The East Coast season is marked by the end of the North East monsoon in the months leading up to May and lasts till October. In this 6 month period, as the ocean ebbs and flows to its rhythm, the swell from the south and south-east starts shifting sand, beginning the process of reshaping headlands and sand bars for the perfect set up.
Top Tip : As a result of this shifting formation, we think the very best months for surf in A'bay are July, August and September as many more of the breaks are working then.
Wind on the east coast (during these months) almost always swing on-shore after 12 noon and then disappears just before sundown.
Top tip : To escape these conditions, morning surf is advisable. Else, consider the protection Elephant Rock and Pottuvil Point (details below) provide from these winds.
Tuk-tuks and surf lessons can easily be arranged upon request. Please ask at reception or the Hideaway Blue Cafe.
Surf boards are available for hire and sale, and can be found at the Hideaway Blue Cafe located at the front of the property.
In the Bay
Surf : Arugambay's Main Point is known for its sweeping (400m - 600m) right hand point break; the headland is oriented perfectly to receive the South-South-East swell and holds best between 3ft - 8ft. As the wave is situated at the top of this head land there is no protection from any cross winds during the season.
Level : Recommended for intermediate to advanced surfers, this wave can get pretty gnarly on low tide and big swells; keep in mind the reef it rolls over!
What else : This is the spot where Sri Lanka's only international surf competition is held. It's only a 5 minute walk from Hideaway.
Crowds and refreshments: Can get crowded. Food and drink available at Upali’s Beach Surf Cafe.
Surf : Baby Point works from July onwards and is technically the continuation of the wave from Main Point. As the wave folds around the headland, it runs into the bay, parallel to the beach. Once the beach has fully formed and all rock and reef has been covered up by sand, Baby Point is at its peak; between 2ft – 4ft
Level : A great setup for beginners and long boarders - leisurely waves and sandy bottoms.
What else : A 2 minute walk from Hideaway.
Crowds and refreshments : Varied crowds; remember that this is the main beach of the bay, though, so there are more than just surfers out here on busy days. Food and drink is plentiful.
North of Arugam Bay
Surf : Pottuvil Point is arguably one of the best right hand waves on the island when it works (August & September). Score an 800 metre long ride and expect the wave to change multiple times - heavy take offs into a hollow section, followed by a mellow ride into the bay before it walls up to the sand; between 3ft - 6ft
Level : All levels can enjoy a ride here as a result of multiple take off locations. The inside section can be gentle and is sandy.
What else : 15 minute tuk-tuk ride through the town of Pottuvil; scenic.
Crowds and refreshments : Less crowded. No shade or food and drink available – travel prepared.
Surf : Waves are guaranteed all season long at Whiskey point because of its unique setup, The sweet spot just to the side of the rocks is an easy place to sit - one doesn't require much effort to get onto a wave when positioned correctly. The right hand wave is not so technical and tends to be fat and slow; between 2ft – 6ft
Level : Great for learners and a preferred spot for surf lessons. Also if you are just getting back into the water after awhile and need to regain confidence.
What else : 20 minute tuk-tuk ride through farmland and villages.
Crowds and refreshments : Can get crowded. There is a restaurant, Sababa, with music, food and refreshments which makes this a popular beach.
South of Arugam Bay
Surf : Elephant Rock can be very technical when it’s working. The right hand wave breaks just off the rocks and often sucks into a barrel. On the outside, however, the wave mellows out as it opens into the bay. Only a deep take off presents any danger; otherwise mostly sandy and cruisy; between 2ft – 6ft.
Level : This spot is another favourite for beginners and surf schools as a result of the sandy bar and the shallow waters from which to assist. More advanced surfers will certainly enjoy the deeper, more technical drop into this wave.
What else : 10 minutes by tuk-tuk through farm land and jungle. Scenic; a sunset spot.
Crowds and refreshments : Less crowded. Minimal shade and no food and drink – travel prepared.
Surf : There are two breaks here as a result of two head lands made up of rocks and carefully moulded sand. They can loosely be referred to as Main Point and Baby Point of Peanut Farm - Main Point being a highly technical right-hand wave that requires negotiating a steep, fast take off in front of rocks, often barrelling; between 3ft – 6ft
Baby Point is technically the continuation of the earlier wave and is a little mellower at this point. Sandy bottom and a slower wave; between 2ft – 4 ft
If you are lucky enough to surf Peanut Farm on a day that both of these points connect, pack your bags and go home, it won’t get any better than this!
Level : All levels. Main Point is set up for more advanced surfers; Baby Point is a popular break for beginners.
What else : 15 minute tuk-tuk ride through farmland and jungle; Scenic.
Crowds and refreshments : Varied crowds. Plenty of shade, food and drink available.
Surf : The very last (legal) surf spot on the east coast provides two options. The main (southern) wave is technical and wild as it is exposed entirely. A gradual rock off to the side creates a suction of water from which a steep, fast right hand wave is created. The water stands tall and maintains its strength all the way to the sand, barrelling occasionally; between 3ft – 6ft.
The orientation of large rocks to the north provide some protection from direct swell and create a shallow, sandy bay where long, mellow waves form; Between 2ft – 4ft
Level : All levels. The main break should be approached with caution.
What else : 45 minute tuk-tuk through jungle. Scenic.
Crowds and refreshments : Remote and therefore is less crowded. No shade, minimal food and drink – travel prepared.
If you are a surfer and would like to work with a professional to create beautiful images and capture those memories of yourself having fun in the surf, then you can book Yanik Tissera and his camera gear for a session! A range of options provide you with the opportunity to be photographed surfing, from the water and the beach.
All surf images on this website is the work of Yanik Tissera, a surf and travel photographer who has had years of experience in Australia and Sri Lanka. Yanik, an avid surfer himself, has been working consistently on Sri Lankan surf imagery over the last couple of years.
Yanik himself can usually be found at the Hideaway Blue Cafe pouring those delicious coffees.