May through to October is the “off season” on the south coast of Sri Lanka. There is a steady trade wind that blows from the west day and night for those months. That west is cross shore on the main surf breaks, but is off shore at a couple of secret spots. These waves are great fun and there is nobody really surfing, so you could have it to yourself and your mates.
When I first moved to Sri Lanka, I had no idea about what the surf would be like in the off season. I had visited the island once in the “monsoon season” only to find pumping cross shore winds and big, unruly surf…..with not another surfer in sight.
I paddled out once on that trip. At a break called Lazy Left in Midigama. A reef break that normally caters to beginners and long boarders. The waves were wild and massive, in the 8 foot range, and once I made it to the take off spot it took about 30 seconds for a huge set to clean me up. I bobbed over a smaller bump, saw the set outside, and knew instantly that I was toast. I defiantly tried to duck dive the first one.
After a zesty six or seven wave working, I finally gathered my board and some composure, looked around and realised that I was in deep shit. I had been ripped way down the coast, and was rapidly getting very close to the terrify sets exploding on Rams Reef. It couldn’t have been more than five minutes since I’d left the safety of the beach at Lazy Left, and now I was half a kilometre away wondering how to negotiate the slippery rock/shore dump exit at a different surf spot. With nobody in sight.
I managed to belly ride a monster that feathered in the channel and pushed me closer to the rocky dance floor that was to be my escape to safety. I timed the exit on a lull and managed to get out relatively unscathed. The whole ordeal had lasted no more than 7 minutes.
The swell and the wind didn’t seem to change in intensity or direction, and during the whole two week stay, I didn’t surf again.
But now that I live here, I know this Islands secrets. And that big, wild and windy surf, serves up groomed, offshore conditions everyday at a few secret locations. The waves were absolutely firing this morning. A serendipitous combination of size, swell direction and really good banks lit up the beach break…..with no one else around.
Looking to travel in the “off” season – it is an amazing time to get technical with your surf, we design custom packages depending on your level. Just contact us at Ebb and Flow Jungalows with what is on your wish list!
( Written by Garrath Glass )