It’s safe to say that surfing in Arugam Bay is the most well-known in the country. Surfers flock to this spot for its gentle right-hand reefs and point breaks when the monsoon hits the southwest coast.
In the past several years, Arugam Bay and Sri Lankan surfing have risen to the top of many visitors’ wish lists. Not without good reason. It’s not only the palm-lined beaches and right-hand point breakers; there are curries, tuk-tuks, elephants, temples, and a long list of other things to do. Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka is a fantastic place to go surfing.
Surfing in Arugam Bay: The Whole Story
- Arugam Bay Surfing: A Beginner’s Guide Introduction
- Where is Arugam Bay?
- Where to find the best waves in Arugam Bay
- When is the best time of year to go surfing in Arugam Bay?
- Surf shops in Arugam Bay
- Arugam Bay Transportation Options
Surfing in Arugam Bay Introduction
Arugam Bay surf is well-known to anybody who has surfed in Sri Lanka. Arugam Bay is the island’s crowning glory when it comes to beaches. There’s something for every kind of surfer in this area, with various right-hand point breaks, reefs, and even barrels farther out of town. In recent years, beachgoers and first-time surfers have diluted the die-hard surf population, resulting in a wider selection of hotels and a much fatter queue.
However, do not let this discourage you. Plenty of waves are still available. Surf Point (also known as Main Point) is the main feature, with fast and slow portions that may combine to create beautiful and hollow rides straight into the center of town. At Whiskey Point, the shoreline squirmed it’s way up through coconut trees to the north. The throng thins out at Okanda’s vast and distant point breaks to the south.
The Arugam Bay season is an additional perk to the world-class lineup of breaks in Arugam Bay. The location on the east side of the island implies that the swells function best when the southwest coast is experiencing a monsoon. What’s the bottom line? Due to the town’s consistent surf conditions from coast to coast, Sri Lanka has become a year-round surf destination. Yippee!
Arugam Bay Surf – Where is Arugam Bay?
At the very easternmost tip of India’s Teardrop, you’ll find Arugam Bay. Pottuvil, the island’s east coast entrance, and its renowned white-sand beaches are just 6 kilometers away. The major west-east route that runs across the southern part of the country connects Colombo with this area. The rapid highways and coastal roads that circle Galle and Matara are no exception. That equates to a 6.5-hour driving time from the airport to the city center.
A Guide to Arugam Bay Surfing
Let’s take a trip along the eastern Sri Lankan coast, searching for Arugam Bay’s outstanding surf locations.
Whiskey Point’s wave is so laid-back that the word “mellow” doesn’t quite do it credit. Arugam Bay surf is a beginner’s dream, with gentle rights breaking off a boulder point. Heavy ocean storms may produce swells up to 4 meters high, although these are rare during the main Arugam Bay season. Pop-ups may be done for a long period using chest- or shoulder-high breaks.
If you’ve been searching for pictures of Arugam Bay surf locations on the internet, you’ve undoubtedly seen this wave. It’s a typical regional point break with a potentially lengthy ride of 50-150m coming off boulders. Because of the mixed sand reef near the bottom, most new divers stay at the small point just across the way. It may barrel on windy days, but it can also blow out completely on a calm day.
Arugam Bay’s Lighthouse is the most northerly surfing location, and it’s still on the official list of places to surf. There are ruins of a World War II lighthouse on the beach outside of Komari’s remote town and lagoon (hence the name). It makes up for what it lacks in inconsistency (really, if the stars are not aligned, don’t bother).
When the circumstances are perfect, these pairs of right-handers may be rippable. One has a boulder-sand bottom and is ideal for novices, while the other is better suited to experienced surfers. During the dry season, the sandbanks grow in size, which causes the waves at Lighthouse to get quicker.
Peanut Farm for Arugam Bay Surf
Peanut Farm provides some of the area’s most approachable waves on a long, picturesque beach covered with sea vines and studded with rocks. Don’t let the crowds deter you when surf schools are in full swing from May to August. This is a great spot to learn to surf. What would you call it? A low headland will provide a sand-bottomed beach break. The only problem is that it’s tucked away in a lagoon almost 7 kilometers south of town.
