If surfing is on your agenda Lion’s Rest is ideally located. We’re right on a beach, halfway between the cities of Galle and Matara This 40km stretch of coastline has an array of surf breaks for all levels, offering excellent reef-breaks and beach-breaks.
Lion’s Rest has one of the best performing reef-breaks, ”Coconuts”, directly in front of the hotel, with another great wave, “Plantation Point”, just 100m walk along the beach. Many nearby surf spots are only a short tuk-tuk ride away including “Lazy Left”, “Rams” and “Weligama Bay Beach Break”. Although Weligama is not a favoured place to stay anymore because of the crowds, we have found some quieter spots to surf on the bay. We have two tuk-tuks at Lion’s Rest to take you around and mopeds with board-racks are also available to rent. There are some sweet secret surf-spots around that we can show you, but we like to keep these quiet of course!
Sri Lanka’s South Coast Surf Season
The traditional surf season on the southern coast is early November through to the end of April. From May through to October is described as the low season, mainly because onshore winds mean the surf is a lot less predictable. But there are still waves to be had and, because of the lack of surfers during the low season, it’s actually a good time to visit as a beginner.
The shoulder seasons (October/November and April/May, just before and after the monsoons) have, in recent years, been the best combination of swell and good wind direction, producing some excellent surf with far fewer surfers around. The Magic Seaweed App is always a good reference for the swell forecast.
Water temperatures are pretty consistent at 27º-29º, so you can surf in board-shorts the whole season long. The water quality is usually good except during storms when the river waters wash out into the ocean and can become murky close to the river mouths. This doesn't affect the breaks close to Lion’s Rest.
What Do I Bring ?
If your bringing you own board, bring some tropical surf wax (it's pricey in Sri Lanka), some decent sun protection, a rash vest, surf hat and of course some high protection sun cream/zinc - the sun if you're daytime surfing can be extreme. Reef boots are a good idea, especially for the shallower reef breaks like Mirissa
Here are a few local breaks. Of course we don’t want to describe our secret local spots but we'll put you in the know when you arrive!
Our home break works in 2 sections: a left-hander and an A frame in the mid section that produce long right and left rides. It works on both high and low tide, depending on swell size, and is deep enough on the peak to not worry about touching the bottom.
A right-hand reef-break that gets more crowded than Coconuts and is popular with intermediate surfers.
A shallow, fast reef-break with a little barrel section. This wave is a difficult wave to navigate and often quiet due to it’s difficulty in big swell . Lazy Left: A long left that gets busy in peak season as it seems to be favoured by surfers progressing from the beach-breaks to a reef. There is also a right-hander, “Lazy Right”. It's a further paddle out to the right so it tends to be less busy.
Weligama Beach Break
A Mecca for beginners with surf schools spread along its wide beach. Easy waves with not too much power breaking on a sandy bottom make this an easy wave to begin on. When the swells are bigger the sand bars create some fine long rides. Away from all the hotels in the centre of the beach there are some quieter spots.
A pretty location on the headland on the right side of Mirissa Bay. Good for Intermediate surfers. If there are strong cross-winds it can still work well, as it’s sheltered by the headland. The only downside is that there are sea urchins on the inside reef, so care and booties are needed on the way in and out. Kabalana: A good beginners beach-break with plenty of white water that can dump sometimes, with big swells on lower tides.
At the west end of Kabalana beach is an A-frame known as “The Rock”. Good power, lefts and rights, and rides of up to 300m means that when it’s on, it’s crowded.
At Lion’s Rest we have our ISA (International Surfing Association) certified coach Lucky who is a prominent face around Lion's Rest, Lucky is a village local and one of only a handful of Sri Lankan's who are ISA certified. Lucky's local knowledge is invaluable when it comes to finding a secret spot for some 1 on 1 guiding and his group lessons and 1 on 1 lessons will be a great introduction to the great sport of surfing and intermediates who are looking to progress their surfing onto the reef breaks his coaching will do that in not too many sessions.
Our group beginner/intermediate lessons take place in the mornings and late afternoons when the wind is at its best. In a small intimate group of no more than 4 persons our coach will take you to a suitable break and give you 90 minutes of tuition with sand instruction and of course safety. They will take you into the water with the confidence and knowledge to progress in this addictively great sport.
One-on-one lessons are also offered should you wish to progress your surfing and move up to the reefs, where you will learn more, including wave selection and turns.For those of you and can surf and are just wanting some guidance & advice on the local breaks and depending on the conditions where to surf on any specific day Lucky is always at hand to pass on his expert knowledge of the area. He is also happy to show you around the breaks and advise you where to paddle in and out etc... PRICES Group surf lessons, including board rental (90 minutes) $20 USD One-on-one surf lesson (90 minutes) $35 USD Lessons and guiding can be booked as extras at the time of booking your stay online with us Surfboard Rental We have a wide range of boards available to rent including some decent longboards. If we cannot meet your requirements there is a surf shop available nearby that will. Also we get a lot of requests about SUP (stand up paddle) board rental although we have none available for rental there is a local company we can refer you too just drop us a line and we will send you the prices and details.
Hourly surfboard rental rates $3 USD Daily $12 USD