Not perfect but happy!
On the southcoast of Sri Lanka the time from May to September is officially called offseason. What this means in detail and how the surf conditions look like in these months in the south of the island, we have summarized for you.
Again and again we receive inquiries about the so-called offseason on the southcoast of Sri Lanka: What is the weather like? Is it raining all day? Are there surfable waves at all in the offseason? Are the conditions suitable for me as a beginner in the offseason?
Rumors that it rains continuously between May and September in the southwest of the island and that the ocean does not produce surfable waves are persistent and can be read in many online forums. We ourselves also had our doubts after our first Sri Lanka season and originally planned to close our surf camp in Madiha during the European summer months.
Then when it became summer, no one really wanted to leave the south. It became May, it became June and in the end we had the whole low season open. There were even a few guests in the camp who dared to travel to the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, contrary to all the reports on the net. We all were not disappointed!
In the meantime, the image of the off-season on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast has changed greatly for the better. Thus, one can find numerous blogs and forums on the Internet that deal with the myth of the offseason. They contribute to the fact that interested vacationers get a realistic and differentiated impression. Since we also see a growing interest in an offseason visit, we want to share our impressions and experiences of the last years with you.
For us as enthusiastic surfers and surf instructors, surfing is of course our top priority. Therefore it makes sense to present the reality on site for the different surf levels in more detail:
Surf level 1 to 3 – From first paddle to green wave
If you are a level 1 to level 3 surfer, the low season is the perfect time to visit the south coast: far emptier line-ups than in the high season and gentle waves await you here at the beach breaks.
The spacious bay of Weligama is a very popular surf spot, which is only a few tuk-tuk minutes away from the camp and also runs well in the summer months. The bay offers plenty of opportunities, depending on the wind and wave size, to find the right conditions for first take-offs in white water, green wave launching or practicing parallel riding. The waves are generally bigger in the offseason than in the season. However, the sheltered bay ensures that you can surf pleasant knee- to chest-high waves here.
The most heard feedback of our guests and also our argument for a visit in the offseason is therefore quite clear: Surfing in almost empty line-ups! Because even if you already know how to surf a bit and maybe surf parallel waves, it helps a lot to surf as many waves as possible, especially in the beginning. In fuller line-ups, which you usually share with better surfers, it often happens that you have to pull back. As a result, you end up not surfing as many waves and making less progress.
Still, the offseason has its name not without reason. And even if there are really good reasons for an offseason visit for surfers on level 1 to level 3, it has to be said that due to the two monsoons there are much less reefs running in the offseason. As a result, the overall choice of surf spots is more limited than in high season or during the summer months on the east coast of Sri Lanka.
Nevertheless, among our offseason guests, the return rate in summer is very high and the arguments are unanimous: Empty line-ups, small surf groups, relaxed and fun time at camp!
Small tip: If you are level 1 to level 3 surfer, think beforehand in peace, what you want to experience in your surf vacation and which conditions are best for you personally.
Surf level 4 to 5 – From the first maneuver to the spray
If you are a level 4 to level 5 surfer, you want to improve your maneuvers in the wave and like to explore as many different spots and reefs as possible in the area, then the same applies to you: You can expect emptier line-ups than in the high season – but hardly any surfable reefs in the low season. The selection of surfable reefs is simply very limited due to the two monsoons and not comparable to the variety that awaits you here on the south coast during the winter months of the year. Still, we think it’s wrong to say that you can’t get your money’s worth as a level 4 to level 5 surfer here if you approach the whole thing with a healthy, realistic mindset. There are reefs right in front of our doorstep in Madiha, where you can surf every now and then even in the low season and where then one or two maneuvers per wave are possible.
But it has to be said that especially from this surf level the conditions and waves are much more constant in the high season and especially the choice of good running spots at the reefs is much more diverse. A clear argument here, as with the lower surf levels, is that the beaches and line-ups are emptier and more relaxed and the pace of the entire island region is a bit more leisurely.
Small tip: If you are experienced enough to push yourself at the peak and have no problem with many people in the line-up, you will get your money’s worth at this time of year on the east coast. If you still prefer to visit us on the south coast and appreciate the benefits of empty line-ups, you are more than welcome!
What else you can experience in Sri Lanka
There are supposed to be people who have other interests besides surfing, such as culture, country and people (we heard about it, anyway…).
Also at this point we can give the all-clear! More and more restaurants, museums and sights are open in the off-season, because for some time now more and more tourists have been coming to the region in the summer.
The infrastructure is also unimpressed by the offseason. There are numerous buses and trains that will always take you to the right destination – as long as you read the bus schedule correctly.
The chances of spotting shy animal species on a trip to the nearby national parks or on an inland tour are also favorable in the off-season. Because then there are not quite so many visitors on the road at the same time.
Oh, what are we talking about – just come and experience it for yourself!
P.S.: The water in the Indian Ocean is warm all year round. And the sunburn risk beckons you cheerfully every day even in the offseason. Because mostly it rains in the evening or in the early morning hours short and heavy. So no matter when you come to Sri Lanka: Don’t forget sunscreen (SPF 50+) and surf lycra!