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.
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.