Sri Lanka, a tropical island falling from the southern tip of India, is one of the best surf destinations on the subcontinent. The local surf scene is thriving, and thanks to its location, the coastline gets the same regular, long distance SW swells as the Indonesian islands. Sri Lankans never hesitate to paddle out during good swells. But the word has spread since the first hippies arrived in the 1970’s and surfers from all over the world now flock to the island’s pristine reefs and beaches.
The surfing center of Sri Lanka’s South coast is Hikkaduwa, a small town towards the southern tip — only a few hours beautiful train ride along the ocean from the capital Colombo. With a vibrant mix of people and serene beach life, it makes a great first stop on your endeavors.
On the Western coast, from November to March, winds are offshore — making clean waves, consistently good swells and minimum rainfall. May to September is the best time to head to the East coast and Arugam Bay, a lively little beach town with restaurants and guest houses dotted along the crescent shaped stretch of sand and home to a notorious point break that many regard as the best surf spot in the country.
If you feel slightly more adventurous traveling through Sri Lanka, you can strap your board on top a tuk-tuk and ride along the coast, zig-zagging between wild elephants and stopping for street-side dahl curry with a glass of home brewed arrack, the local “palm wine.”
The Sri Lankans are friendly and welcoming people, making your travels a pleasant adventure with much to explore. Maybe you end up finding your spiritual side in one of the Buddhist monasteries or perhaps you simply fall for the hammock-life and crack open a Lion beer on the beach and marvel at a radiant display of colors as the day turns into night.