Sri Lanka,

Surfing in Weligama

fish net

I do not remember how but we had received a recommendation to check in at Raja’s Guesthouse in Weligama. It turned out to be a great recommendation. When we arrived I found a detailed and loving illustration over Weligama with the owner Raja standing above all with open arms. It turned out to be a apt illustration of the very sympathetic owner Raja.

The further east from Hikkaduwa we are getting the more deserted the beaches get (which in my book is something positive). There are fewer restaurants, hardly any sun beds, less traffic and just lower tempo in general. Weligama is a good example of that. Here everything is about surfing and the only thing you can find on the beach is surf board rentals and surf schools.

surfers beginners training on the beach

Some beginners are learning the basics of surfing.

Aside from the surfers there are also a bunch of fishermen and fisher boats. I come down on the beach an afternoon just after they have come ashore with their boat. The wave to me to help them drag the boat ashore, some 150 meters further up on the beach. The same way the locals help everyone out they expect to be helped in the same manner, because…well, that is what you do! I like that.

With aching arms I jog over the beach to the first surf shop I can find and book a surf board for 40 minutes (150 Rp = $1). It is merely the third time for me on a surf boards after two failed attempts on Bali and Costa Rica. The waves on Weligama beach are far easier to work with so I do not end up in the “tumbler” (i.e. overthrown by waves) but I do not really get up on my feet on the surf board either.

weligama beginner waves for surfing

Beginner waves in Weligama.

The morning after I do one new attempt on surfing and manage to stand up on the surf board at least once, for a few seconds. I only end up in the Tumbler twice so I am quite happy, albeit quite tired. I upgrade surfing on my list of hobbies from “Nah, I tried that and it is too much work for too little fun” to “Yes, possibly, on the right beach with the right kind of waves”.

Something I consider but never try in Weligama is to follow the fisher men out on one of their daily fishing trips. Partially because we do not plan to say there for more than one day and partially because it does not necessarily seem that much fun to be out for several days on those extremely narrow boats without anyone to really talk to (the fishermen rarely know any English). If you come to Weligama and want to join the fishermen on a trip the best way is to show good will by helping one of their boats out of the water and then ask.


Fisherman and a cow by the road side, weligama.

The fish caught in the morning is sold by the road side in the afternoon, absolutely fresh. The cow is not for sale though 🙂

My recommendation: Weligama is a long, wide and reasonably nice beach. If you come here, come here to surf since the surfing is really good! The village is not super charming but quite nice.

If you come here, try Raja’s guest house and try his home cooked food which is really good and his banana pancakes for breakfast are excellent!

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My name is Christoffer Björkwall and I am a 36 year old guy from Sweden. I have been travelling ever since I was a kid. These are the stories from trips from the past and, of course, trips I am doing now. I love mountains, beaches, wild animals, storms & tornadoes, skiing, scuba diving, adventure sports etc when I travel. I am not equally fond of historical and cultural locations (like churches). I usually keep my trips on a low budget because I rather go on one more trip than on one expensive trip.

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