Sri Lanka is an ancient and multicultural country – with several languages still spoken by its 20 million inhabitants – where surfers of all levels can find excellent waves. The South of the island, more exposed to the Indian Ocean, works pretty much year round and Hikkaduwa and Arugam Bay are the most famous spots.

Previously known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka is an island off the southeast of India. The first Europeans to arrive there were the Portuguese, in the early XVI Century. Exotic forests, stunning warm water beaches and a population known for a relaxed lifestyle are some of the attractions of this budget-friendly nation.

Following several wars over its 3000 year history – the last of which a civil war which only ended in 2009 – and the destructive effects of the 2004 tsunami, Sri Lanka has managed to pull itself together and become a peaceful destination.

Being a majority Buddhist country, you should take care to respect the local customs and dress code and avoid visible tattoos of Buddha or Buddhist iconography. We suggest you contact a Takeoff specialist for more information.


The weather in Sri Lanka is marked by tropical monsoons and is close to equatorial, especially in the Southwest of the Island, where May and October usually register the highest amount of rainfall. Between November and March the weather is dry and sunny on the South (Hikkaduwa) and West coasts, whereas the East coast is affected by the monsoon. May to October is the dry season on the East coast (Arugam Bay), and this is when the South and West coasts are affected by the monsoon. Air and water temperatures average 27ºC year-round.


Recommended gear

The hot and humid weather calls for light cotton clothing. For surfing we suggest board shorts, neoprene booties and long sleeved rash guards or neoprene vests. You should take at least two boards, but the ideal is three. Do not forget warm water wax and water resistant sunscreen (factor 50 at least!).


Where to stay?


Resorts, Guest Houses and Surf Camps


There are several options in different regions. The resorts are modern, provide excellent comfort are generally located near beautiful beaches and surf spots. The Guest Houses are another – cheaper – option but also fully comfortable. You can also opt for the more versatile Surf Camps which offer a variety of surf programmes.



There is no shortage of spots to choose from, especially in the South, where most of the good waves are found. Even though the only world class wave is Arugam Bay, there are plenty of beach, reef and point breaks which are known for their consistency, making Sri Lanka a great destination for surfers of all levels.


If you like long rides then Arugam Bay is the ideal destination for you. It has also become a bit of a cult destination in South-eastern Sri Lanka among more adventurous surfers who revel in its mostly right hander point breaks. One of these waves, The Point, sweeps out over the whole bay and is on the bucket list of any self-respecting surfer due to the seemingly endless rides it offers on a perfect day.

You might want to take a longboard out on some of the regions’ peaks but there is still plenty of room for performative surf. This is where Australian Julian Wilson won his first major competition, when Arugam Bay hosted a leg of the World Qualifying Series (WQS) in 2010.

This is also Sri Lanka’s most untouched surfing landscape, rich in wildlife and beautiful views. You can often see wild elephants wandering past Pottuvil beach and the Kumana National Park. Kudumbigala wildlife sanctuary, to the South, and the city of Pottuvil further north are some of the region’s main attractions.



Located to the Southwest of the southern province (capital Galle) this is Sri Lanka’s most popular surfing and tourist region, with a rich variety of reef breaks.

There is constant swell so you’ll rarely have a flat day, although the onshore wind sometimes makes an appearance during the off seasons.

The versatile and diverse wave selection in this region also includes some beach breaks, and South of Hikkaduwa you’ll find Madiha, one of the best surf spots in the country, located near Matara and known for the localism of its surfers.

The colonial region of Galle has more to offer than surfing and diving among the local reefs, such as the numerous Buddhist temples or Adam's Peak Mountain, with its unforgettable view. Elephants and monkeys are also common local attractions and there is plenty of nightlife in Hikkaduwa as well.



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