By: Mikael and Thrillism
20 minute read
Last updated June 5th, 2020
Sri Lanka has a lot going for it… mind-blowing landscapes, friendly locals, cheap travel, and yes, plenty of waves to keep even expert surfers happy. While surrounded by stunning scenery and smiling faces, travelers can stay busy all year round with Sri Lanka surf.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a beginner-level wave to learn the basics or something more challenging, there are plenty of Sri Lanka surfing spots to choose from. Some of the most well-known locations are by no means meant for beginners, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be left out of the fun if you’ve never ridden a surfboard.
The trick to enjoying all things Sri Lanka surf is to do your research on the top Sri Lanka surf camps and choose one that caters to your experience level. We’ll cover all that and more in this complete guide to Sri Lanka surfing. Keep reading to learn about culture, travel basics, surf seasons, and everything else there is to know about stunning Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is often referred to as the “jewel” of the Indian Ocean thanks to its jewel-shape, but you’ll quickly see that it is a jewel in every way possible. Many travelers come here with very little expectations, only to find that Sri Lanka has so much to offer. Abundant wildlife, rich food, lush landscape, and waves to boot are just a few things you can look forward to.
Generally speaking, Sri Lanka is very safe to travel, even for solo backpackers – and yes, this includes females. The Sri Lankan Civil War lasted from 1983 until 2009, which is why many tourists still assume that traveling here should be avoided. There have been on-and-off periods of political unrest since then, but tourists are widely welcome.
It’s not uncommon for locals to welcome travelers into their homes for an authentic Sri Lankan meal. Take advantage of these opportunities, and don’t be shy when it comes to getting to know the locals. As long as you take the proper precautions and stay aware, you aren’t at risk of any danger. One thing that is 100% unsafe, though, is drinking the water here. Always opt for bottled water or invest in a water bottle purifier.
There are two official languages in Sri Lanka, Sinhala, and Tamil. These languages are very difficult to learn and understand, so don’t expect to leave the country with complete fluency. The good news is that a lot of the locals speak English, especially in touristy spots like Kandy and Colombo.
Just like India, the rupee is the local currency. One Sri Lankan rupee is equivalent to .0056 USD, 100 rupees is just over $.50, 1,000 rupees is about $5, and 10,000 rupees is about $50. In less touristy destinations, finding an ATM will be difficult, so it is suggested that you take out plenty of cash at the airport.
Accommodation in Sri Lanka ranges from 5-star resorts to budget-friendly backpacker hostels. For travelers on a budget, it’s easy to find a basic dorm bed for about $5 per night nearly anywhere in the country. On the flip side, you can go all out and book a luxury hotel for less than $100 per night.
Getting around Sri Lanka is easy. There are so many options available, including buses, trains, taxis, and of course, tuk-tuks. Traveling by train is the best way to see the country, plus it’s the cheapest way to get from point A to point B. One of the most traveled train routes by tourists is from Colombo to Jaffna, which costs between $1 and $3.
No matter how you choose to spend your time in Sri Lanka, eating the local food should be a top priority. This shouldn’t be too hard since outside of the main cities there are very few non-local places to eat. You’ll have tons of Indian and Sri Lankan options, so this is the perfect opportunity to gorge yourself on some of the most delicious food in the world. Here are a few dishes to try:
Surfing in Sri Lanka is most popular in two different parts of the country. The first is the Southwest Coast, which offers the best conditions for surfers between November and April. The second is along the Eastern Province. In this area, surfing is best from May to September. These two unique Sri Lanka surf seasons give travelers the chance to surf all year long.
If you choose to surf along the Southwest Coast, you’ll have access to some of the best surf spots in Sri Lanka. Just to name a few, the SW Coast is home to Rams Right, Lazy Lefts, The Rock, Plantations, and Mirissa Point. In this area, you’ll have no trouble finding a Sri Lanka surf camp in areas like Ahangama, Weligama, and Hikkaduwa.
If you’ve done any surfing in Bali, you’ll be enjoying the same swells as you ride Sri Lankan waves. During the SW Coast surfing offseason, you won’t find much to surf since the top spots rely on ideal wind conditions and swell directions. This is when it’s time to take advantage of the other Sri Lanka surfing season in the Eastern Province.
Arugam Bay, AKA the Eastern Province, has tons of fun breaks for beginners and advanced surfers alike. The most-loved breaks of this area include Pottuvil Point, Whiskey Point, Peanut Farm, Elephant Rock, and Okanda. The Eastern Province comes to life between May and September thanks to the swells from the southeast and southwest.
