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The best surf spots in Sri Lanka


The land of tea and coffee, coconuts and cinnamon, Sri Lanka is one of the most reliable surf spots in the Indian Ocean. 

 

A year-round destination with two distinct surf seasons for each side of the island, beginners will find plenty of surf schools in Sri Lanka to learn the basics, while more experienced surfers are bound to have fun exploring the off-the-radar breaks to the south of the island.

 

Maaliyadda

 

Sri Lanka is also a fantastic budget and family-friendly destination, where non-surfers can practice yoga, visit Buddhist ruins and tea plantations, and go on exciting safaris. The food in Sri Lanka is simply delicious too. And cheap! Think fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood, tea and coffee... 

 

Having recovered from two major modern catastrophes – the 2004 tsunami and a civil war that ravaged the country for 26 years until 2009 – Sri Lanka couldn’t be any safer to travel to now.So if you’re a keen surfer, grab your board and get going to these surfing spots:

 

Surfing on the southwest coast

Between November and April, the west coast receives morning offshore winds, producing clean waves. This is also the dry season in Sri Lanka, with low chances of precipitation and plenty of sunshine.

Meanwhile, the south coast benefits from whichever swells hit the west and east coasts, which means the surf spots on the southern tip of the island rarely go flat. 

Furthermore, the south coast of Sri Lanka is blessed with 330+ days of sunshine per year and water temperatures that average around 27ºC.

Here are some of the best surf spots on the southwest coast:

 

Lazy Left and Lazy Right (Midigama)

Best for: All levels

These two popular breaks at Midigama are as mellow as they sound and, therefore, excellent for beginners and intermediate surfers. However, when big swells kick in, they offer something for advanced riders too.

Lazy Left and Lazy Right sit opposite of each other in the bay at Midigama. Both are gentle point breaks, the left-hander offering some long rides of up to 500 meters (1,600 ft) on its good days.

There is another right-hand reef break at Midigama that is more suitable for experienced surfers, which goes by the name of Rams. This powerful A-frame wave breaks over a shallow and sharp coral, has a fast take-off and offers quite a long ride.

 

 

Weligama

Best forBeginners and intermediate surfers 

For beginners, Weligama is a go-to spot all year round. Located in the Matara District in southern Sri Lanka, it is considered the best beginner beach on the island and can be surfed even when it’s small.

When the conditions are just right, it can offer some long rides on right and left beach breaks that even first-timers can tackle. Being such a popular spot, it can get crowded at times. If you wish to escape the crowds, head down the beach in the direction of Mirissa where the surf gets slightly bigger.

 

Mirissa

Best for: All levels 

A couple of kilometers east of Weligama, Mirissa is a picturesque bay with a mellow right-hand reef break that is suitable for all levels. Still considered a hidden gem, crowds are not a problem at Mirissa. The area also offers whale watching opportunities and the chance to surf with dolphins.

 

Hikkaduwa Reef

Best forBeginners and intermediate surfers 

The surfing capital of Sri Lanka’s southwest coast, Hikkaduwa is a small town in the Galle District. This is the most developed surfing town on the island – there are cafes and bars on the strip, surf schools, and rental shops, while the coral attracts divers and snorkelers.

Regardless of the season, the waves at Hikkaduwa rarely go flat. 

The A-frame break here is ideal for beginners, as it breaks over sand-filled reefs. Those looking for bigger waves will not be disappointed either, as the break can handle large swells too.

 

Hikkaduwa

 

Unawatuna Bay

Best forAll levels 

One of the most visited beaches in Sri Lanka, Unawatuna Bay is home to a left-hand reef break that is more suitable for experienced surfers as well as a shallow beach break with a sandy bottom for beginners. The waves here rarely exceed 4ft (1.2 meters), and a longboard would be the best option.

On the south coast of the island, Unawatuna is an excellent destination for a family surf vacation. The beach also offers great snorkeling sites, dive schools and kitesurfing opportunities too. 

  

Surfing on the east coast 

Between May and October, the east coast gets constant swell, especially around Arugam Bay. Traveling to the east coast during these months will keep you dry and away from the monsoon season, while at the same time guaranteeing consistent surfing conditions.

 

Arugam Bay

Best forAll levels 

Sri Lanka’s surfing mecca, Arugam Bay on the east coast is often compared to Kuta in Bali. The tuna fishing port and seven quaint villages in the moon-shaped bay have a laid-back vibe and are perhaps the most traveler and surf-friendly place on the island. 

The right-hand point break with consistently small peelers is suitable for all levels between April and October. Considered the best wave in Sri Lanka, it breaks over a reef and offers several fast sections and some incredibly long rides perfect for longboarding.

A few hours south of Arugam Bay, a safari in Yala National Park is a must-do on your rest days – you’ll see herds of elephants, leopards, sloth bears, buffaloes, crocodiles, and birds. 

 

Elephant Rock

Best forAll levels

Located 4kms south of the main break at Arugam Bay, Elephant Rock can be a technical wave; when it’s working, that is. This right-hand point break has two sections – one for beginners and one for more advanced surfers. Despite the considerable number of surf schools, this one remains a far less crowded surf spot on the east coast.

 

Arugam Bay

Okanda

Best forExperienced surfers

South of Arugam Bay, this small hamlet in the Eastern Province is home to a right-hand point break that is more suitable for experienced surfers. The main break at Okanda is completely exposed, which makes it technical and wild. Steep and fast waves with occasional barreling sections hit the shore.

Beginners can still have fun at Okanda, as the large rocks to the north of the bay provide some protection and make way for a shallow sandy bay with more mellow waves.

 

Pottuvil Point

Best forExperienced surfers 

North of Arugam Bay, Pottuvil Point is a right point break that is more suitable for experienced surfers. This is one of the best right-handers on the island but, unfortunately, it only tends to work in August and September, when it offers incredibly long rides of over 800 meters. There are multiple take-off points, which means that crowds are rarely an issue.

 

Peanut Farm

Best forAll levels 

A semi-secret surf spot within easy reach from Arugam Bay, Peanut Farm is a right-hand point break with two sections: Main Point and Baby Point. Main Point is a technical wave with a fast take-off and barreling sections and recommended for more experienced surfers. 

Baby Point is the more suitable for beginners. If you’re lucky, you might see these two connect and catch a long and exciting ride that simply cannot get any better.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Octavia Drughi is a travel writer for BookSurfCamps.com. She is a passionate mountaineer, rock climber and adventure addict who feels just as comfortable high on the rocks as she does deep down in the sea.

 

Written by: Octavia Drughi
Published: 20 November 2018


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