Before asking the question of where to learn, it is important to consider the time of year. Sri Lanka has two surf seasons each lasting about six months: November to April on the South Coast and May to October on the East Coast.
Learning in Peak Season – Is it the Best Choice?
This for many is the obvious choice as the main advantage is that the waves are at their most consistent. However, by learning to surf in Arugam Bay (East Coast) in August or Weligama (South Coast) in January you may not have the experience you were hoping for.
The disadvantages of learning in peak season are numerous:
- The need to book the better schools in advance and pay a higher price.
- Accommodation is expensive.
- The waves are crowded = more risk of injury and a more stressful environment.
If you are confident in the water and do not mind the inherent danger of others also trying to learn in addition to the ones that can surf then go for peak season. On the other hand, if you prefer a more relaxed and safer environment then choose off-season or the months at the start or end of peak season.
South Coast Beginner Surf Locations
A reminder that the surf season on the South Coast is November to April with peak season being December to March.
- Weligama Beach – A large bay with a sandy bottom which is extremely popular with beginners and improvers. There are many schools directly on the beach so simply turn up and negotiate!
- Galle, Dewata Beach – This spot is quieter than Weligama and ideal for learners as it also has a sandy bottom.
East Coast Beginner Surf Locations
A reminder that the surf season on the East Coast is May to October with peak season being July to September.
- Arugam Bay, Baby Point – This spot tends to start working from July until the end of the season. It has a sandy bottom and is ideal for beginners if there are not too many others in the water.
- Arugam Bay, Elephant Rock – A very safe point break also with a sandy bottom. There are no schools or facilities here so arrange the lesson before arrival.
There are many other spots along both coasts which can be considered suitable for beginners but the ones mentioned are the most popular. As with all surf spots in Sri Lanka beware of the beach boys who will offer you a cheap/expensive lesson and teach you nothing…