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Sri Lanka. Land of the mellow longboard wave. | Photography by Tara Shirley-Beaven


 

The big attraction of surfing this south coast of Sri Lanka is the sheer variety of breaks within a 30-40 minute drive. From lazy longboarding waves to rolling, crumbling beginner waves – all the way to fat A-frames and hollow, shallow reefs – southern Sri Lanka has it all. It’s great for learning, it’s great for improving and there’s enough to keep expert surfers happy too. It’s consistent, the water’s warm, and the wind allows you at least 2 sessions a day, most days.

 

Our soul of surfing programme is designed to pass on our love of all things ocean to you. From wave-riding on all kinds of craft (focused for your level, be that beginner, improver, intermediate or beyond) to ocean awareness and activism, to blue health and how the ocean is good for the soul. Way more than your usual ‘pop-up-on-a-foamboard’ Sri Lanka surf school. Keep scrolling for full details.

Sri Lanka Surf Lessons

Soul & Surf Sri Lanka is a perfect destination for all surfers. From beginners and improvers to the more advanced, there is a wave to help you develop your surfing and have fun. Whether it is your first surf or you are a seasoned ol’ sea dog, we have tailored surf sessions for all levels. Our instructors can be as hands on or off as you like; we can hold your hand through each wave if you need us to, or we can hide in the shadows of the wave, giving you tips and pointers where necessary.

Our lessons are designed for all abilities but if they are not for you - and you can safely look after yourself - that’s fine with us. You can opt out of the lessons and make the most of our surf guide service, where we’ll get you in the sea safely, point you in the right direction and be there if you need us.

The surf here and our set-up is suitable for beginners all year long. Improvers through experts have more options available to surf from November to April.

The warm, warm water of south Sri Lanka.


A Luxury Surf Camp?

We tend to avoid using the term surf camp, because the surf, yoga, dining and holistic experience we offer is worlds apart from the standard  surf camp offering.

A typical surf camp experience would involve simple accommodation, basic catering and is generally aimed at the budget end of the market. We work hard to focus on everything that’s missing at a basic surf camp and consider the whole experience. So some customers have begun referring to us as a luxury surf camp, and that’s a term we are feeling a little more comfortable with.


Surfing in Sri Lanka

Instructors & Surf Team

Our wonderful surf team of internationally qualified surf instructors and lifeguards, are dedicated to facilitating your improvement. We keep the instructor to pupil ratio high to give you the individual attention you need and tailor the week’s lesson plans to each student’s requirements. And we then supplement that with theory lessons and a video correction feedback session to make sure that each student develops and progresses throughout the week depending on experience, ambition and natural ability.


Sri Lanka Surf Conditions

High Season | November – April

From November to April the wind is either off-shore or non-existent most mornings and although there are many days when the on-shores pick up at around 10 or 11am the wind usually drops off at sunset. But if you take a gamble and the wind stays off-shore you can score the best, emptiest waves in the middle of the day. We’re not going to lie and lure you in with promises of no crowds. There are crowds. The main spots can get pretty busy at peak times. But still we have fun.

Low Season | May – October

Beginning in May through to October we still see white water rolling in to a handful of protected sandy beaches - which of course makes it great for beginners all year round. But this is the time when the surf guides (for surfers of intermediate level and above) become more interesting and we turn into explorers! This low season can be a bit wetter, wilder and windier so we take a gamble and seek out the sheltered spots where the pay-off can be empty waves to ourselves. It won’t be easy though, it can be a tough paddle and a lot of duck diving.


Sundowner Sessions

Our afternoon ‘free surfs’ are an extension of our morning lessons and are the perfect opportunity for you to practice what you’ve learnt and to continue to develop your skills, or simply just bob about and watch the sunset. Our instructors and assistants will be on hand, in the water, surfing alongside you, to keep you afloat and keep you stoked.


