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What are the waves like in Sri Lanka?

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What are the waves like in Sri Lanka?

Rarely flat, super fun, mellow Indo. Sri Lanka is an amazing place to take a surfing holiday regardless of whether you’re learning to surf or your more advanced and looking to improve. It’s the the most reliable surf destination in the Indian Ocean, which fortunately for traveling surfers means it’s cost-effective and very warm. The South Coast is open to the same regular swells that Indonesia gets, which means the surf is consistent. There is also the perfect balance of beach and reef breaks, which means that learners can hone their skills on soft crumbling whitewater at exposed beaches like Weligama and more advanced surfers have heaps of perfect peaks to choose from.

Hikkaduwa Beach Break
Hikkaduwa beach break is my personal favourite wave as it offers a few different punchy peaks up and down the beach. Everyone usually surfs the reef so it is pretty un-crowded and most people see it as a close-out but what I see is a very smashable end section. It’s also great for beginners as the further south you go, the smaller the waves get. It can pack a punch though.
Hikkaduwa Reef
This is the most popular wave in Hikkaduwa which means there’s always a crowd. The rights can be quite fat, so the lefts are more favourable with long walls. If it gets big you can get barrelled, but it’s a no go at high tide as it can be quite back-washy.
Rams right
Actually this is my favourite wave in Sri Lanka. In the little village of Midigama is this mechanical wave that offers a lovely little barrel, then a nice shoulder to get a turn on. It’s shallow and quite scary when big. The lefts are also fun. The best time to surf here is when the wind starts to go onshore (around 11am) when the early morning crowd are shattered from surfing since first light.
Lazy Left
This is about 100m north of Rams and is a very mellow left-hander breaking over deep reef. I didn’t like it on my shortboard, but loved it on my longboard as it is a very cruisy wave. The one pictured above is probably the only wave that has ever come close to barreling. Perfect for beginner – intermediate surfers wanting to try surfing a reef for the first time.
About an hour south of Galle is the really consistent beach break of Weligama. It picks up loads of swell, has peaks up and down the three mile long beach and is great for ever level of surfer. The picture above is of a rare bank working that we managed to get all to ourselves for three days straight.
This is 20mins in a tuk tuk South of Weligama and a very popular tourist destination for non surfers due to its pristine beaches and relaxing beach bars/ restaurants. It also has a sick right hand point break that breaks over shallow reef full of urchins. The wave itself is quite fat when small, but perfect for longboarding. There is a beach break as well that’s good for beginners.
Arugam Bay
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The wave that put Sri Lanka on the surfing map. This is on the east coast of the island and only works April – November. It’s one of the longest right hand point breaks you’ll ever surf and unbelievably consistent. It offers whackable walls, barrel sections and has various take off points so you’ll always get a wave.
(Photo via)
The best season for weather and waves in the South West Coast is October – April and if you want to surf the North East waves, such as the famous Arugum Bay you would want to head there at the start of April at the earliest and you would want to be gone by November. It is literally like a switch how the heavens open and the waves go flat.
You can get waves in the South West Coast out of season, but it is usually big and messy. This may suit some surfers though and even though you probably won’t get too sun burnt, you will definitely get a bargain surfing holidays if you head out of season.
The Eco Lodge, in Weligama is a great place to base yourself in Sri Lanka, giving you easy access to a variety of waves. Click here for more information or to talk to a Trip Advisor email us of give us a call on 02081 336 438.

Hans van Mourik

Co-founder SurfaWhile, ♥️ tech, travel, sports & outdoors.

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