Gone Surfing: The Lowdown on Surfing Sri Lanka’s Stunning Coastlines
~How to Surf Sri Lanka Guide~

Beautiful beaches, underwater coral reefs, golden beaches and the incredibly warm waters of the Indian Ocean: Sri Lanka has all the ingredients for a top-notch surfing holiday.

Made up of two surfing regions, namely the East Coast and the South West Coast, Sri Lanka has plenty to keep even the most avid surfer entertained with fantastic surfing conditions all year round.

Sri Lanka has all the ingredients for a top-notch surfing holiday. Read this post to find out more about travel spots in Sri-Lanka, Seasons and useful tip, for an ultimate surf holiday.

With a diverse range of coral reefs, point breaks and consistent offshore winds during the monsoon season, Sri Lanka is one of the most reliable surfing spots in the Indian Ocean.

Here are my top tips for your perfect surfing holiday in Sri Lanka…

SURFING SRI-LANKA – THE BASICS

The East Coast vs. the South West Coast

Interestingly, Sri Lanka’s East Coast and South West Coast seasons are polar opposites. This means that when it is the rainy season on the East Coast, you will likely find the best waves on the South West Coast and vice versa – so you are always bound to find a good wave to surf.

Sri Lanka has all the ingredients for a surfing holiday. Sri Lanka Surf holiday guide with tips and best surfing spots, and beaches to visit.

The South West Coast is a popular choice as it has more surfing spots than the East Coast but both coastlines are home to a great diversity of surfing posts that will suit beginners all the way through to expert level.

What are the swells like?

The coast from Arugam Bay to Hikkaduwa is covered with long sand bottom point breaks and exciting underwater reefs. During Sri Lanka’s surfing season you can look forward to swells ranging from three to eight feet in Sri Lanka while the rest of the year the waves can range from two to six feet.

Sri Lanka Surfing seasons and when to go

With two opposite monsoon seasons, Sri Lanka is a great destination for surfing all year round – provided you pick which coast to surf according to the time of year.

The best time for surfing along Sri Lanka’s South-West coast is between October and April while the east coast has preferable surfing conditions between April and October.

Anyway, if your’re still not sure, you can always check the weather in Sri Lanka before going to surfing holiday in Sri Lanka.

THE BEST SURFING SPOTS IN SRI LANKA

Arugam Bay


Arugam Bay is known as the surfing mecca of Sri Lanka with tourists traveling from far and wide to test the waves along this stunning stretch of coastline.

20101024-IMG_0587-Edit.jpg
Arugam Bay is on the listed as one of the top ten surf points in the world. Photo by: Dhammika Heenpella / Images of Sri Lanka

Situated on Sri Lanka’s east coast, around 320 kilometers east of Colombo, Arugam Bay is one of the most popular – and also the busiest – surfing spots in Sri Lanka.

Great point breaks here for beginners include Whiskey Point, Elephant Rock and Pottuvil Point with Arugam Bay main point being the main attraction.

This surf spot performs on an international scale and has even hosted several surfing contests, including the World Qualifying Series and the Men’s World Longboard Championships.

Keep in mind that due to its popularity, this surfing spot can get very crowded particularly in the surfing season.

Fast Facts:

  • Experience level: All surfers
  • Wave direction: Right
  • Best time to go: April to September
  • Type of break: Reef break
  • Swells: 2 to 10 feet

Okanda Surf Point


The exposed Okanda Surf Point is a great spot for advanced surfers. Situated near Yala National Park on Sri Lanka’s east coast, this surfing spot is best enjoyed between May and October each year.

There is a total of three surf spots to choose from here ranging from intermediate to experienced level waves. Experienced surfers can look forward to 300-meter rides with both left and right handers and a much less crowded alternative to the more famous surfing spot at Arugam Bay.

Surfing Sri Lanka - Mirissa Beach

There are no lifeguards here so surfers should be confident when paddling out as it will be at their own risk.

Fast Facts:

  • Experience level: Advanced surfers
  • Wave direction: Right
  • Best time to go: May to October
  • Type of break: Point break
  • Swells: 6 to 8 feet

Peanut Farm

With two headlands made up of rocks and sand, Peanut Farm offers two breaks affectionately known as Main Point and Baby Point. Main Point promises a technical right-hand wave which barrels between three and six feet.

This one is best for advanced surfers as it requires a quick take off with the risk of running into rocks nearby. Baby Point has a sandy bottom and a slower wave between two and four feet and is much better suited to beginners.

  • Experience level: All surfers
  • Wave direction: Right
  • Best time to go: April to September
  • Type of break: Point break
  • Swells: 2 to 6 feet

Weligama

Weligama is one of Sri Lanka’s most famous surfing spots, and it’s a fantastic choice for beginners who are learning to surf all year round.

Translated to mean “The Sandy Village”, Weligama is a two-kilometer long beach break with the best wave for beginners you will find on the island. While it’s certainly a popular surfing spot, its large area can accommodate many surfers at once without ever actually getting too crowded.

Sri Lanka has all the ingredients for a surfing holiday. Sri Lanka Surf holiday guide with tips and best surfing spots, and beaches to visit.
Weligama is a fantastic choice for beginners who are learning to surf all year round.

From the end of October to the beginning of April, you can enjoy great offshore winds at Weligama that create clean waves and consistent swells. For those in need of something a little more challenging, I recommend heading to Weligama Main Point to enjoy some fantastic head-high waves.

