The Ultimate Guide to Ahangama Surf

by Asia Kaczmarczyk

Ahangama surf is unsurprisingly pretty awesome. This little town occupies prime wave territory, close to the beginner mecca of Weligama and the glassy reef breaks of Midigama.

Ahangama surf

Ahangama surf at a glance

We might use affiliate links in this post. Basically, you click em’ and we get a little something from your booking or purchase. They help us keep offering more and more in-depth surf guides to awesome places all around the globe. So, thanks for that!

The good

  • Not as crowded as other parts of south Sri Lanka – ie. Weligama
  • Good mix of beaches and reefs
  • Fantastic surf camps

The bad

  • Off days in the rainy season
  • You might find you’re stuck to eating in your surf camp – it’s a small village

This is just one part of our larger ultimate guide to surfing in Sri Lanka. Check that out for extra info on all the island’s best waves.

What’s in this guide to Ahangama surf?

An introduction to Ahangama surfing

Ahangama bridges the gap between Weligama and Unawatuna. Those are two of the island’s most iconic surfing spots, and both really cater to the beginner crowd with protected beach breaks. The Ahangama surf bring something a little different. Yes, it’s got sand-bottomed swells for learners. However, it’s also threaded with rocky points and jagged reefs where intermediates and experts can happily go hunting for glassy lefts and rights.

There are one or two spots that reign as the headline acts in Ahangama. First is the upcoming beach at Kabalana. It’s right in the heart of the district, offering two distinct breaks and opposite ends of the ability scale. Then there’s the pretty challenging Ratith reef, which is a peeler to beat all peelers. Rides of just shy of 400m are up for grabs there when it’s at its best, and it’s even the host of local Sri Lankan surf tournaments.

One of the best things about choosing Ahangama surf trip is the quality of the surf camps. Ask us and we’ll say they’re some of the best, most fun, most inviting on the island. On top of that, it’s super easy to cruise outta’ here in search of other peaks in Midgama, Weligama, Unawatuna, and even across Matara way. Just ask the local tuk-tuk drivers and they’ll strap the board to the roof.

Where is Ahangama?

The district of Ahangama meets the Sri Lankan coast between Midigama and Unawatuna. It’s a part of the Southern Province, directly south out of the historic city of Galle. The main road, and the main link between the surf points in Ahangama, is the Matara coast highway. The capital of Colombo is just a few hours’ drive to the north. Alternatively, you can pick up the train and go all the way to Galle and get a rickshaw the rest of the way – that’s the fun way to arrive from the terminals.

A guide to Ahangama surf spots

Ahangama is a long stretch of beautiful tropical shoreline. With palm-shaded beaches and coves aplenty, there are all sorts of surf points. Here, we start in the north and move south-east to cover the whole shebang. We’ve also listed the nearby breaks that you should definitely check out when you get a little tired of Ahangama’s own.

Ahangama waves

Unawatuna

There is a reef break at Unawatuna but we don’t think it really compares to the quality of the reefs in Midigama, which is closer to Ahangama anyhow. The real reason to head up is on big swell days for beginner breaks. They’re on offer on Dewata Beach and are served by some fantastic local surf schools.

We have a complete guide to all the surf spots in Unawatuna

Dalawella

inconsistency is the main issue at this pretty decent reef break. Needs a good S swell to start going and has serious issues if northerly or cross-shore westerly winds kick in. Early in the morning you can avoid the breeze and get some decent 50-100m rides. The main hazard has to be the urchins.

Koggala Beach

There’s nothing hollow and hard at Koggala Beach, and its actually one of the less-consistent of the beaches in the Southern Province. Still, it’s a sand-bottomed break that goes nicely on chest-high southerly swells and can work well with a N offshore wind. Locals call the spot the South Beach.

On top of South Beach, you’ve also got the Koggala Left. Don’t confuse the two. The latter is a much more challenging reef that walls up quite steeply and breaks over coral.

