Discovering Sri Lanka’s Best Kept Surfing Destinations

While Sri Lanka’s picturesque beaches are the quintessential draw of the island, most often the beaches get overlooked as a destination for surfers.  The waves on Lankan beaches offer surfers an opportunity to hone their skills on wave forms suited to different levels of experience. For tourists considering a surfing holiday in Sri Lanka, read on to discover the best parts of the island to approach first.

Seasons for Surfing

While boasting sunny weather all year round, Sri Lanka does experience certain seasonal changes, which differ from one coast to another. The monsoon rains batter different regions at a time and offer year round surf options. For those heading to the south for surfing the best time would be from November till about May.  If you are heading towards the Eastern coast, then April to October will have you riding some longer waves.  Bottom line – whichever time you arrive – you’ll be able to catch a wave in some  part of the island.

Types of Wave forms

The main regions for surfing include the south, east and southwest coast. The more popular surfer towns are Hikkaduwa known by locals as Hikka , Unawatuna and Arugam Bay located in the east of the island. In terms of the wave forms, swells in Sri Lanka differ from those in Western Australia or Hawaii. The waves are smaller in  comparison but they make-up for in terms of length. Some waves, if you can muster the stamina, can be surfed for as much as 60 seconds.


While the coastal town of Hikkaduwa has garnered a reputation as being the party town, these days it attracts quite a few surfers who equally appreciate the lively night life.   If you are setting out from Colombo, the drive to Hikkaduwa should be roughly about 130km. Alternatively, you could also travel via the highway if you are in a hurry to get your surfing adventure started.


The bay of Unawatuna is another place where surfer dreams come true.  Lately Unawatuna has blossomed from being  backpack cum budget surfer’s paradise to a family friendly surfing destination. The night life isn’t as active as Hikka but it does put up some great swells.


Weligama is ideal for surfers who are just starting out or those with intermediate skills.  Along the bay surfers will find little beach fronts with swells better suited to beginners.

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