Fast Facts:

  • Experience level: All surfers
  • Wave direction: Right and left
  • Best time to go: end October to early April
  • Type of break: Beach break
  • Swells: 5 to 8 feet

Hikkaduwa

The surfing hub of the west coast, Hikkaduwa is a small town on the southern tip of Sri Lanka, just 17 kilometers from Galle. It is world famous for its beach and surfing spots and is jam-packed with surfers during the peak surfing season between November and April.

Sri Lanka has all the ingredients for a surfing holiday. Sri Lanka Surf holiday guide with tips and best surfing spots, and beaches to visit.
Hikkaduwa is one of the main surf tourist towns, for surfers in al levels

Hikkaduwa is fantastic for experienced surfing with both left and right walls and the occasional barrel wave. There are various peaks and reefs to choose from as well as lesser known spots in hidden bays and coves for those who fancy a snorkel.

Fast Facts:

  • Experience level: All surfers
  • Wave direction: Right and left
  • Best time to go: November to April
  • Type of break: Reef break
  • Swells: 2 to 3 feet

Mirissa Beach

Just a five-minute drive from Weligama you will find Mirissa, a great break for the more experienced surfer.

Surfing Sri Lanka - Mirissa main reef
Mirissa Main Reef – Good for beginner and intermediate surfers to build confidence

People always say locals know best – and that is certainly true for Mirissa, a spot most frequented by the local Sri Lankan surfers due to its exciting, yet challenging right-hander waves. Nearby, Kabalana is also a fantastic break for advanced surfers.

Fast Facts:

  • Experience level: All surfers
  • Wave direction: Right
  • Best time to go: October to April
  • Type of break: Reef coral break
  • Swells: 4 to 7 feet

Ram’s Surf Point

A much quieter alternative to the much better known Hikkaduwa surf spot, the Ram’s Surf Point is a short and powerful right-handed break with great barrel waves. However, it is much more exposed and has a shallow reef, so it’s not advisable for beginners.

Fast Facts:

  • Experience level: Intermediate to advanced surfers
  • Wave direction: Right
  • Best time to go: October to April
  • Type of break: Reef break
  • Swells: 5 to 7 feet

Unawatuna Bay

The Unawatuna Bay Surf Point is situated about five kilometers from Galle and offers fantastic surfing between November and April.

 

Sri Lanka - Unawatuna
Unawatuna Surf Point is uncrowded, high power, left reef break. Photo by: Iris Liu

Take advantage of great right-handed breaks and 100-meter rides at one of the least crowded surfing spots in Sri Lanka – making it the ideal spot for beginners and intermediate surfers.

Fast Facts:

  • Experience level: All surfers
  • Wave direction: Right
  • Best time to go: November to April
  • Type of break: Reef break
  • Swells: 2 to 5 feet

Gurubebila Beach

There are two local surf breaks here, namely Plantation Point and Coconut Point. You can find waves up to five feet here between October and April.

Sri Lanka has all the ingredients for a surfing holiday. Sri Lanka Surf holiday guide with tips and best surfing spots, and beaches to visit.

The surf moves left and right from a reef point break and can offer exhilarating 450-meter rides. This area caters for all surfing abilities with Coconut Point being best for beginners and Plantations reserved for more advanced surfers.

Fast Facts:

  • Experience level: All surfers
  • Wave direction: Right and left
  • Best time to go: October to April
  • Type of break: Reef point break
  • Swells: Up to 5 feet

TIPS FOR SURFING IN SRI LANKA

  • Don’t forget the unspoken surfing rule: Locals ride first. Make sure you give priority to the locals when you’re surfing busy areas.
  • Advanced surfers should paddle out in the early morning between 06:00 and 09:00 and between 17:00 and sunset for the best waves.
  • Surf at high tide to enjoy a head high green wave.
  • Most of the Sri Lankan surfing spots are best during high tide, but there are some good ones at low tide too. Kabalana is a good example of this.
  • If you don’t find the surf you want, take a tuk-tuk up the coastline – there are plenty of great surfing spots within a five to ten-minute drive of each other.
  • Learn to surf or better your skills at a Sri Lankan surfing school. There are plenty to choose from.
  • Don’t forget to check the waves and Surf Forecast when planning your surfing holiday to Sri Lanka.

 

Sri Lanka has all the ingredients for a surfing holiday. Sri Lanka Surf holiday guide with tips and best surfing spots, and beaches to visit.
Goodbye Sri Lanka – See you next year.

If you still haven’t convinced, you can read one of my previous posts which will give you few more reasons to travel to Sri Lanka.

Take advantage of Sri Lanka’s fantastic waves and stunning coastline by planning the ultimate surfing holiday.
What other tips do you have for surfing in Sri Lanka? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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4 comments

  1. Great guide!
    Just all I needed.. I was looking for information about surfing in Sri Lanka by spots and seasons and this just make perfect order.

    Thank you

    1. Thank you Mike!
      I’m glad you found this post helpful, I’m sure you’ll have a great time surfing Sri-Lanka – it’s an amazing place!

      Shachar

  2. If you do not count to those who love the hassle of surfing with 70 plus people in the water, then you might want to consider the south and south western coastline of Sri Lanka which has plenty of secret and undiscovered surf spots on offer that work during its peak and off season alike.

  3. Hi Shachar,

    Thanks for these Sri Lankan surfing spots, they’re all look awesome!
    A quick question regarding surfing in Sri Lanka:
    Which of these beaches, or any other, are the best place to learn to Surf in Sri Lanka?

    Thank you

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