Exploring the Surf in Sri Lanka
Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka – Bethany Hamilton blames me. Repeating the visions of “Soul Surfer,” the 2011 movie about the young surfer in Hawaii who lost an arm to a tiger shark to return to competition, have left two small children and no fear in the ocean and excited sport.
So with air miles to save and holidays to burn my wife, two children and I went to Sri Lanka.
Best known for its tea and its tradition, the island was once called Ceylon has become a surf destination in the Asian scene next to the most famous of Bali breaks and the Maldives, although its surf spots are definitely more Clear and more discreet.
On the east coast of the country, generally avoided for a quarter of a century during the brutal 26-year civil war, the surfing scene has not gone long, decades ago, when the first Western surfers roamed the beach in search of Fresh water and plumbing.
The A.T.M. The machine that praised aloud and, for some reason, a light Scottish flag: “Please enter your PIN” and then, “What to do?”
What we wanted to do, after accumulating Rs quickly passed away from the southwest monsoon sweeping the west coast of Sri Lanka in the summer. Our destination was Arugam Bay. The coastal town is completely dry in summer, it is the surf capital of the country from April to October. Once the seasonal waves disappear, they return to their historic role as a tuna fishing port.
Jordan Griffin, a member of the New Zealand surfing team and a barista comes to Sri Lanka when his Bali visa is exhausted. He calls Arugam Bay “one of the best places in the world, maybe not for high-performance surfing, but for long boards.”
The long walks, the relative lack of surfers and the sensation of discovering a new border support the trip, he added.
“If I wanted strong waves, I would like to go to Western Australia. But it’s not really my concert,” he said. “This is Bali 20 years ago. This is a very special place to sail.”
As a beginner to surf, it seemed smooth. We decided to spend a week in “A-Bay” at the end of July, and another in the town of Weligama, south of the coast. Its sheltered bay, miles wide, also offers excellent conditions for beginners, and although the region captures a part of the times wet west, it can be surfed all year round.
For a relatively small island of 25,330 square miles, very few of Ireland, Sri Lanka has a very diverse climate. We landed in Colombo, the tropical capital.
A 230 mile journey that lasted seven hours – on these roads, the larger vehicles have the right of way – took us all over the island to Arugam Bay. With its acacia trees and golden lion grass, the bay area looks more like the tropical island of the South African island. Peacocks through dry rice fields on the outskirts of town, and sea breezes, once inside the interior, hot and dry air.
Arugam Bay is a roadside town lined with restaurants offering roasted national dish, rice and curry – a variety of dal, crispy popadums and curry of beef and veggies that contrasts with the generic name. It also has two dozen fronts, little more than concrete shells, where you can buy T-shirts or rent surfboards for about 500 rupees, or about $ 3.50 per hour.
Around 2 500 rupees will spend an hour with a personal instructor who works in the technique – and gives his advice an additional boost when he shouts “Get up!” Another pay 1,000 rupees for a tuk-tuk driver waiting for you during your lesson.
We look at Krishantha Ariyasena, President of Arugam Bay Surf Club, a group of instructors in bulk trying to coordinate a company that, in practice, is managed by the seat of their shorts.