Sri Lanka has lately risen as one of the best kiting spots in the world. The war is over and the northwest parts of the country has opened up and hosts some of the most amazing lagoons on earth, plus possibilities for endless downwinders. We are in Sri Lanka now, and I will walk you through some of the things about kitesurfing in Kalpitya you might want to know.
Kitesurfing spots in Sri Lanka
The main area for kitesurfing is in Kalpitya. Here is one huge lagoon with a lot of kite centers, with schools and equipment rental. You live on the mainland part of the lagoon, and takes the boat over to the small part of land between the ocean and the lagoon for kiting, and then kite in side-off winds inside the lagoon. With mega flat water. More on the map below:
Explanation for the kitesurfing Kalpitya map:
- Orange: The big lagoon, “Kalpitya Lagoon” or “Kandakuliya Lagoon”.
- Red: The places where you live if you live close to the big lagoon. We stayed at Sri Lanka Kite.
- Blue: The place where you launch your kites and go kiting inside the lagoon.
- Green: The small lagoon, Kappalady lagoon. Here are also a few places to live, we stayed a week at Kappalady Kitegarden, which was nice, and very calm.
There are quite many places to stay inside the area marked with red on the map, and almost all have boats for transfers to the other side of the lagoon. We stayed at Sri Lanka Kite, where it is possible to start kiting right of the beach too. Sri Lanka kite is a nice place with quite many nice bungalows, friendly staff and good food.
There is also a kite center and some possibilities to kite in Negombo, close to the airport, but we did not visit that spot (yet) since it is not so good in winter season.
Info about kitesurfing in Kalpitya
The high season is in the summer, around May to October. Then the wind blows from southwest, and is quite strong. At that time, the small lagoon is wonderfully flat with stable wind, but get crowded really fast. It can hold maybe 10 kites doing freestyle + a dozen students at once. The big lagoon easily swallows 200 kites, and also have good strong wind in the high-season. In high season people ride 7 – 9 m2 kites.
In the winter-season (about December to February) the wind is mostly from the north, with shifts to northeast and northwest. The big lagoon have better wind then, but also, the small lagoon is not crowded at all then. We kited one week in the small lagoon, almost alone, then one week in the big lagoon with maybe 50 other kites, and it was still far from crowded. In winter season people ride 10 – 17 m2 kites. We used 11 and 13 m2 Airush Razor kites every day.
They say that you learn one new trick a week in Sri Lanka because of the steady winds and flat water. I tend to think it might be even more. And no, you do do not need any wetsuit.
Living in Kalpitya:
You can live in a kite center close to big lagoon, in a kite center close to the small lagoon, or inside Kalpitya city. The prices for living in this area of the country is much higher than in the south, but all food is often included. That is needed, because there is not much else around here. Kappalady is a small village with only a few kite centers, no restaurants, and not really any shops. Close to big lagoon there is only kite centers and some hotels, some small restaurants, and no shops. In Kalpitya “city” there is something to eat and buy, but not much.
If you live inside Kalpitya City you will have to take TukTuk to the kite spot, and if you live at the beach in a kite center, you will have to take TukTuk to the city. TukTuk between the big lagoon and city is about 300 LKR per way (2 €) and TukTuk between small lagoon and big lagoon is about 1500 LKR per direction (10€). In Kalpitya city there are some more budget-places to stay, but then you need to get food yourself, and ride to the lagoon every day. The atmosphere at the kite centers is awesome, and we chose to stay at these all the time.
Sri Lanka is rising as a tourist destination now, and I recommend visiting it in the upcoming years while it still is really genuine. There is a lot of things to see and do here, and taking a week or two for sightseeing the south and central parts is definitely recommended too, as well as for surfing in the south. There will be another post about our travels in Sri Lanka when we are ready kiting, but things we already managed to do here is going for dolphin watching just a short boatride from Kappalady, and checking out elephants and crocodiles in the wild, in Wilpattu National Park.
Read more about kitesurfing in Sri Lanka, Kalpitya and Kappalady on Linas blog too, or in Swedish here!