If you speak to anyone about Sri Lanka they will probably mention surfing. With sun, sea, sand and surf Sri Lanka has always been a very popular destination for the totally rad surfer dudes. Unfortunately we are not totally rad surfer dudes but as this country is home to one of the top ten surfing locations in the world we thought we should probably learn to surf whilst we are here.
Weligama is a happy middle ground between huge waves and popularity. The waves are just the right size to learn with some giant ones thrown in for good measure. It’s also not over crowded, don’t get me wrong it’s busy but not once did we get hindered by other people.
There are probably 7+ surfing school along the beach alone and the going rate for a lesson is 2000 Rupees, or about £10. We managed to secure a lesson for both of us for 3500,or £17.50 so you should definately hunt around for a good deal.
Starting off on the beach your instructor will explain all the theory to surfing, what to do with your feet and more importantly what not to do with your feet. They should also explain how to handle your board in the water and not get hit in the face with the fins (that could really hurt!).
Once your instructor is happy you can stand up on your board using the correct technique it’s off into the sea to try it out. Expect to get a few mouthfuls of water and a face full off sand until you get it right but that’s another great thing about Weligama, the ocean floor is all soft and it’s shallow, I don’t think I was out of my depth once between waves.
Once you have got the hang of it you can rent a board for 300 rupees an hour, £1.50.
How to get here
Getting to Weligama is very easy. For people with deeper pockets you can get a taxi direct from Colombo Airport and it should cost you around 5000 rupees, £25. The cheaper option is to walk for 30 minutes from the airport to the train station, get the train to Colombo Fort and then change to Weligama. The cost is probably under £1 per person; the trains are seriously cheap in Sri Lanka.
Weligama is a very small town and you can get everywhere by foot. But if your legs are aching after hitting that killer wave there are hundreds of Tuk Tuks that will take you anywhere in town for £1.
Where to stay
This all comes down to budget, just remember everything is within walking distance and Tuk Tuks are cheap. There is accommodation on the beach but this does come with a slightly higher price tag, we paid £25 a night with breakfast, but without AC to be right on the beach. Again for people with deep pockets check out W15, it looked very nice.
Food in Weligama
In the middle of town there is a large Food City shop, this is a very modern supermarket selling everything you could need.
Eating out can be somewhat hit and miss, there are a good selection of restaurants but they are all spread out and most don’t start serving fool until 6:30 pm when the sun has gone down and all the surfers come in. The best meal we had was at Break Point on the main beach road just west of all the surf schools.
Surfing was completely new to us when we arrived in Weligama. We were impressed by the level of teaching, considering it was so cheap, our instructor was very good. Although his English wasn’t perfect he kept telling us to say if we didn’t understand something and really made sure he got his points across. In the water he was very helpful, telling us exactly when to paddle and when to try and stand. He must have done a good job as both of us were able to stand within a couple of attempts, to our surprise!
However, the next day we went back to hire boards and venture out on our own, and for some reason after 45 minutes we couldn’t catch a single wave! Maybe another lesson is in order 🙂