During the main surfing season, the Arugam bay on the Sri Lankan east coast is the main hub for all surfing in Sri Lanka. But the surfing during off-season is really good too!
Surfing in Sri Lanka, in Hikkaduwa, Weligama and Mirissa
In the off-season (winter and spring) the swell comes from south west, and therefor the best places for surfing are on the southwest-coast. We visited and surfed at 3 locations, Hikkaduwa, Weligama and Mirissa and found out that there are some great conditions here, not like in Indonesia, but anyway.
- Surfing was possible every day
- Usually the wind picks up around 12, so mornings are best. Sunset sessions are also great, even if there’s more people in the water then. It is of course possible to surf during daytime too, if you can stand the wind. And it is not windy every day, so some days might be golden.
- Surfboards can be rented quite cheap at all the mentioned spots. From 250 to 400 LKR per hour, or 700 to 1000 per day (1000 LKR being a little over 6 €).
Surfing in Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa is one of the main spots for beach-tourism in Sri Lanka, and here you can find everything from small cheap hostels to luxury hotel chains. Most being on the beach-side or in a short walking distance from the beach. We stayed at a surf-hostel right on the beach, in front of the break (Hansa Surf), for something between 1500 and 2500 LKR per night.
The break is a beach break quite close to the shore, where beginners can do longboard-sessions in the whitewash and more experienced riders can catch the quite clean and fast waves before they break. Hikkaduwa waves are not the easiest ones though, but we had a really great time here. To the right from the beach, on the reef, is a quite big A-frame for more experienced riders too.
Positively about Hikkaduwa is that you find all kind of food and services too, and on the negative side, it is quite a lot of tourists here. But these two things often go hand in hand, and it was really welcome with some varied food after two weeks kitesurfing in the north (Read about kitesurfing in Kalpitya, Sri Lanka here).
Surfing in Weligama
Weligama is the real beginner spot. This is a 2 km long beach that is really shallow, with a really long beach break. It is said you might get a 400 m long wave here some days. In Weligama you better rent a longboard and go out for chilled out sessions riding long waves. Here you find mostly beginners, so do not expect anyone to know the hidden rules of surfing, beware of people dropping in on you and letting go of their boards. On the other hand, there is no aggressive feelings here either, which is good. The atmosphere here is really chill, and we enjoyed riding here a lot! The biggest waves are easy to reach if you go straight out from the big tall hotel on the beach.
Positive things with Weligama was the nice wave and beach, and cheap hostels (more far from the beach). The negative sides are that accommodation and restaurants on the beach are quite expensive and everything is spread out over a big area. We ended up staying in Mirissa and riding a scooter to Weligama for surfin. It is only 3 km away.
Surfing in Mirissa
Mirissa is one of the more known tourist destinations of Sri Lanka, and offers all kind of comfort. Apart from working ATM’s (nearest ones are in Weligama). Here you find luxury accommodation, cheap hostels, expensive western food and cheap local food. It is a quite easy place to stay at for some time.
The surfing is good far to the right on the beach, this instagram video I took there a morning at 8:
The other, more easy place for surfing is far to the left on the beach, to the left of the big rock you can climb. Here on the reef both longboards and shortboards work well, and the waves are quite easy to catch.In the following Instagram video Lina rides one of the waves with the longboard:
Since it was quite windy, there were almost nobody else in the water, and you could freely chose which waves to go for.
Surfing in Sri Lanka is of course possible at many other places too, this is just a quick review of the spots we visited and enjoyed during two weeks in February and March. Feel free to ask if you want to know more!