Sunrise Surf in Sri Lanka
Arriving in Sri Lanka from the UK in early March... the tropical heat hits you like a wall!
It is such a contrast coming from the chill of the UK in an air conditioned plane but the beautiful heat soon warms through to the soul and the anticipation of catching some Sri Lankan waves is immense!
The first thing you notice about Sri Lanka is how green and lush the vegetation is. The island is a sea of tropical green that wraps itself around the undulating landscape. Palm trees are abundant with coconuts, bananas and wildlife.
Our onward travel from Colombo takes us to the South West and Ahangama, a small town with a three mile stretch of coastline with some of the most consistent breaks on the island.
After a three hour road trip we arrived at the surf house nestled between the jungle and the coast. We only had to walk five minutes to the closest reef break... dreamy!
We rehydrated with a coconut before getting out the boardies and rashies for a Sri Lankan surf.
The water temperature in South West Sri Lanka is about 27 degrees centigrade in early March. Positively balmy compared to UK waters!
Surfing without a wetsuit definitely enhances the feeling of freedom, movement and a deeper connection to the ocean, something I'd strongly recommend. I knew at this point that it would be hard donning the 5/4 again when at my local break at home... but hey that wasn't going to be for another 14 days!
There are four breaks very close to the surf house. These include Sticks, Marshmallows, Gas Stations and Kabalana. Each wave is different and offers something for all abilities. We could walk from the surf house to Sticks and Marshmallows, Gas Stations and Kabalana were a five minute Tuk-Tuk ride with the boards on top...
Gas stations is a short paddle out over a very accessible reef. Keeping an eye out for a lull in the swell was key to the paddle out here. It is a fast wave with a quick pick up and some beautiful rides. Nice solid waves often coming through in the sets.
Marshmallows was a slower wave giving plenty of time to catch some beautiful clean and long green waves. Perfect for intermediates. The paddle out is via a deep channel offering breaks from either side. There is plenty of opportunity here for cruising on some glassy lefts and rights. I really loved riding a longer board here. Some magical moments.
Sticks is right outside the surf house and is similar to Marshmallows but it is a faster wave that travels over a shallower reef break. Good fun times.
Kabalana is a great beach break that boasts advanced and beginners surfing. An awesome A frame peak that picks up the swell from the area. I preferred surfing this spot on a low tide as I found the waves closed out quickly at high tide. All in... another incredible spot.
Overall Sri Lanka is an inspirational place to surf. For me dawn patrol surfs are certainly the best. Being in the water by sunrise for a two hour session is just perfect. For me it is too hot at mid day to surf and the wind also picks up till around 3-5pm, closing out some of the breaks. This was consistent every day and very predictable, so you are always guaranteed an epic sunrise and sunset surf, leaving the day free for exploring this exceptional island!
I just can't wait to get back again already...