Sri Lanka is home to a wealth of destinations that would attract kite surfers from across the globe and in turn, provide a perfect springboard into this water sport for novices keen to come to terms with the ‘ins and outs’ of such a popular activity. During the course of this article, the reader will be taken through the fundamentals of preparing for a kite surfing holiday in the Emerald Isle.
Why Sri Lanka?
Perhaps, the more appropriate question to pose will be “Why not?” given that the island nation plays host to tropical weather coupled with a collection of charming beaches and inviting lagoons where one might apply one’s trade in the fine art of kite surfing. On top of the calm waters and steady wind conditions that you will have access to, the wide spectrum of areas that dot the country mean that even beginners can give themselves every opportunity to fine-tune individual skill sets and have one outstanding time. Moreover, when you’re not on your kite surfboard, you can take time to explore every nook and cranny there is to Sri Lanka, beginning from the coast and leading up high into the mountains and the very heart of its famed Cultural Triangle.
When is kite surfing season in Sri Lanka?
The height of the local kite surfing season runs through May to October where vacationers will have the very best of the outdoors to contend with. In this light, wind patterns will tend to be far more consistent and reliable which would help first-timers a great deal. Generally speaking, one can look forward to enjoying winds ranging between 18 to 30 knots during the mentioned period. Alternatively, if you arrive in the nation from December to March, you will be well placed to enjoy the thrills and spills of kite surfing, even though the winds will be lesser and perhaps, easier to manage. Worthy of mention is that the winds during this time of year hover between the 14 to 20-knot mark.
Choose your destination or include a handful of areas in your bucket list
Regardless of where your travels lead you, it is mandatory to zone in on the ‘Mecca’ of Sri Lanka’s kite surfing scene which is in Kalpitiya and specifically, the Kalpitiya Lagoon. Perfect for beginners as well as skilled practitioners, the region is scattered with numerous kite surfing schools to take advantage of whose guides will ensure that you have plenty of reason to smile about no sooner you head out and begin learning the odd trick or two. In terms of advice, the Lagoon waters are known to contain sharp shells and thus, you will need to have on proper water shoes so that you do not run the risk of injury. In complete contrast to the popularity and attention of Kalpitiya is the lesser-known Ippantivu Island which can be reached via a 30-minute boat ride from the former. Although, understand that the winds can be extremely potent, particularly within the ocean extending between the Island and Dutch Bay. Should you have a soft spot for riding waves, then waste no time in getting yourself over to Donkey Point which is nestled 10km south of Kalpitiya. Accessible via a motorised vehicle of your choice, Donkey Point will complement those kite surfers who possess an abundance of knowledge of having navigated some of the finest kite surfing regions in the world. The various beaches that cover Sri Lanka’s southern coastal belt cannot be excluded from the conversation either with towns in the likes of Ahangama, Matara and Tangalle appearing worthy of your attention. Arrive from January to April and ready yourself for an experience that will be quite the far cry from being in areas such as Kalpitiya as you will not have to deal with consistent gusts. Ideally, in the event you see yourself residing at a luxury property like The Fortress Resort & Spa which is ranked among top-notch Galle hotels, then you can go ahead and include a visit to some of the above regions as part of a day trip, armed with your trusty kite surfboard and a will to succeed!