Sticks Break

Not so well known but this fickle break offers some good rides for experienced short boarders when it works. It’s over very shallow reef and is quite a fast ride, so beginners should steer well clear. Always a left. Best on N-NE offshore winds.

Kabalana

Like SK Town further along the Matara Road, Kabalana surf has risen to become a real go-to for the surf schools of Weligama as the line ups start getting ridiculous in the high season on the home break. There is a nice, mellow shorebreak wave which comes in off the sand. It’s rarely big and prone to crumbling, so it’s starters only, although some days can pick up nice swells.

However, that’s not the main reason to come if you’re a serious surfer. That honor goes to the perfect A-frame at Kabalana surf point. Heavy and fast, it’s a challenging wave that can be surfed in both directions, is mightily rippable, and a treat for any shortboarders that love running off the lip and churning up the shoulder.

Rajith

Rajith is a competition-quality reef break that’s probably the best of the Ahangama surf, Kabalana point aside. A peeling A-frame with pretty long rides and a rippable shoulder, it’s good for intermediates and up. Breaks over reef and coral. Smaller days are mellow and cruisy. Bigger days are steeper and faster.

Midigama

Midigama is actually the name of a whole string of surf spots. They connect the end of the Ahangama surf with the edge of Weligama Bay. Among them is the legendary right at Ram’s – a pro’s break that’s hollow and uber-quick – and Coconuts – a nice, deep-reef right in a rocky bay. We’d say this is prime hunting ground for improving intermediates (apart from Ram’s).

Check out our full ultimate guide to surfing in Midigama

Weligama

Beginners have oodles to get stuck into in Weligama. A beach break that sits in a huge bay with shelter on both sides, it’s probably the perfect place to learn to surf in Sri Lanka. A tuk-tuk of about 15-20 mins can whisk you here from the Ahangama surf hostels. The main spot is the middle of the bay by the ugly Marriot hotel. There, waves are punchy but also mushy and perfect for practice. Some days see bigger sets coming out back if you want something larger, but the secondary swell is a fun kook fest. A word of warning: It gets super busy.

We’ve got a complete guide to the surfing in Weligama

What we’d take on a surf trip to Sri Lanka…

Recommended gear to take to Sri Lanka

  • Rash vest – It’s warm enough here to surf in a rashie all year round but we’d say get one with good SPF protection.
  • Board shorts – This completes the normal Sri Lanka surf set for men.
  • Bikinis – Ladies can go with a bikini all year here, so bag one that’s suited to surfing (AKA – not too many loose straps)
  • Sun cream – NEVER surf in Sri Lanka without a very good sunblock.
  • A surfboard bag – Qatar Airways currently run the only route into Sri Lanka offering free board carrying. Thing is, it’s GOTTA’ be packed right and must be <6 foot.

The best Ahangama surf stays

We think one of the top sticking points in Ahangama is the quality of the surf stays. Seriously, the surf camps and hostels are some of the coolest we’ve seen on the island. Especially…

Global Surf Lodge Kabalana ($$)

Surf-hotel-top-pick

Being rated a whopping 9+/10 speaks for itself, but the Global Surf Lodge really is something special. Fronted by a stunning pool that pokes out into a small clutch of coconut palms, it looks more like a deluxe hotel than a surfer’s camp. Rooms are slick and stylish, sporting polished concrete and natural wood tones. The breaks of awesome Kabalana (beginners and pros) are just over the road and there’s even a purpose-built platform where you can go to check the swell conditions.

Mosvold Villa ($$$)

Splash the cash on this stunning villa and you’ll have yourself a massive master bedroom set to the sounds of the Indian Ocean. It’s perfectly located between Kabalana’s fantastic beach break and the reefs of Midigama for surfing. That is, if you want to leave: Mosvold Villa has a grand courtyard, an inviting oceanside pool, and sunning areas right by the sea.

Southern Beach Surf Lodge ($)

Best for: Ahangama surf trips on a budget with local twist

Okay, so it’s not the most stylish and chic of surf lodges in Sri Lanka, but Southern Beach Surf Lodge has got something other spots can only dream of: Character. Lovely, local hosts join with wallet-friendly rates to give a no-frills pad close to the reefs of south-western Ahangama. Actually, it’s practically in Midigama, so there’s loads to surf.

