Not known to many, Sri Lanka has the best waves in the world for that surfing holiday you have always dreamed of. Located in the Indian Ocean just off the southern coasts of the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka is often compared to India, especially southern India, for their similarities in geography, culture, religion, language and people. When it comes to surfing in Sri Lanka, however, the experience comes close to being in California, Hawaii or Australia. (India also has world-class surfing spots.)
Sri Lanka is an island-nation cut off from the entire Indian subcontinent, making it one of the most reliable surf destinations in the Indian Ocean. One look at Sri Lanka on the map you would know that the country is bound to have amazing waves and beautiful tropical beaches. It is actually a haven of rich natural resources such as picturesque mountains, gardens and lush vegetations, coupled with ancient monuments and temples. The island is blessed with over a thousand kilometers of arching golden beaches fringed with coconut palms. Along the coasts, the main attractions and tourist draws are the beaches, resorts and waves, and less on the nearby towns and villages, although there are a few folk villages, batik factories and temples that deserve a visit or two.
The island is receiving more and more attention from the international surfing community, especially now that the country is seriously building up its tourism industry since the end of the civil war. Well participated international surfing competitions happen yearly in Hikkaduwa Beach, including the Japanese Pro Surfers National Championship in early November.
Hikkaduwa is 98 kilometers to the south of the capital city of Colombo, about 14 kilometers from Galle. It was first discovered by tourists in the 1960s and since then it has wowed travelers for its diving spots and surf waves. The beach is now famous throughout the country and internationally for snorkeling, diving and surfing. Hikkaduwa also has a lovely coral sanctuary within a wide body of shallow water enclosed by a reef. It is teeming with attractive corals and tiny colorful fishes. There are more coral formations found in surrounding islets, as well as a variety of tropical fishes and large turtles, which are what this beach is also known for. The well-known surf spots in Hikkaduwa are the North Jetty (popular for its long waves and hollow sections), Benny’s (strictly for professionals and experienced surfers), Main Reef (relaxed, easy waves), Inside Reef (waves can be intense at times), and Beach Break (perfect for the inexperienced surfer). Surfing season in Hikkaduwa is from November to April. The beach is jam-packed during these months.
Aside from Hikkaduwa, the southern coast of the island is actually teeming with a number of swells and quality waves. Other popular spots to check out when surfing in Sri Lanka are Aragum Bay in the East Coast near the town of Pottuvil, Dalawella Beach in the southwest about 7 kilometers from Galle, and scenic Matara City on the southern coast, just to name a few. The beautiful beaches in Matara were significantly affected by the 2004 tsunami, but today, most of them have bounced back and once again visited by tourists and surfers from all over the world.