The long rights in the south-east of Sri Lanka remained a secret amongst surfers in the ’70s. The scheduled layover on the way to Southeast Asia often lasted weeks or even months as the water was warm, the vegetation tropical, living costs cheap and locals friendly. Only strong winds in SW Monsoon season (Jun-Oct) really interfered... But then conflict between the Tamil Tigers and government troops, which escalated into civil war in 1983, ensured that surfing – as well as tourism and its associated development – was confined to the west and south-west of the island. The region’s full potential wasn’t realised again until after the temporary ceasefire of 2002. But even then there was little peace for Sri Lanka: the Tamil conflict refused to die down, and the catastrophic 2004 tsunami devastated the east and south-east coasts. While much of the damage has since been addressed, the scars are still obvious and Sri Lanka needs visitors more than ever to generate funds for rebuilding. The surf is as good as ever and the local hospitality remains unshaken.
Spots in Arugam Bay
Arugam Bay - The Point