kite spots in sri lanka
On this website you find everything you need to know about the most amazing kite spots in Sri Lanka. By now, Sri Lanka ranks as one of the top kitesurfing destinations in the world. It made its reputations with its outstanding wind statistics and heaps of flat water.
The most and best kitespots in Sri Lanka are to be found along the North West coast approximately 150 km north of Colombo Airport.
To start off, we like to share some valuable information explaining why Sri Lanka turned into a kitesurfing heaven within just a few years.
Although relatively small, Sri Lanka is blessed with vast geographical diversity. It is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and calls home to a 1340km long tropical coastline, brimmed with rugged landscapes, soaring mountains, palm tree groves, an almost infinite number of islands and sandbanks, big lagoons and powdery beaches. With its mean geographical latitude of 7° North, the kitespots of Sri Lanka are perfectly placed within the northern trade wind belt.
The “monsoon-winds” as the Tradewinds are called in Asia are consistently blowing for unmatched 8 month of the year. Five months out of a Southwesterly direction and three months out of the North to Northwest. Therefore Sri Lanka’s northwestern coastal area calls home to best kite spots in Sri Lanka and the entire Asia region for 8 months of the year – Sri Lanka has more wind than any other kite destination in the world – AND – its always warm!
Kite spots in NW Sri Lanka - the greater Kalpitiya area
Once arrived in Sri Lanka, head North along the coast for about 2 hours, then turn off to the West onto the 40 km long, sandy peninsula and you will find yourself right inside the Epicenter of Kitesurfing in Asia. Welcome to Kappalady and Kalpitiya, the two main kitespots in Sri Lanka. Great wind, lots of flat water, sandy beaches and islands around, the area is perfect to base yourself for your kitesurfing holiday and to discover the best kite spots in Sri Lanka.
Kitesurfing in Sri Lanka started in Kappalady. It can be called the birthplace of kitesurfing in Sri Lanka. It's a chilled, laid back fisherman’s village facing the kite-lagoons and the Indian ocean. Kappalady is an amazing kite spot to learn kitesurfing in Sri Lanka. From here kitesurfing spread to Kalpitiya and other kite spots around Sri Lanka.
Kappalady Lagoon - the birth place of kitesurfing in Sri Lanka! Kappalady Lagoon is fully exposed to the consistent South West Monsoon winds blowing from May - October. Kappalady packs a much a bigger wind punch than Kalpitiya Lagoon which is often gusty during summer. You cant get lost at Kappalady lagoon. With warm and waist deep water, no rocks, a wide sandbank and steady winds, it is one of the safest kitespots to learn kitesurfing in Sri Lanka - also for kids. There are only 2 kite schools operating at Kappalady and they keep a friendly and relaxed vibe going. Freestylers love the lagoons as here they find the butterflat patches they are looking for to launch their new tricks. And thats not all - from June - September a nice 3-6ft wave line is piling up on the Kappalady reef which gets the wave kiters covered with a nice swell. Many kitesurfers have learned wave kiting at Kappalady reef.
Kappalady ranks as the most versatile kitespot in Sri Lanka in combination with an authentic experience of the tropical simplicity and beauty of Sri Lanka. Kappalady has all in one what you are looking for when searching for your kitespot in Sri Lanka. As a village, Kappalady remains rather quiet. Its not the place to party but rather to enjoy the surrounding nature. The few hotels and resorts are committed to environmental sustainability and community development.
During summer you can do a day trip and kite from Kappalady to Kalpitiya lagoon. On your way you will pass Donkey another great wave spot.
If you are a wave rider, Donkey point is a must for you! It is a great wave spot and alongside with Kappalady reef one of the 2 best kite spots in the North West of Sri Lanka to do wave riding and kiting in the ocean. There is nothing but wind nice waves and a lonely beach and sometimes a herd of wild donkeys. The wind is very steady as there are absolutely no obstructions as long as you stay at the point. But watch out as during summer when it works best as a wave spot, the wind blows side offshore. Refreshing and a good change to the other kite spots in Sri Lanka and around Kalpitiya! In summer it can be reached from Kappalady by kite in 20min or by Tuc Tuc from Kalpitiya town. It is located approximately 10 km South West of Kalpitiya. Ask the Tuc Tuc to bring you to Kandakuli.
The Kalpitiya lagoon is the main kitespot in Kalpitiya and the most widely known kite spot in Sri Lanka. After Kappalady was taken, most of the kite schools based themselves here. The best time for kitesurfing is from December to February when the NW wind freely blows into the lagoon. With the sandbank breaking the ocean swell the large lagoon turns into a flat water playground with lots of space. During the main kite season which is from May to September, it gets quite gusty as the wind blows a for kilometers over the land and trees before reaching the lagoon. The wind turbines also disturb the airflow during summer. If you are a beginner and want to learn kitesurfing while having some buzz after your kite sessions, Kalpitiya is a good kite spot to learn Sri Lanka. However, over the last few years tourism has created an overgrowth of hotels and resorts around the lagoon and this kite
spot in Sri Lanka has lost a bit of its authenticity. As a result, during the kite season, the lagoon tends to get crowded. Some like it – some don’t.
