Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island


Surfing in Sri Lanka:
Some of the best surf spots on the island

Sri Lanka is one of the most visited travel destinations in South Asia providing some excellent surfing spots. It is an island located in the Indian Ocean southwest of the Bay of Bengal. The island of Sri Lanka has a lot to offer thanks to its vivid history, mixed culture, and people´s distinctive mentality, famous beaches on the south, adventurous Safaries, crazy tuk-tuk drives, and delicious foods.

map of sri lanka

Map of Asia with isalnd of Sri Lanka circled in red
Source: Dreamstime


If you decide to travel to Sri Lanka you should consider a longer stayover in the country and take your time to explore around the island. Once you get out of Colombo after you landed you will enter the world of terrific landscapes and beautiful pure nature.


Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Typical beach ion teh East Coast of  Sri Lanka (Hikkaduwa area)
Source: Pinterest

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Ciar is wearing Berawa surf top and Sanur bottom in emerald green
Source: @ninefootstudio                                                           ***click on the photos to see the product



General information about Sri Lanka


The biggest concern for traveling to Sri Lanka should be the weather. Unsurprisingly, the rainfall pattern will probably be one of the most important factors in your decision of when to go to Sri Lanka. The main southwest (“Yala”) monsoon brings rain to the west and southwest coasts and the hill country from April or May to September (the wettest is April to June) while the dry season in this region runs from December to March. There is also an inter-monsoonal period during October and the first half of November when rain and thunderstorms can occur across the island.

Otherwise, the country is very tourist-friendly, so it is easy to get the SIM card for your phone, get a taxi van, standard taxi, uber, bus, train, or tuk-tuk which is the most common transportation on the island, especially for shorter distances. Most hotels and better restaurants offer free wifi.

It is always good to have some cash on you especially in smaller towns and villages where ATM might not be available, so make sure you exchange or withdraw cash at the airport or in the city. The small shops, local restaurants, surf shops, beach surf shacks, tuk-tuks, and even busses will accept cash only.


Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Tuk-tuks, the most common transportation on the island
Source: Travel Sri Lanka



Surf season and swell


There are two main surf hubs in Sri Lanka – on the Southwest Coast between Hikkaduwa and Mirissa, and in the Eastern Province around Arugam Bay.

Southwest Coats is the area of Hikkaduwa, Ahangama, Weligama and Mirissa which has the best conditions and the greatest variety of waves are typically on offer from November through April. It is the same swell that hits in Indonesia at that time. The winds are most likely to be offshore in the mornings and late afternoons.

In Arugam Bay the surf season starts from May through September. During the peak season, Arugam Bay is graced with many offshore mornings and there are several nearby breaks which have headlands that provide some wind protection and keep things fairly clean and ridable throughout the day.


Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Map of Sri Lanka island with some of the surf spots in SW area and Eastern province
Source: @surfersclub

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Typical wave in Ahangama area in Southwest Coast
Source: Solis Surf Club




SOUTHWEST COAST


This is where you’ll find a variety of beach and reef breaks lining the coast from the east to south. As mentioned above the best conditions and greatest variety of waves are typically on from November through April.

However, unlike the Eastern Province during the off-season, there’s still swell in the water and places with wind protection or where it blows cross-offshore where you can score some fun waves year-round.

In the off-season on the Southwest Coast, many of the premiere breaks like Rams, The Rock, Lazy Lefts, and other main breaks stop working due to less than ideal wind conditions and different swell directions.

On the Southwest Coast, there is such a great variety of waves to choose from nearby that you can avoid the worst of it if you’re willing to drive around a bit to check the various breaks for the smallest crowds. The surf breaks are closer together and you can see many of them from the main coastal road which makes it easier to navigate.


Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Mirissa Right
Source: Pinterest



Southwest Coast Surf Spots



Hikkaduwa


Hikkaduwa will be the first stop on your way from the airport, located approx 120km on the southwest coast of the island. The place is quite large with various peaks for shortboard and longboard. You will find many surf shops and restaurants as the area is pretty touristic and full of expats. The nightlife around this area is booming, so is not exactly a quiet place. As for the best surf spots, try Bennys, a left-hander reef break preferred by experienced surfers. Or there’s Main Reef, with left- and right-handers over a deeper reef, which is good and relatively safe for all levels. We can also recommend North Jetty and, for beginners, Beach Break, with its safe shore and reef break.


Unawatuna

Moving along from Hikkaduwa you will arrive at Unawatuna which is not as hectic and is getting more popular as a family weekend getaway. The swell is not always perfect but is less windy because the beach is protected and creates a lagoon-like shape. Unawatuna reef break is a good learner’s wave but once there is on big swell it is worthed to check it out. 