Elephant Rock/Crocodile Rock
Whatever you want to call it, it’s there. This sharp ledge break may be worth searching out. When carrying boards, the walk to the beach takes at least 20 minutes. What’s the benefit? Compared to other Arugam Bay surf locations closer to the city center, right-hand crumblers tend to be deserted. Keep an eye out for crocodiles, of course.
Although Okanda is the farthest away from Arugam Bay town, it is well worth the 23-kilometer trip. There are three different point breakdowns here. There will be not one, not two, but three different point breaks. They serve people of all skill levels, but they focus on upper-intermediate and advanced ranges. Due to the location’s exposure, the waves can handle swells of up to 10 feet with ease. Near the headland, be on the lookout for strong rips.
A Guide to the Arugam Bay Surf Season
From April (sometimes even March) to August
This is Arugam Bay’s peak season. Now that the southwest monsoon has arrived on the other side of the island, it’s time for some sunshine and dry weather. Because of these and other factors, surfers are more likely to go to locations like Okanda and Lighthouse between these two points.
Beware of overcrowding in August due to misunderstandings about Arugam Bay’s short season and specific holiday dates. Locals tend to flee when the mood shifts to one of partying rather than relaxing.
October and November Season for Arugam Bay Surf
While the southeast monsoon may be on its way during these two shoulder months, it’s still a good time to visit Arugam Bay for some surfing. Some of the breaks, such as Okanada, have more pumping days than others. This is because of the seasonal change, which coincides with strong ocean storms. It’s preferable to have fewer people since the partygoers have left and hotel rates have decreased.
December to March
It’s the shoulder season now. However, Arugam Bay surf excursions are not over just yet. However, as the water becomes rougher in December and January, the major breaks and reefs lose their form. It’s a ton of whitewash, so even novices may use it to practice some of the more difficult things. It’s not the best time of year, weather-wise. The sun may shine one day. The next thing to happen maybe weeks of heavy rain. That should have served as a warning, don’t you think?
Arugam Bay Surf Shops
Along Arugam’s broad Main Street and the surrounding sandy beaches, you’ll find many surf shops and schools. Here are a few that have received high praise and are well worth a look.
The Surf City
The Surf City is first and foremost a surf school, then a surf shop. They provide lessons for all levels, from beginners to experts and board rentals of all kinds. However, if you’re in the area and need wax, fins, or other gear, feel free to stop by. Aside from that, you can arrange safaris in the water or on land here, too!
No Worries Surf Shop
Nothing to be concerned about. There are no surfboards for sale or rent at the No Worries Surf Shop. Thus, it’s more of a beach hut. However, this adds to its allure. A fantastic choice to think about if you’re looking for some tutoring or a softie for the day since it’s locally owned and has highly rated courses.
How to get to Arugam Bay for Surfing?
Arriving from Colombo Airport and then traveling by land to Arugam Bay is the most common route. Arugam Bay is on the other side of the country from the capital, so plan accordingly. A few overnight breaks are recommended along the route since the hiking destination of Ella is located in the middle.
A private cab will bring you to Arugam Bay faster and more conveniently if you’re pressed for time. On the other hand, the trip will take 6-8 hours and cost at least $80.
While there are overnight buses from Colombo to Pottuvil (a short tuk-tuk ride from Arugam Bay), we have to say that it’s a challenge to do so with a surfboard.
Surfing in Arugam Bay Pros and Cons
- Beautiful, long, peeling right-handers
- Palm-lined beaches with crystal-clear waters
- There is a nightlife
- It’s possible that it’ll be packed (especially June-August)
- Many negatives at low tides
- Long monsoon season (October-March)
And that’s the end of the ultimate guide to Arugam Bay surf. Plan Your Surf Tour with us
Images by Google – Credit to original owners