months (June to September), most of the surf in Sri Lanka drifts to the eastern side of the Island, mainly around a little town calls Arugam bay.
In fact, the south-west coast offers some good surfing conditions all year around. Some other spots come alive and anyone who will stick to the next part of the article will have the required knowledge to score great waves while avoiding the crowd of the east coast’s summer!


The surf spots

We mapped all the spots you need to know based on their location from the western to the easternmost. For each spot we will indicate its favorable surfing season, the level of surfing requires to surf it and what to expect.

Hikkaduwa

Breaks to both left and right, Hikkaduwa main point is a quality A-frame. The spot is located on a sandy beach, although the wave itself breaks on rocky bottom. The wave is suitable for intermediate to advanced surfers. Note that Hikkaduwa has a community of local surfers who will share the peak with you so be nice, show respect and you’ll feel welcomed.
Recommended Surfing Season: October – April

Dewatha Bay

Located near the old town of Galle – this long beach offers great waves for beginners especially at the western end of the bay. Since the bay is slightly less exposed to the dominant southern swells during the season the waves there are usually smaller than other spots around. The bay provides good waves throughout the year and offers some good surfing conditions even during summer month.
Recommended Surfing Season: All Year

South Beach

Located about 200 meters from our surf camp in Kabalana, the South beach offers great waves for beginners to intermediates who want to push their level up. The deep-water channel allows easy paddle out and relatively soft open waves. Mostly right hander waves breaking above a deep rock so there’s no real hazards surfing there.
Recommended Surfing Season: October – April

Kabalana – The rock

Perhaps the most famous surf spot on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka surfers. The wave breaks in front of a big rock that pops out of the water and creates an A-frame shape. The left hander is longer, more quality and breaks over a reef that gets a little shallow on the inside. The right hander is shorter but breaks into the sandy part of the beach. Right next to it you’ll find Kabalana beach break which unleash offers excellent waves for beginners / intermediates.
Recommended Surfing Season: October – April

Sticks – Fisher Man

Beach located in front of a local restaurant in the Ahangama area. Consists of several peaks, fisherman offers great waves for surfers at all levels. Still, it is recommended to have basic skills and independency before paddling out there. Although it breaks over a rocky bottom, there is no danger of hitting the reef making it safe to surf. At the shallow part of the water you’ll find the famous fishing sticks the spot also got its name from.
Recommended Surfing Season: October – April

Lazy left

Located in the town of Midigma, lazy left is a long and soft left hander point break that attracts a lot of crowd thanks to its mellow and forgiving sections. The outside section breaks in front of the rocks and is more suitable for experienced surfers. Most of the beginners usually sit down the point looking for the softer waves.

Lazy right

Located about 100 meters from lazy left, this spot offers long and easy waves to the right-hand side. The waves are not as long as lazy left and a little bit more peaky but still offers good quality waves for all levels of surfers.
Recommended Surfing Season: October – April

RAMS

A short, hollow and fast right hander wave in the town of Midigma. The wave breaks on a shallow rocky reef shelf and mostly attracts the advanced surfers in town. You can try to get yourself a seat in the restaurant in front of the Point and just enjoy the show.
Recommended Surfing Season: October – April

Fisherman Weligama

Being hidden and not-so-familiar fisherman Weligama offers great waves throughout the year. The paddle out to the Point is relatively long but totally worth the effort. This is a right-hand point break that provides one of the highest quality waves in the area during the summer months (the weak season) or during big swells at the main season.
Recommended Surfing Season: All Year

Weligama Beach Break

A long stretch of beach that offers great waves for beginners throughout the year. The tear shaped bay allows you to choose the most convenient spot for paddling out depending on the swell size and your level. Even during the summer months (June – September), Weligama offers excellent waves suitable for all levels with almost no one out.
Recommended Surfing Season: All Year

Mirissa

A lovely surf town offering two surf spot, one at each side of the bay. A right hander point break at the western end of the bay and left hander at its eastern end. The waves in Mirissa break on a reef that can be shallow in some parts, so it is advisable to have a booties if you are not experienced in those kind of conditions.
Recommended Surfing Season: October – Apri

Hiriketiya (Blue bay)

A magical bay with crystal clear water located about an hour drive east from the city of MATARA. The main part of the bay offers excellent beach breaks for beginners. The waves are soft, and you can ride them al the way to the shore. At the eastern side of the bay you’ll find nice left-hand point break suitable for experience surfers mostly because of the shallow reef and sea urchins.

 
What to eat?

The food in Sri Lanka is mostly simple and somewhat remindes the Indian cuisine. In recent years, a variety of Western restaurants have been opened in Sri Lanka where you can find all types of foods for all kind of diet. If you still want to give a chance to the local cuisine, you will dishes based on rice and curry with various vegetable stews. Things you musy try:

Rice curry
Either buffet or the daily curry dish, you can have rice and curry pretty much everywhere. In most places, the curry is served only at noon.

Roti
Thin pastry filled with mashed vegetables or egg and a lot of chili – spicy.

Papadam
Corn based, deep fried snack served usually next to the rice and curry dish. Its crispy texture makes it highly addictive so watch out before you start.

Coconut Samboll
Grated dry coconut mixed with chili. Sprinkle the sambal over the rice with the curry to get another spicy boost for food that is already spicy.

 

Transportation

The southwestern area of Sri Lanka is accessible and relatively close to the Colombo the capital. The journey usually takes 2-3 hours (getting to the east coast can take up to 10 hours). When you arrive at the desired destination, the most common way to get around is with tuk-tuk. Equipped with ropes and roof tie-down facilities, the tuk tuks are the best solution for getting from place to place. Keep in mind that each tuk tuk can take up to 3 people simultaneously.

You can also rent a bike pretty much everywhere in Sri Lanka although its recommended only if you’re an experienced driver.
To sum things up, a surf trip to Sri Lanka is an excellent surf trip for all levels of surfers. Apart from excellent waves, Sri Lanka offers a variety of natural activities, stunning views and rich culture. The parallel winter surf season for the European winter and the tropical climate make Sri Lanka a perfect destination to escape the cold winter.

Did you like the article? Do you have any questions about sailing trips to Sri Lanka? Feel welcome to contact us and we will be happy to answer any question.

 

Aloha,
Global Surf Team.