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Sri Lanka is an incredible destination not only for surfers. It offers diverse landscapes, wildlife and stunning beaches. It is the perfect surf spot for all levels offering year-round waves. You can find some of the best beachbreaks and reefs here! We had a wonderful opportunity to spend 5 days in Weligama with Solid Surfhouse. Let us share our experience and a few tips with you in this article about learning to surf in Sri Lanka.
Where to learn surfing in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has two main surf hubs – Southwest coast (Weligama, Ahangama) and Eastern province (Arugam Bay). Each area operates in different seasons. That means you can enjoy surfing in Sri Lanka any time of the year!
The high season on Southwest coast is between November and April. Perfect wind conditions and consistent swells will ensure a lot of fun waves! There is many incredible surf spots for different levels. The perfect place for learning is sandy beach at Weligama. Waves are consistent, not too big and you have nothing to worry about since there’s just sand in the water. The most popular spot is in front of Marriott hotel.
The main season in this area is between May – September. East coast offers a huge variety of waves suitable for every level. The Main Point can get very crowded. It is the best place for beginners to learn the basics. But even advanced surfers will have a lot of fun surfing on East coast.
Surf camp vs. surf school
Since both Arugam bay and Weligama are such a popular surf spots, there are many choices. You can find different restaurants, countless accomodation options and many surf schools and surf camps. How to choose the right one? It is up to you to decide whether joining a surf camp or simply taking lessons from a surf school is better for you. Each option has its pros and cons.
The best thing about surf camp is the community. It’s an amazing opporunity to make friends from all around the world. In surf camp, everything is organized and everything is taken care of. You get the whole package – nice environment, yoga classes, skateboards, food, transport, surf... Another bonus are group trips surf camps organize. You will have everything you need in a surf camp.
The biggest advantage of joining a surf school is freedom. It is completely up to you when you want to surf and how long you wanna stay in the water. You can decided to pay an instructor for hour or two. Afterwards you might simply stay in the water by yourself and practice. Renting a board is super cheap! It is also more individual experience. Surf camps offer group lessons, here you might be alone with your instructor.
The disadvantage is that everything is organized. That means you have a little flexibility when it comes to your schedule. Wanna stay in the water to surf longer? Well.. might be possible but that depends. Another disadvantage might be the price. Surf camps are more costly compared to surf schools. But you have to consider that everything is covered – room, food, transport… So in the end it actually might not be a huge difference.
You miss the whole part of being surrounded by a like-minded community. That is possible the biggest disadvantage of learning to surf with a surf school. It is much less social and more private. If you take a lot of lessons with instructor, it might actually be more expensive than a surf camp. You will also be responsible for the transportation to all the surf spots.
Our experience at Solid Surfhouse
For learning how to surf in Weligama we chose Solid Surfhouse. It is one of the most beautiful surf camps in Weligama in our opinion. The camp is super cozy and has a laid-back vibe. It implements Balinese architecture and it makes you feel like you’re living in a paradise. They offer delicious fresh food prepared (almost) every day! The breakfast is super yummy!
Solid Surfhouse offers around 2 hours of morning surf sessions and after lunch break you get back to water for another 1.5-2h. They’re doing their best to keep the groups small, ensuring the instructor is there for you when needed. You might share one instructor only with 3-4 other students. Apart from that, camp organizes transport to the beach. They provide delicious breakfast and dinner prepared in an open kitchen by very skilled chefs! Don’t forget to join their free yoga classes.
The acommodation is really beautiful. You will definitely enjoy your stay here. It is up to you whether you want to go low-budget and stay in a shared room or if you want to enjoy privacy in a private room. All the rooms have high standards and they look lovely!
Tips for beginners
We would also love to share a few tips with you. These were all the mistakes we made 😀
1.Use a surf zinc. A classical sunscreen won’t be enough. You are constantly in the water. The sun can be super strong. Avoid getting sunburnt on your first day! Invest in a high-quality surf zinc. We found prices for surf zinc in Weligama a bit inflated. If possible, get it before you come here.
2. Also on your lips! Trust me, you don’t want to burn your lips. It is terrible. I sunburnt my lips on the second day. It took almost a month to heal! Eating was very painful, especially spicy food. And I couldn’t even kiss my own husband for so long!
3. Wear long pants. Sure, bikini probably look way sexier than leggings. But it is sooo not worth it. You will probably spend your first days on a foam board. It can irritate your skin badly and ruin your surf session. Once you start feeling pain on your palms or thighs, stop surfing. Do not push it. Take a break and ask for a hard board. Even Juraj bought long pants for surfing! Hard board is also covered in wax and that might be irritating your skin as well.
4. Do not overeat before surf session. Unless you want to puke. You can probably imagine how much time you will spend laying on your surf. Having a full belly certainly won’t do you good. We only used to share one meal for lunch with Juraj.
Where to stay in Weligama
In case you decided for a surf school instead of a camp, we would like to recommend a nice place to stay. Rusara guesthouse is a family owned business. It offers pretty comfy rooms with everything you need. It is the perfect place for long-term stay, too. You have access to a shared kitchen and they have a wonderful terrace. We definitely enjoyed working from the terrace with ocean views. The location is pretty central – close to the beach, the best surf spot and many restaurants.