Arugam Bay: Surf
By far one of the most promising surf destinations Sri Lanka has to, Arugam Bay has waves suited for all types of surfers, may they be doused in a thick layer of sunscreen and ready to try there new anti-rash shirt or experienced enough to tear the arse out of a lip. The bay hosts two major breaks: the main break (for the experienced) is situated on the southernmost tip of the point, and baby’s beach for beginners) is located halfway between the point and the main stretch of hotels and restaurants.
The best way to describe Arugam Bay’s main break is like a weak little brother of the Pass in Byron Bay. It’s a long right hander that breaks on a sandy rock shelf that can offer exceptional rides with multiple sections ideal for hacks or fast cutbacks. The take-off is steeper than most parts of the wave, and on the right conditions, can hold open for a nice trip to barrel town if you play your cards right. Pretty much anyone that can get to their feet and pump on a wave will enjoy this wave, but in saying that, pretty much everyone will be on every wave, as periods between sets are long and crowds are very large. The locals are sweet as long as you respect them, and as soon as the swell picks up, all the 3-foot warriors flee and you will be left with a virtually empty line up.
As for the beginners wave, you’re almost certain to have a good time, as the swell is gentle and inviting for rookies. Even if you are struggling to succeed, there’s enough excitement in the air from people winning on their first ever wave or screaming at the oncoming 30-centimetres of whitewash casually rolling towards them that you’ll have a laugh and wish you had a stubbie holder in your surfboard.
There are other semi-secret waves that break on bigger swells situated around the town, only a short tuk-tuk ride from the CBD, but for the sake of keeping them ‘semi-secret’, I’ll let you lazy scumbags ask around for yourself.
Photo by Pradeep Sugathadasa