Kite-Surfing in Sri Lanka

Sail across the rippling blues, powered by crisp, cool punches of ocean breeze.

Caught between a choice of watersports and air-based adventure rides? Opt for a little bit of both. An action sport quite popular in the tropical coasts of Sri Lanka, kite-surfing draws on one’s skills of surf and balance, where one is hooked up to a power kite, which can be controlled by learned navigation, weight optimization and surfing skills, preferably slightly more adept than amateur to survive in rough conditions. A fascinating concept created purely to offer the adventurist the best of both worlds, through air and on sea.

We’ve gone ahead and done a bit of research for you. With the extreme sport being one of the highlights Down South, most of the entities and travel bodies which facilitate the service are located predominantly in and around Kalpitiya, a city known as the watersports central in Sri Lanka and are scattered along coastal stretches. Some of them include ‘Kitesurfing Lanka’, ‘Surf South Sri Lanka’, ‘Sri Lanka Kite’, ‘Kite Center Sri’ and ‘De Silva Wind Resort Kalpitiya’.

Some of these entities are dedicated exclusively to kite-surfing and with them you may find thorough, detailed expertise on the do’s and don’t’s of kite-surfing whereas others may combine kite-surfing with other adventure and action sports they offer which may further convenience your search for more to-dos to keep you on your toes. Should a qualification in extreme sports be what you’re after, whole schools dedicated to kite-surfing lessons are what you need: make your choice from entities the likes of ‘Alankuda Kite School Kalpitiya’ and ‘Kitesurfing Lanka’.

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Interesting Facts

  • Certain styles of kite-surfing may require locations with certain natural features; for example, settings known for wave breaks would be ideal for wave-riding, flatwater for wakestyle and wakeskate whilst shorter lines and smaller kites are used in stronger wind for the best jumps or airstyle. For the surf veteran well-versed in different styles of kite-surfing, certain facilitators may offer settings with multiple natural conditions. ‘Kitesurfing Lanka’ is one such entity, facilitating kite-surf in the Kalpitiya Lagoon for freestyle and the Puttalam Lagoon for going downwind.
  • The type of kite-surf performed will also depend on the type of surfboard. With the general and basic style of kite-surfing being free-riding, most boards are designed for this whilst a directional board with enough flotation and turning features is ideal for waveriding, a wake-style board with bindings for wakestyle, twintip boards for jumping and special purpose directional race boards for course racing.
  • Entities may facilitate kite-surfing either exclusively in one location or more than one. ‘Kitesurfing Lanka’ caps on 6 spots; the Kalpitiya Lagoon, the ‘Magic Spot’ (Vella Island), the ‘Donkey Spot’ (located 300 metres from ‘Magic Spot’), the Puttalam Lagoon, the Kappalady Lagoon and the ‘Dream Spot’ (15 minutes away from the Kalpitiya Lagoon by boat).
  • The time of year in which one kite-surfs additionally plays an integral role in the experience. The months from May to October bring with it wind averages of around 20 knots, with which one can best experience the flatwater, waves and the lagoon, whilst from December to March, the afternoon winds are more colder. The latter period may also provide an opportunity to witness the mammals of the sea, the dolphins, in their natural habitat.
  • All or most of the kite-surf facilitators are equipped with a Kite Shop or an extensive range of equipment essential for kite-surfing, providing one with kites, harnesses, accessories, swimsuits, sun-creams, sunglasses and a choice of one or more surf-boards. A kite-repair facility may additionally be made available.
  • Certain Kitesurfing schools carry the endorsement of internationally recognized or well-versed entities in kitesurfing education, guaranteeing a sound training in skill development. The ‘Alankuda Kite School Kalpitiya’ programme is delivered by a panel of instructors who are certified by the ‘International Kiteboarding Organisation’ (IKO), one of the world’s leading kiteboarding bodies.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • Certain kitesurfing schools may be operated by hotels and one may only gain access to them by staying at the respective hotel during a set period of time for set rates.
  • Certain entities conduct the lessons in a number of languages such as English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian and Sinhalese, opening its doors to a wide number of participants.
  • The lessons may be offered either as a standalone package or coupled with a stay at the host hotel or with other facilities, tailored to suit one’s budgetary needs, capacities and preferences.
  • The entities or instructors certified by the ‘International Kiteboarding Organisation’ may provide ‘IKO Kiteboarder Cards’ to the students upon completion of the training, enabling them to rent kitesurfing gear from any part of the world.
  • One-on-one private kitesurf training may additionally be made available.
  • The lessons may be charged per hour and may consist overall of around 4 to 6 hours per day or even more. The more lessons completed a day, the less costly the rates may be. The lessons conducted by certain entities may include the rental charges for the equipment and transport.
  • Ensure that the entity that one opts for classes from has notable repute or is recognized for their expertise, for an inaccurate education may result in irrevocable harm in the seas.
  • Should you wish for something with more of a vacation feel, opt for a kitesurfing sail cruise which may span a couple of days (offered by ‘Surf South Sri Lanka’, for example) or a kite trip (‘Kitesurfing Lanka’), covering an extensive amount of sea in a set period with lodging and accommodation set up on a ship as your base.
  • Equip yourself with knowledge of the seas, courtesy of a well-versed local or a professional kite-surfer, before you venture into them; you may learn about certain parts of the sea which may prove particularly dangerous at a given or any time and rocky ledges or harmful features you may have to look out for.
  • ‘Sri Lanka’ offers the facility of a 2-way Bluetooth intercom speaker so that students and instructors have a direct mode of communication even while on the seas.
  • Up your kite-surfing experience: take part in hydrofoil kitesurfing. Kiteboard above the water in complete silence which lets you immerse in the sounds all around you, including the water breaks and sail upwind. ‘Sri Lanka’ facilitates lessons just for this, delivered by IKO certified instructors.
  • ‘De Silva Wind Resort’ facilitates kite surf courses for children (minimum age is 12 years) and adults and allocates a maximum of 2 students per instructor to increase attention to detail and intensive training.
  • The training at ‘De Silva Wind Resort’ is conducted with the latest equipment by ‘Duotone’, the global name in kiteboarding and windsurfing equipment, which caters its high quality products to increase efficiency and ease on the waters.
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