The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
Sri Lanka is a fantastic choice for a surfing holiday, and has been a popular surf destination since the 1970s.
The most famous destination is the escapist south-east beach settlement of Arugam Bay which is widely listed as one of the top ten surf spots in the world. There are also a host of other popular surf spots on the south coast in several coastal villages around Mirissa, and on the west coast around Hikkaduwa.
Surfer friendly, affordable accommodation is easy to find and a laid-back vibe can be guaranteed. Sri Lanka’s monsoon weather patterns mean that one side of the island is always in season for water-sports, so surfing in Sri Lanka is possible all year round.
You can get live surfing reports and ratings on several websites including this one, but in the meantime here is a guide to some of the best options:
Also known as A’Bay, Arugam Bay is acclaimed as one of the top ten surfing locations in the world and is a popular haunt for surfers from across the globe during the peak season between June and August. Waves of up to 6ft and rides of almost 400m, as well as the relatively secluded beaches, make Arugam Bay a surfers’ paradise. There is also a nice mix of opportunities for the experienced and the novice surfer. Surf boards can be rented in the town, and lessons are also available.
A’Bay’s surfing season begins in March when Main Point – one of the more testing points - begins to attract the waves again and some surfers begin to shift over from the South Coast. Whisky Bay gets into its stride in April. By the time the south-west monsoon hits the south coast surfing spots in May, the bulk of the surf spots are up and running, with Baby Point the last to join the fun around July. The crowds begin to diminish in September, but the breaks are still active and it is only in mid-October when the season officially comes to an end.
Main Point: The main point in Arugam Bay, with the longest season. For experienced surfers.
Baby Point: Also in town. Better for beginners. Nice soft sand when you fall off, too.
Elephant Rock: A short ride out of town. Best for beginners. Climb over rocks to reach a gorgeous beach.
Whisky Point: North of A’ Bay and very popular from May onwards.
Pottuvil Point: Situated on a deserted beach north of the town and suitable for those with experience.
The south coast has a range of best places for surfing based around the liveliest beach town, Mirissa. They include the adjacent beach settlements of Weligama, Midigama and Ahangama to the west, the more commercial town of Matara to the east and the uber-cool bay of Hiriketiya. Lots of surf schools have sprung up in recent years backed up by an abundance of chilled-out cafes.
Here is just a taste of the options from west to east:
Ahangama: Rajith Surf Point. Is an intermediate reef break with swells up to 5ft and a possible ride of up to 350m.
Midigama / Gurubebila, just to the west has three testing breaks, including Rams Right, Coconut and Plantation Point. Lazy Left is favoured by novices. Coconut, especially, is a classic left and right break over 400m
Weligama is a great place to learn to surf. It has consistent waves throughout the year and has surfing schools sprinkle its 2km stretch of beach. It’s a fine spot for new and intermediate surfers. The main beach has a 400m ride on a slow, low power wave break. More sheltered than some other south coast haunts too.
Mirissa Bay is known for its beautiful crescent-shaped beach, but it also offers left-handed and right-handed breaks. Swells of up to 6 feet but experts warn it can become shallow when the tide is out. A good place for intermediate surfers to advance their skills.
Madiha Surf Point: Underrated surf point, close to Matara, with reliable waves. Rides up to 350m on a reef break. Suits intermediate to advanced surfers.
Dickwella / Hiriketiya. Hiri, south of Mirissa, heading towards Tangalle, is on bang on trend so the more testing Dickwella/Hiriketiya break is often up to capacity, especially in peak season. There is also beginners’ surfing in Hiriketiya Bay. Another attraction of this area is that the beaches are further away from the coast road.
Surfing in Hikkaduwa, the West Coast’s prime surfing resort, is possible between November and April. This youthful coastal town began as a surfing town and now attracts party-minded people of all types. Offers clean, value-for-money accommodation, a wide variety of beach bars and restaurants and shops which sell or rent surf boards, wetsuits and other gear. The best surfing spots here are in Wewala.
Benny’s: This left-hander reef break is preferred by experienced surfers when waves rise above 6 feet.
Main Reef: Left and right handers over a deeper reef. Relatively safe for all levels. This is in the centre of the beach area so can become very busy in peak season.
North Jetty: Hikkaduwa’s most northerly surfing point is actually in Ambalangoda. Long left handers with a reef break by the harbour wall.
Beach Break: Recommended for novices. Safe shore and reef break.
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