Surfing in Sri Lanka
If you have never heard about the fantastic surfing in Sri Lanka, it’s because locals and tourists “in the know” are wanting to keep it as our little secret! Nevertheless, maybe it’s time we share our knowledge on this golden gem. This tropical islands gets the same swell as the Indonesian islands, so you can be sure to get some perfect waves at most times of the year. However, you should know where to chase waves during monsoon and dry seasons. Here is a brief breakdown on the break and some handy surf tips.
What No One Tells You About Surfing in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka has numerous surf breaks spread around the island, and depending on the season you are travelling, it is better to avoid some spots as they can be in off season, and subsequently choose breaks on the other side of the island. Thus, during the dry season, which lasts from May through to September, it is better to choose the eastern surf spots. These include the renowned breaks at Arugam Bay, Pottuvil, Peanut Farm and Okanda. The wet season lasts from October through to April, and that’s when it’s the best time to surf the South-Western Coast surf spots: Hikkaduwa, Weligama, Unawatuna, and there are even a few breaks near Galle.
How to Choose the Right Break?
The high season in Sri Lanka is from May to September, so this is when surfers from all over the world will be overloading the Surf Mecca of Sri Lanka – Arugam Bay.
Arugam Bay – the Surf Mecca of Sri Lanka
Arugam Bay is a small village located on the East coast of the island, offering various incredibly affordable accommodation right on the beachfront or in the walking distance from the beach. There are three main breaks for all level of surfers: Arugam Bay, Whiskey Point and Peanut Farm, and two surf spots just for experienced surfers (when the swell is big): Pottuvil Point and Okanda. All of them are point-breaks providing consistent sets of the right waves for surfers to enjoy.
Lighthouse Surf Break
For a change from these more popular breaks, head to the Lighthouse point-break. This is where I used to surf completely alone for many hours – it was absolutely glorious! This is practically an empty surf break, where the only thing you may find is two local home stays with basic facilities. But besides that, there is nothing else but you in the lap of tropical nature here. This is what surfers come to Sri Lanka for.
South-West Surf Breaks
If you are staying on the South-West coast of Sri Lanka, you will have easy access to plenty of awesome spots. Depending on your skill level, there are various breaks to choose from.
For Beginner and Intermediate Level Surfers:
Beginner and intermediate surfers will benefit most from surfing Hikkaduwa, Owerkanda, Dewata Galle, Midigama and Wijiya. Also, Mirissa and Weligama are in season almost all year long, as the Southern position of these spots gets both South-West and South-East swells.
For Experienced Surfers:
Besides the breaks listed above, which are great for all surfers, experienced surfers may also want to include on their surf trip itinerary Benny’s, Koggala Lefts, Unawatuna, Plantations and Devil’s Rock. The waves on the majority of these spots are breaking on the reef, which makes them more consistent, and offers a long ride. However, during the wet season these spots get strong onshores so here is a good tip: go surfing in the early morning as it can be the only time to paddle out easily to take full advantage of almost perfect conditions.
If you still haven’t surfed in Sri Lanka, it is easy to fix as this hidden gem is more and more coming to light for the travellers wanting something a bit different. Book any flight to Colombo (which is having more and more options appearing each year from different carriers) and then book a villa in Galle for a few days to start your trip, before heading down to Arugam Bay. I didn’t really want to let the above privileged information out and get the most of surfing the empty line-ups, but it was too good a secret to keep any longer! Happy surfing.
Surfing in Sri Lanka – MSW Magicseaweed