An untouched windsurfing paradise squashed between India and the Equator is where Max 'BR' Brinnich decided to spend his summer this year. Heading back for the second time in a row, we knew this was the perfect opportunity to learn yet more still about this relatively unknown flat-water gem.
Enjoy the read as we hand over to BR, the founder of BR Fins, for his top tips and advice on Sri Lanka. Be sure not to miss the video we posted last week, you'll also find it below, just keep on scrolling.
Over to BR...
If windsurfing in small crowded lagoons is not turning you on any more and searching for something new and fresh with guaranteed wind is what you are after then Sri Lanka could well be the place for you. After going to the regular and hugely popular summer freestyle spots in Fuerteventura and the Greek Islands, I was keen on something new, something where I can have a lonely session every day in quiet but great conditions. It was around the same time that my friend Upul (who is from Sri Lanka, but living in Austria for almost 10 years) told me about the windy days during summer at his homespot. I could not believe it, he spoke of perfect flat-water with 25 knots everyday. It sounded too good to be true, so I checked flights and travelled there for my first time last summer with a group of friends to check it out. Windguru was right – it was windy almost everyday.
The summer months are perfect for flat-water fanatics, mainly because the spot in the north west of the island, next to India is always going off. It’s name is Kalpitiya. It’s a small fishing town on the edge of a huge lagoon. This lagoon is so f**** big you can’t imagine. I know people who really thought they were windsurfing on the Indian Ocean because you never have the feeling that you can possibly be sailing on a small tiny bit of a lagoon. It's far from the lagoon I know of in Fuerteventura.
This summer I decided to travel back here with my brother, because we wanted to visit our friends and enjoy more lonely sessions. The conditions were perfect, but this is not the only reason we came back. Yes, like anywhere you can find enough bad points too, BUT the best thing about Kalpitiya is around midday you can always find a flat place somewhere in the lagoon where you rip ALONE! No other windsurfers and kitesurfers! Especially as the few kitesurfers are on their lunchbreak for quite a while. Also when it gets crowded around 3pm you still find good spots to shred alone. The only thing to be wary of is that there is almost never a morning session, and it gets dark quite early, around 7 pm during the summer months. However, if you are pissed off at someone crashing into you after you land a massive move then it is kind of hard to say no to this place.
The Travel Details
It's real easy, book your flight to Colombo, then get in touch with Upul De Silva (www.surfschool-srilanka.com) he runs the biggest kite and windsurf school in Sri Lanka and it is directly on the spot. You'll also find nice accommodation there right beside the lagoon. You can store your kit on site or rent all the new Gaastra/Tabou gear (skinny masts – the newest booms).
If you bring your own kit 4.8/5.2 will be your most used sail, on the windy days you can often use smaller and sometimes in August you will also need 5.2 or a bit bigger if you are not so desperate to freestyle.
The best wind month is June when you check the statistics, but from May-to September you can’t really go wrong, the European summer months are sick!
I would suggest you don’t book a room/house in the town, because then you need to go to the beach everyday by tuktuk (around 2.5 Euros each way), you can also rent your own one.
My top tip is: Don’t get a rental car – you will die if you drive, these local guys have there own style of driving and if you are used to rules and European standards you won’t make it. Use the locals, they are friendly and love the business and no drive is to long...