The main attraction in the Eastern Province is Arugam Bay. Arugam Bay Sri Lanka surfing brings surfers from all over the world, so you can expect the waves here to be crowded during peak season. The best way to beat the crowds is to head out at sunrise, but even then you can expect to be sharing waves to fellow surfers.
To fully experience Sri Lanka Weligama surf, the ultimate thing to do is sign up for a surf camp with Solid Surf House. Solid is located in one of the best surf spots in Sri Lanka, Weligama Bay, just steps from the area’s most-loved beach breaks. The villa where you’ll be staying is just a ten-minute drive from Rams, Lazy Lefts, and Mirissa Point. These breaks and more are considered to be the best of Sri Lanka’s Southwest Coast.
“Close to one of the most beautiful surf beaches the area knows: Jungle Beach. This is your new home away from home, secure and a comfy luxury haven.”
– Solid Surf House
When you sign up for a Solid Surf Camp, you won’t have to worry about any aspect of your trip. The Solid team figures out all the logistics of each surf outing and accommodation are included in the surf camp price. Even your meals are taken care of by an in-house chef who prepares a mix of European and local cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Each camp is 7 days long and focuses on the best surf Weligama Sri Lanka spots, but that’s not all that’s in store for you. Solid also places a huge focus on wellness by offering two yoga classes per day. Don’t be surprised if you decide to extend for another week after your surf camp is finished – many travelers find themselves not wanting to leave the Solid Surf and Yoga House.
Lapoint is a well-known name in the worldwide surf community. They have surf camps all over the world, and one of the best surf camps Sri Lanka to boot. The Lapoint Sri Lanka location is situated among palm tree jungles, near all the best Indian Ocean beaches of Ahangama. Their camp is all about experiencing the waves, yoga, culture, and adventures of this stunning tropical island.
“Staying with us in Sri Lanka, after the surf lessons you’ll have the option of joining social activities like yoga, safaris, excursions, and activities at the camp.”
– Lapoint Surf Camp Sri Lanka
Lapoint caters to surfers of all experience levels, but this camp is specifically geared towards beginner and intermediate level surfers. Just in from of the camp, the waves are calm and gentle, but a short tuk-tuk ride will take you to more challenging breaks. The garden villa accommodations are situated steps from the beach. After spending the day riding waves, guests get to relax and enjoy an ice-cold beer in the tropical gardens surrounding the villa.
Shaka surf camps organize surf, SUP, and yoga holidays in Sri Lanka all year round. They offer a range of packages to choose from, so you can pick and choose exactly how you’d like to spend your Sri Lankan holiday. Similar to Lapoint, this camp is located in the heart of Ahangama, which is surrounded by one amazing Sri Lanka surf spot after another.
“Our unique tried and tested coaching formulas are designed to match your unique requirements in an easily understandable and implementable process in a fun and safe environment suited to your needs.”
– Shaka Surf Camp
Shaka has three unique packages to choose from Beach Bum, Surf Coaching, and Surf Base. If you’re brand new to surfing, you’ll want to sign up for the Surf Coaching camp. This includes surf lessons, accommodation, yoga classes, two daily meals, and transport to and from Mirissa Sri Lanka surfing and more.
The name Soul & Surf is fitting for this Sri Lanka surf camp; it’s all about soul-enlightening experiences through yoga, meditation, and surf. The Soul and Surf Sri Lanka location operate from a 12-bedroom hotel just outside of Ahangama. The lush jungle surrounding the retreat center is the perfect environment for yoga and meditation, while the best Sri Lanka surf spots are all within a quick ride in a tuk-tuk.
“We set up Soul & Surf with the intention to do something positive, however small and insignificant it may seem.”
– Soul & Surf Sri Lanka
When you sign up for a Soul and Surf retreat, nearly everything you need for the weeklong experience is included. This includes 7 nights accommodation, 3 daily meals, drinking water and snacks, surf lessons, and yoga classes. The team here understands that not everyone is a surfer, which is why they also offer a “Non-Surfer” package that is more geared towards yoga and wellness.
When is the surf best in Sri Lanka?
The Sri Lanka surf season depends on where you’re heading. Along the Southwest Coast, the surf season runs from November to April. In the Eastern Province, waves are best from May to September. The good news is that there is no bad time to go since there will be decent waves somewhere along the coast throughout the entire year.
Where are the best surf spots in Sri Lanka?
Still, wondering where to surf in Sri Lanka? There’s no shortage of options. The Southwest Coast is home to surf towns like Ahangama, Weligama, and Hikkaduwa. Head to the east and you’ll find Arugam Bay, which some consider being the best spot for beginner surfers traveling to Sri Lanka.