When to surf in Ahangama

Ahangama is on the south coast of Sri Lanka. That means two very different surfing seasons. Or, to put it better: That means one surfing season worth its salt.

Ahangama seasons

Wet season (May to October)

The Southwest Monsoon crashes into this corner of Sri Lanka around spring time, bringing oodles of downpours and storm swells that can mess up any of the neat reef breaks around Ahangama. Swells aside, the weather is also pretty awful. You’ll probably save money on the surf camps but there’s a good reason for that!

Wear: Rash vest/swim wear. Take booties if you’re hitting the reefs.

Dry season (November to April)

Wait for the dry season and you’ll get the best of the Ahangama surf for sure. November swings around and the rains slowly stop. So do the ocean storms, paving the way for regular southern swells at nice wide periods. By December things are ticking along nicely. The start of the dry season can sometimes mean heavier waves. However, it’s pretty consistent throughout.

Wear: Rash vest/swim wear. Take booties if you’re hitting the reefs.

Surf shops in Ahangama

Ahangama has a good peppering of surf shops. You won’t go hungry for rash vests, wax or leashes. Just don’t depend on these small local outfits to be able to source you boards and whatnot.

Soul & Surf – Kit

Official stockists of well-known, high-quality brands like Finisterre and Salt Gypsy, Soul & Surf is a cracking little store in Ahangama. They also have outlets in Kerala, India, and Portugal. Nice people; great stuff.

Sion Surf Shop

It might not be hue but we love the Sion Surf Shop and Cafe. Great food aside (more on that later), they stock a couple of various board shapes, essential sex wax, eco sun screens and a few more sustainable goodies. Be sure to drop in.

Best places to eat in Ahangama

Get ready for a mix of fantastic international eateries (this is a Sri Lankan tourist hotspot, after all) and spice-filled curries courtesy of the subcontinent. There’s all sorts on offer after a day on the waves in Ahangama…

Food in Ahangama

Sion Surf Shop & Cafe

I know – we’ve already mentioned Sion. But we haven’t mentioned the food. It’s cracking. Crispy choco pastries join with crunchy baguettes filled with veg and cheese. You can also get rotis and salads and handmade crisps on the side. Oh yea, and it’s right by the waves!

Sticks Ahangama

Sticks Ahangama is named after the famous fishing poles that jut from the Indian Ocean right in front of the restaurant. It’s relaxed and casual cafe diner with a healthy range of poke bowls and whatnot. Also super close to some of the area’s best breaks.

Maria Bonita Sri Lanka Café & Casa

You get more of the oat-filled, fruit-topped poke bowls and good-for-you breakfasts at Maria Bonita. The coffee is banging though, and it’s an all-round lovely place to sit and chill with a book after you’ve been in the ocean.

Things to do when you’re not surfing in Ahangama

We can’t imagine a day in southern Sri Lanka when we wouldn’t be surfing. Still, there’s plenty to do if you choose not to hit the breaks…

Ahangama fishing sticks

Ahangama stick fishing

The stick fishermen of Ahangama are one of the postcard sights of the Southern Province. We think they’re all a little touristy, and most folk don’t actually fish like this anymore at all. Still, they are there on the main beach at Ahangama ready to be photographed. And they look pretty cool, eh?

Hiyare Reservoir Sanctuary

Check out this rainforest and reservoir park up in the hills behind Ahangama. It’s pretty off the beaten path and not many other visitors will go there. Some hiking paths that are best done with a guide and plenty of chances to see the native wildlife.


We might use affiliate links in this post. Basically, you click em’ and we get a little something from your booking or purchase. They help us keep offering more and more in-depth surf guides to awesome places all around the globe. So, thanks for that!

This is just one part of our big ultimate guide to surfing in Sri Lanka, which includes way more information on all the top surf spots across the Teardrop of India.

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