Ahangama

Ahangama Is the surfing capital (is the area with various spots located in different villages as you can see below) of the Southern Province that attracts serious surfers. Ahangama has a truly strategic location because you can easily get around with a scooter or tuk-tuk and check other nearby spots such as Weligama, Unawatuna, Midigama, and Mirissa. You will find various surf camps all around. There is couple of surf camps in Ahangama, for example Dreamsea surf camp that directly on the beach.


Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Ahangama
Source: @surfchannelsrilanka

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Dreamsea surf camp Ahangama
Source: Surf Atlas

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Midigama  Plantations
Source: @surfchannelsrilanka



The Rock


Kabalana One of the best A-frame reef breaks in Sri Lanka with good power and good left and rights that provides you a fast ride for around 400m. It is more of a shortboard wave however South Beach point which is just north is perfect for longboards. According to the season, the waves can get up to 8-10ft, making it a popular break for locals, intermediates, and advanced surfers. Also between February and March, you sometimes get two peaks on the main point. Even when the swell is low the main point still works well on the tides. Daybreak to sunrise is best when there is the lowest wind and clean glassy waves.


Lazy Left

This is one of the most friendly waves in Midigama area as its name suggests is a mellow left-hand wave on a deep reef with a very easy paddle out. Ideal for all levels and all boards but you will enjoy longboarding here as the wave can provide you with a nice 500m long rides. The waves are pretty predictable. There is a bus stop and the surf shop on the road just in front of the beach where you can rent a board. You can surf also on the right side but the waves are less consistent and its rockier over there.


Ram´s Right

This is the best-known break in the area. Is located in Midigama which is a pretty chilled place with super local vibes. There is a big homestay/surf camp called Ram´s Place just in front of the spot. If you are an advanced surfer you can enjoy a short, shallow, hollow right-hand barrel with just a handful of others out since the beginner or intermediate surfers will not be keen on surfing as fast hollow shallow reef break. Ram´s Place also organizing many events such as surf contests, Sunday markets, or parties. There is a pretty solid surfers community.



Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Ram´s Place from the birds view
Source: @ramssurfingbeach

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Ram´s Place  is located directly on the beach with the view on the spot
Source: @ramssurfingbeach



Midigama - Plantations and Coconuts

Plantations submerged reef provides fun waves for intermediate and advanced surfers and breaks at all tides. Mostly a right, with some lefts depending on the swell and how the sand fills the reef during winter. On the other side of the beach at plantations is coconuts - fast and sometimes hollow lefts peel off before closing out a dry reef. Not many people surf here because it is not visible from the main road. Enter the water at plantations and paddle to the peak. Best to surf here for the sunrise when is glassy and un-crowded.


Weligama

Weligama is a bigger town and a mecca for beginner surfers only. The main beach has a row of surfing schools with plenty of boards for rent. Weligama has good waves all year round but because it is also a marina the water may sometimes be affected by pollution. However if you want to socialize a bit more it is the right place, you can find a small skatepark here, many shops and bars and you should go grab some food at Hangtime Hostel and enjoy a great view on the ocean.


Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Sunrise over Weligama Bay
Source: @surfchannelsrilanka

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Sunrise over Mirissa Temples
Source: @ninefootstudio



Mirissa Left and Right

Mirissa is a small town just after the Weligama Bay. The place is known for its good nightlife and parties. There is many cool restaurants on the beach and the main road - go to try the best curry around to the Curry Hut next to the Hangover Hostel. You can surf here on both sides of the main beach that is separated by the rocks and a small island (called Parrot island but the place is full of crows). The spot on the Right side is a small reef break point, you dont need go to the last line up to catch waves for there are many inside waves. Go around the big rock for the easiest way to get in. It is an pretty smooth wave but you should build up speed to pass all the areas. The waves can build up to 6-8ft. Mirissa also has a beach break ideal for beginners and boogie boarding. On the Left side is a super mellow fun wave ideal for longboarders. Epic sunrise surf sessions with glassy waves and nobody in the water. The best time to go is between November to March.


Mirrisa Temples

This is more as an unknown hidden spot popular among the locals. Is located just in front of the Coconut Tree Hill - the main tourist attraction in Mirissa. It is a reef break that works best in the mornings when it is not windy. Thanks to the fat structure of the wave is ideal for both longboarders and shortboarders.


Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

View on the Parrot island in Mirissa and Mirissa Left
Source: The Surf Atlas

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Mirrisa Right
Source: The Surf Atlas

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Mirrisa Temples viewed from Coconut Tree Hill
Source: World with a suitcase



Polhena

Polhena is a village between Mirissa and Matara (the biggest town in the province) and is known to be more laid back place where you can also find some waves. There are a series of idyllic small beaches in the area and some great areas to relax or snorkel in basins created by the reefs. The beach is on a sandy peninsula, shallow to the reef. You can also go whale and dolphin watching here. The surf is not always working but there is a nice reef break opposite the Sabine hotel with both fast left and right handers that holds up to 6ft in a good swell. 

Polhena is also well-know for a place called The Doctor´s House which is a 200-year-old former Dutch and Ayurvedic hospital renovated into a restaurant, bar, surf shop with amazing garden where many parties, music events and markets take place. 


Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Doctor´s House in Polhena 
Source: Polarsteps



EASTERN PROVINCE


In the Eastern Province, Arugam Bay is the main attraction and located directly in town. You’ll likely find dozens of surfers out at all times. Eager surfers are up and on it long before first light to beat the crowds and the heat, mostly the crowds. The further away you get from Arugam Bay, the fewer surfers you’re likely to encounter. There are still places such as Whiskey Point, Peanut Farm, or Elephant Rock where you can surf all alone at least for a while before a few others show up.

The off-season in the Eastern Province is around October through April. While there might be some random swells during this time, it’s basically flat at Arugam Bay and all the nearby breaks so definitely not worth a visit if you’re seeking surf. A ton of hotels and restaurants fully shut down there as well. The surf season around Arugam Bay is from May through September. 


Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Tuk-tuk is largely used as a cheap form of transportation in Arugam Bay area. 
Source: @whiskypointwaves

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Arugam Bay during the season
Source: Hideaway Arugam Bay Resort

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Fisherman boat in the bay of Arugam Bay                                                                                                                Source: Pinterest



Arugam Bay Surf Spots


Whiskey Point

This is one of the most favourite spots for surfers of all levels and haven for longboarders. Whisky point offers super mellow, usually chest- or shoulder-high easy-going rights that break off a boulder point.


Main Point

Main Point is the best known spot in the area, it is a classic regional point break with approx. 50-150m ride coming off a series of boulders. The bottom is a sand mixed reef that allows you to barrel during the bigger days. The only disappointing thing is that the spot can get very crowded. However you can still find uncrowded beaches Elephant/Crocodile Rock in the area if you are willing to walk some distance to get there. In Okanda, which is a 23km journey away, you will find three individual point breaks ideal for advanced/intermediate surfers as the swell can get up to 10ft. But it is definitely one of the uncrowded spots.


Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Arugam Bay Main Poin t offers amazing conditions but is rarely this empty
Source: Pinterest

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Peanut Farm Beach
Source: Pinterest



Peanut Farm

Peanut Farm offers some of the most accessible waves in the area. That is why it is the epicenter of surf schools from May to August. The spot is hidden by a lagoon around 7km south of town. You can expect a nice sandy beach break.


Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Dana is wearing Kuta one-piece in our new Sunrise print                                                                                Source: @ninefootstudio                                                   ***click on the photos to see the online shop

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Sunrise over Whiskey Points in Eastern Province
Source: @whiskypointwaves

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Dana is wearing Kuta one-piece in our new Sunrise print
Source: @ninefootstudio                                                           ***click on the photos to see online shop


Tips for your trip

• Best way to get around at most places is by scooter that you can get for $6-$8 USD per day depending on for how long you rent it. Other cheap options are tuk-tuks and busses (no surfboard allowed in bus).

• Where to stay? There is plenty of options in all mentioned areas in different ranges of prices and quality. You can find a nice local homestay, classic hostel, hotels or rent a private villa.

• Get ready for a possible culture shock. Srilankan people are pretty straight-forward but very friendly and genuine people. The majority of them are buddhist but the Arugam bay area is muslim in mayority. Alcohol is very popular among the locals especially in the non-mulsim areas. Be careful of tipping people and bargain as some "oldtimers" may get offended.

• Sri Lanka has a pretty special vibe that is different from any other parts of Asia. The closest connection would be to India but still with distinctive culture differences. Take your time to explore around, take a train ride to the mountains, hike and taste the full essence of Sri Lanka.




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Dana is wearing
Kuta one-piece in Sunrise print and Ciar is wearing Berawa surf top and Sanur bottom in emerald green

 

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Ciar is wearing Berawa surf top and Sanur bottom in emerald green
Source: @ninefootstudio                                                          ***click on the photos to see the product

Surfing in Sri Lanka: Some of the best surf spots on the island - ninefootstudio women´s surf swimwear

Ciar is wearing Berawa surf top and Sanur bottom in emerald green
Source: @ninefootstudio                                                           ***click on the photos to see the product




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