Looking for a surfing holiday with the kids? Sri Lanka offers some of the best surfing spots in the world. With palm-fringed beaches and clear blue waters, the island is perfect for families who want to catch some waves. When planning your family surf holiday, it’s important to choose the right surf spot. Here are some of the best places to surf with kids on your Sri Lankan holiday, whether you’re heading to the south or the east coast.
We travelled to Sri Lanka from December to February and tried out the surf on most of the beaches on the south coast, when I say we I don’t mean we…I mean everyone but me. I mainly monitored the bags, on the sun lounger with a coconut but enough about me…
Where to surf on the south coast
When planning your trip, keep in mind that the best season for surfing on the south coast is from October to April.
Weligama- the beginner surf waves
We based ourselves in Weligama for our first month. We wanted the kids to be up on a board and confident in the water asap. Weligama is the perfect stop for those who want to experience some serious surfing action but at a much more accessible level. The waves are long and consistent, and the sea is nice and warm. Plus, if you wipe out, the sandy bottom will cushion your fall – it’s like having your own personal safety net. It can get busy but there is more than enough room for everyone in the huge bay. It isn’t the most beautiful of Sri Lanka beaches, more of a brown sea then amazing blue but that’s because of the amazing waves it provides.
There are loads of reasonably-priced surf schools along the palm-lined bay, and head down and talk to a few. There are many recommendations out there but we feel it’s always good to share the wealth so went with the small surf school next to the big fancy one! We chose Blue Wave for the kid’s instruction and for around Rs3000 – 4000 per person you can get a 90-minute lesson and become a surfing pro in no time.
The instructor was as patient as a saint, taking the kids through the basics of surfing on the sand, whilst they didn’t listen, before hit the waves. Each kids had their own instructor for the lesson.
Surfing in Hirekitiya for kids
Hirekitiya is a little bit of a hidden gem. It’s definitely becoming a more popular stop but at the moment it is the place to be if you are a bit cool, like us, and want to hang out with a chilled vibe, also us but we will be bringing the kids along too and they have a vibe all of their own!
By the time we reached Hirekitiya the kids felt they were nearing Kelly Slater ability of surfing so no longer needed lessons. But here comes the dad tip. Pay for the lesson! Paying someone to drag the kids board back out into the waves, making sure they catch a good wave and doing that on repeat for one whole hour is worth the 3000 rp!
Having also sampled the sunbeds on this beach, I definitely preferred it to Weligama for the overall vibe of the place.
Surfing in Hikkaduwa for kids
The conditions here are not as good as the previous two beaches but still not a bad place to learn to surf. The bonus here is that its not far from the airport and has almost everything you need should you wish to hang out there. Head past the coral garden and turtle point to find the best beginner waves at the north end of Navrigama beach.
The best bit about the south coast of Sri Lanka is how accessible each beach is. Hop in a tuktuk or take the coastal road bus (also known as a death wish but fun) and you can find yourself at a different beach offering a different view, wave and vibe.
Where to surf on the East Coast
Remember that the best season for surfing on the east coast is from April to late September, when the sea is calm and the weather is at its best.
Top tips for surfing with kids in Sri Lanka
- Suncream can be expensive, stock up before you go. Use a high factor stick or zinc for the kids faces when out in the sea all day
- Rash vests. The majority of surf schools will have rash vests for you to borrow. We always have one for the kids because it eases the pain of trying to apply suncream to all of their bodies.
- Have a lesson first and start with a foam board for an easier first time experience.
- Chaffing! Nobody likes chaffing, but it was common with our kids. We used a barrier cream before they heading into the water to prevent rubbing and rashes.
- Always ask about the currents and the rips at each beach you go to. The guys at the beach are a great source of information. And on that note, check the tide times, you don’t want to turn up to flat waves and then spend the day hanging with mum on the sun lounger.
Sri Lanka is an amazing destination for family travel and adventure also the surfing options are just one of those many reasons. Want to know about our trip? Feel free to drop us a message or take a look at our other posts- Sri Lanka food and best beaches for families.
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