Skill Levels

Our lessons break down to 4 different levels of surfer; the level 1 surfer that is looking to catch their first waves, the level 2 surfer that is looking to explore unbroken waves for the first time, the level 3 surfer that is looking to improve on their basic manoeuvres, and the level 4 surfer who has a lot of experience and is looking to put themselves into more challenging waves, or is finding themselves a little stuck or frustrated.

Click the Read More to dive deeper into our level 1-4 lessons and how they can benefit you. Check our surf prices here.


Read More

Skill Levels

Level 1 – Beginner

A complete beginner or someone that has surfed a few times but is still catching unbroken waves.

What will you learn?
  • The absolute basics in a fun, safe and encouraging environment.
  • Safety on the beach and in the white water, how to handle your board and how to negotiate your way through breaking waves.
  • We’ll introduce you to your equipment and explain the basics of a surfboard and what that means to you as a surfer.
  • How to catch forgiving waves and how to understand the basics of controlling a surfboard whilst laying on your belly in the prone position.
  • The techniques to get to your feet and how to maintain stability and build on consistency.
  • Basic manoeuvres in the white water such as speed and control as well as turning right and left on a wave.

Your success will come from your willingness to learn new things and not being afraid to fall.

Theory Sessions

As part of your level one coaching we will run theory sessions on location at the beach, in the hotel as well as in the pool.

  • Currents / rips how to deal with them
  • Different types of waves
  • Swell generation
  • Onshore vs off shore
  • Right vs left
  • Surf etiquette
  • Terminology and radical surfer talk!

Level 2 – Improver

You’ll be an improver or a low-end intermediate, someone that has had some lessons, is catching white water waves on a regular basis and can perform basic turns left and right. You will also show that you can surf in a safe manner.

You may have even caught a couple of unbroken waves and are experienced trimming down the wave.

What will you learn?
  • Advanced safety, specific to the spots we surf as well as the waves that you may surf at home.
  • We will get specific about your stance, your body position and how it will affect your rides.
  • We will work with you to improve your Pop-Up technique.
  • You will improve the efficiency and techniques paddle strokes enabling you to build on your endurance as well as explosiveness.
  • You will learn how to negotiate the inside breaking waves and how to paddle out to unbroken waves.
  • You will learn the difference between white water waves and unbroken waves and learn how to catch a wave before it breaks.
  • You will understand the difference between forehand and backhand or frontside and backside as well as understanding the basics of trimming along a wave.
  • We will use video feedback sessions to help you take your surfing to the next level - looking at and analysing your surfing. Video analysis is the best way to see your surfing, to look at the positives and to see how to correct any mistakes and improve on techniques.
Theory sessions

As part of your level two coaching we will run theory sessions on location at the beach, in the hotel as well as in the pool.

  • Priority & line ups
  • How to get through waves using a turtle roll
  • The difference between a white water (broken wave) and unbroken wave
  • Wave forecasting
  • Surfboards and different forms of surfing

Level 3 – High Intermediate

You will be a high-end intermediate surfer, proficient in the water, able to paddle through waves unassisted and able to negotiate your way around a line up. You will be able to catch head-high waves and can trim left and right on a variety of different waves.

What will you learn?
  • We will search the coast for the best waves of the day and work with you to understand new, more challenging surf spots.
  • We will help you to maximise your wave count and learn how to find the fastest trimming line as well as what type of manoeuvres to perform and when.
  • We will work with you through video analysis sessions to help improve techniques, body positions, position on the wave, carving turns cutbacks and floaters.
Theory sessions

As part of your level three coaching we will run theory sessions on location at the beach, in the hotel as well as in the pool.

  • Improving and speeding up your pop-up to make more critical drops
  • Duck diving
  • ‘Spot X’ - the best place on any given wave for a surfer to take off
  • Wave forecasting
  • Surfboards and different forms of surfing

Level 4 – Advanced

Advanced shredder, better than us! But we’re not just talking short boarders here, we have a passion for all surf craft.

