Surfing in Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka is fast becoming one of the most popular surf destinations in the world, with its warm waters, consistent waves, and beautiful beaches. Located on the southern tip of India, Sri Lanka is a tropical paradise that offers something for surfers of all levels, from beginner breaks to challenging reef breaks.

The south and east coasts of Sri Lanka are home to the best surf spots, with Arugam Bay and Hikkaduwa being particularly popular among surfers. These areas offer a range of wave types, from long, mellow point breaks to punchy beach breaks.

The best time to visit Sri Lanka for surfing is during the dry season, which runs from April to October. This is when the waves are the most consistent and the weather is the most pleasant. However, it is possible to surf in Sri Lanka year-round, with the west and southwest coasts offering more sheltered conditions during the wet season.

Overall, Sri Lanka is an excellent destination for surfers looking for warm waters, good waves, and a laid-back atmosphere. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer, you are sure to find something to suit your abilities and interests in this beautiful country.

Travel tips for surfers

Here are a few travel tips for surfers visiting Sri Lanka:

  1. As said, the best time to visit Sri Lanka for surfing is during the dry season, which runs from April to October. This is when the waves are the most consistent and the weather is the most pleasant.
  2. The south and east coasts of Sri Lanka are home to the best surf spots, with Arugam Bay and Hikkaduwa being particularly popular among surfers.
  3. If you are planning to surf in Sri Lanka, it is a good idea to bring your own surfboard. While there are a few surf shops in the country that rent out boards, the selection may be limited and the prices may be higher than what you are used to.
  4. Make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, as the sun in Sri Lanka can be intense. It is also a good idea to bring a rash guard or surf shirt to protect your skin from the sun and the board.
  5. Be mindful of the local culture and customs when you are surfing in Sri Lanka. Respect the waves and the other surfers in the water, and be considerate of the local community.
  6. Finally, don’t forget to take some time to explore the rest of the country while you are there. Sri Lanka is home to many beautiful beaches, temples, national parks, and other attractions that are well worth a visit.

What to do when you don’t go surfing

Here are a few examples of interesting and adventurous activities to do in Sri Lanka if you are not surfing:

  1. Hiking and trekking: Sri Lanka is home to many beautiful trails that offer breathtaking views of the countryside. Some popular destinations for hiking and trekking include Adam’s Peak, Knuckles Mountain Range, and Horton Plains National Park.
  2. White-water rafting: The Kelani River, which runs through the rainforests of central Sri Lanka, is a popular destination for white-water rafting. The river offers a range of rapids that are suitable for beginners and experienced rafters alike.
  3. Scuba diving and snorkeling: Sri Lanka’s clear, warm waters are home to a diverse array of marine life, including coral reefs, shipwrecks, and colorful tropical fish. Popular destinations for scuba diving and snorkeling include Hikkaduwa, Mirissa, and Unawatuna.
  4. Wildlife watching: Sri Lanka is home to many species of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, sloth bears, and a variety of bird species. Popular destinations for wildlife watching include Yala National Park, Udawalawe National Park, and Sinharaja Forest Reserve.
  5. Cultural experiences: Sri Lanka is a country with a rich cultural heritage, and there are many opportunities to learn about and experience the local culture. Some popular cultural activities include visiting temples, attending a traditional dance performance, or taking a cooking class to learn how to prepare traditional Sri Lankan dishes.

And here are a few more ideas for things to do in Ella and Colombo, Sri Lanka:

Ella:

  • Ella Rock: This popular hike offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and tea plantations. The trail can be strenuous in places, but the views from the top are worth it.
  • Nine Arches Bridge: This iconic bridge is a short distance from Ella and offers beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. The bridge is often crowded, but it is still worth a visit for the views and for the opportunity to take some Instagram-worthy photos.
  • Tea plantations: Ella is located in the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country, and there are many tea plantations in the area that offer tours and tastings. This is a great opportunity to learn about the history and production of Sri Lankan tea and to sample some of the country’s finest teas.

Colombo:

  • Galle Face Green: This popular seaside promenade is a great place to take a stroll and enjoy the sea breeze. The area is also home to many food stalls, so it is a good place to grab a snack or a drink.
  • Gangaramaya Temple: This Buddhist temple is located in the heart of Colombo and is known for its ornate architecture and beautiful gardens. The temple is also home to a museum with a collection of Buddhist artifacts and artworks.
  • Old Town: The Old Town area of Colombo is home to many historic buildings, including the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct, which has been converted into a shopping and dining destination. The area is also home to many small street food stalls, so it is a good place to try some local specialties.

And don’t forget this for your surf trip to Sri Lanka

Below you”ll see items that you may want to consider adding to your packing list:

  • Leash: A leash is an essential piece of equipment that keeps you connected to your surfboard. Make sure to bring a leash that is the appropriate size for your board and your level of surfing.
  • Surf wax: Surf wax helps to increase the grip on your surfboard and is essential for a good surf session. Make sure to bring enough wax for the duration of your trip.
  • Sunscreen: It is important to protect your skin from the sun when you are surfing, especially in tropical destinations like Sri Lanka. Make sure to bring a high-SPF sunscreen and apply it liberally before you hit the water.
  • Rash guard: A rash guard is a type of shirt that is designed to protect your skin from the sun and the board. Rash guards are also useful for keeping you warm in colder water.
  • Surfboard bag: A surfboard bag is a good investment if you are planning to travel with your surfboard. A bag will protect your board from damage during transport and make it easier to carry around.
  • Surf repair kit: A surf repair kit is a good thing to have on hand in case your surfboard sustains any damage while you are on your trip. A repair kit should include items like a fiberglass repair kit, sandpaper, and a small fin key.