Our level 4 lessons are aimed at the surfer who has a lot of surfing experience but may be a little stuck or frustrated. The surfer will be able to perform in a variety of conditions including some very challenging or less than perfect waves. You should be comfortable surfing a variety of different beach breaks, river mouths, points and reef breaks. The level 4 surfer will be able to do more than just trim along a wave, you’ll be able to control your speed staying in the pocket when needed and speeding through section if required, linking turns and manoeuvres.

What will you learn?
  • We will search the coast for the best waves of the day and work with you to understand the most challenging surf spots for the day's conditions.
  • We want to take you out of your surfing comfort zone to break down and work on specific manoeuvres.
  • Using video analysis, we will work with you to break down each wave, seeing where speed can be managed, manoeuvres linked and turns executed in more critical parts of the wave.
  • We will work with you in taking this new knowledge from the video feedback sessions and applying it to your next surf.
  • We will look at the functionality and style within your surfing. It’s one thing to be able to do a cut back but to make it look good is a different matter!

Our aim with you is to push your surf and open up new possibilities - giving you the tools you need to continue your progression.

Theory sessions

As part of your level 4 coaching we will run theory sessions on location at the beach, in the hotel as well as in the pool.

  • Improving and speeding up your pop-up to make more critical drops
  • Duck diving
  • ‘Spot X’ the best place on any given wave for a surfer to take off.
  • Wave forecasting
  • Surfboards and different forms of surfing

You must be able to swim as a basic requirement to attend our lessons.


Read Less

Our soul of surfing programme is designed to pass on our love of all things ocean to you.

 

Surf Equipment & Preparing For Your Trip

Equipment Available

We have a full stock of boards at your disposal throughout your stay. We’ve got everything from performance shortboards to fun boards, mini-mals, longboards and a good range of beginners foam boards so that whatever your level and however you progress we’ve got the right board for you and the conditions.

We’ve also got all the other stuff you need too - from leashes to wax. Plus we’ll give each of you a Soul & Surf rash vest for your lessons so there is pretty much nothing to bring except for surf/swimwear and water-proof sunscreen. Unless of course you have a favourite board that you just cannot live without (we’re with you on that one).


Before You Arrive

Of course you can simply dash out of work on a Friday night, hop on a plane and be with us by Saturday. But if you can start some preparations before you leave you will really feel the benefit. Here are a few things to get you going before you get to us, particularly if you are not a regular surfer - and you might want to check out resident yogi and surfer Rach's journal post on 'getting surf fit' too.

PREPARATION
Watch as much surfing footage as possible, get familiar with how it looks to ride waves 
Look for different types of waves and how different surf spots attract different styles of surfing 
Do 10-20 press ups a day for a month before you come 
Go swimming and set yourself targets which are reachable in terms of endurance in the water 
If you have never surfed before try bodysurfing in the sea 
Try skateboarding if you can, longboards and/or carve boards 
Try to build core strength muscles - work ALL muscle groups in the core 
Hold your breath in the bath or at the pool, time yourself and try to extend 
But honestly - the best preparation for surfing, is surfing 

*Please note, none of this is medical advice, consult your doctor to be sure.

 


Kids Surf Lessons

Safety and professionalism are the cornerstones of surf coaching at Soul & Surf. This is even more true when working with kids, we cannot ask our instructors to go beyond what their qualifications and governing bodies advise them to. Here are our guidelines on what surf lessons might be available for your kids:

  • Under 6 — we cannot accept on surf guides or lessons. 
  • From 6 to 12 — lessons are available if you can demonstrate your child’s swimming ability. Please note however that we require one parent or guardian to be in the water supervising each child at all times, since our instructors will have other guests to attend to. The guardian can not join the same lesson while they are supervising the child. 
  • From 12 – 16 — lessons are available with a parent or guardian supervising at the same beach. The guardian may join the same lesson if they wish.
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There is a wave and a lesson here for you, whatever your experience.


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