What a lot of people do not know is that Sri Lanka has a pretty stellar lineup of amazing kitespots all around its coastline. Besides the above mentioned three main kite spots in the North West of Sri Lanka, there is half a dozen other amazing kite spots with lots of flatwater and amazing wind conditions. On the remote islands and sandbanks of Puttalam lagoon, Dutchbay and Protugal Bay, you will encounter epic kitesurfing and the indigenous local fishing traditions and life with much fewer crowds.
Puttalam lagoon is the “biggest” kite spot in Sri Lanka. It is the largest lagoon, Sri Lanka has on offer and it calls home to over a dozen kitespots consisting of tiny islands, sandbanks, large pockets of flat water. Probably a hand full of the spots are visited by kitesurfers and kite safari crews. The lagoon starts at the North Western district capital Puttalam and stretches for 30km north to Kalpitiya. It is 15km wide and with its size and possibilities a huge and an amazing playground for adventurous kitesufers who like to explore. It is a pretty epic place to explore by kite, especially because only very few other kiteboarders make it down here.
However here a word of caution: As Puttalam Lagoon is an active fishing area, in certain places you will be facing a lot of lines nets and stick. There are also areas of dense sea weed which will bury your lines for good if you happen to crash the kite. Certain areas are as shallow as a few inches. So don’t go by yourself, and be cautious overall. In addition boat and road access to the kiteable areas is fairly limited. It’s best to ask advice or even better yet, to join a tour with a local kiteschool.Kitecenter Sri Lanka based in Kappalady has probably the most experience in Puttalam lagoon as they start their safaris from here.
But do not get discouraged about it. With its rugged landscape amazing mangroves, birds and flat water Puttalam Lagoon is definitely on of the epic kitespots in Sri Lanka – unique, wide and wild!
For long kept secret this amazing kite spot ranks amongst the best in Sri Lanka. The unique feature of this kitespot is the 500m long sandbank which runs perpendicular to the main wind direction in summer. This results in a butterflat mega kite spot to which Kitecenter Sri Lanka were the first to organize daytrips. Therefore form May to Septenmer it is one of the best flat water kite spots in Sri Lanka. At the backend of the island you find yourself in “water birds paradise” there are some very shallow areas and banks, where migrating birds take rest or wait for their next hunt. You even meet pelicans here. Recently a few other kiteschools also started coming here. Its never busy though! The island is located in the middle of Dutch Bay and reachable in around 30 minutes by boat.
Vella is definitely the most famous safari kite spot in Sri Lanka and probably the best of all. It is actually nothing else than a humongous sand bar with butter flat water behind – especially during summer. As there are absolutely no obstructions, the wind is as steady as it gets coming straight from the sea. Vella is the perfect spot for intermediate to advanced riders Vella presents a really authentic paradise for kitesurfing-lovers! Its super basic, a few authentic settlings of migrating fishermen, lots of wind, sand and flat water – its amazing! It’s reputation running ahead as the best kite spot in Sri Lanka it totally justified. The wind is off shore though and if you loose it, you need a rescue or end up in the Wilpattu National park, 7km in the East. Vella island is located at the heart of Portugal Bay, in front of the largest National Park of Sri Lanka. From Kalpitiya it can be reached within a 1hour boat ride. Vella Island is the ultimate Must Do kite spot in Sri Lanka. There are no hotels or infrastructure. Most kiteschools organize kitesafaris to Vella and a few even organize basic overnight camps. During the winter month, experienced kitesurfers can do a downwinder from Vella Island to Navy Point.
The Dream spot is THE kitespot reachable from land in the Dutch Bay. By boat which is easier to get there it is some 20 minutes away from Kalpitiya. Dream spot unlike most other kitespots in Sri Lanka works in both seasons, as the sandbank runs South to North sheltering the lagoon from the sea swell in both seasons. The Dream spot welcomes you with flat water all the year around and during summer you even find a nice swell line which piles up 3-5ft waves about 200m from the shore. A nice playground for wave kiters and if you time it right you will be catapulted high into the air. You have lots of space her and a wide sandbank to get yourself organized. On those rare days when the wind drops in most other kitespots in Sri Lanka, Dreamspot still works as the wind comes unobstructed and steady here, which is why with this kite spot a litle dream is coming true. Wind is side to side to side off during the entire year. All in all one of the spots ranking at the top of all kitespots in Sri Lanka.
This kite spot is located at the very tip of the Kalpitiya peninsula and marks the entrance to “Duch Bay” It is a strategic and exposed point for which reason the Sri Lankan Navy has set up a base here. During winter when the wind blows from the N-W the 1km long sandbank turns this kitespot into a huge flat water playground. You feel like at the end of the world. With some luck you can spot dolphins here as they transit around Navy point into and out of the lagoons into the open ocean. It is a perfect starting point for a downwinder to Secret Spot during winter. Choppy in summer, stunning in winter, it makes it into the top ranks of the best kite spots in Sri Lanka
OTHER KITE SPOTS IN SRI LANKA
As you are by now aware, the most kite spots are located along the North West coast of Sri Lanka, however what people don’t know is that there’s a pretty stellar lineup of other kitesurfing spots in Sri Lanka that, so far, are skimming blissfully under the radar. Apart from the above mentioned popular kite spots in the Kalpitiya area, there are some other kite spots in Sri Lanka worth to be mentioned.
Heading about 4 hours to the north from Puttalam you will arrive at Mannar Island. Actually it is a peninsula which stretches deep into the Indian ocean and once was connected with the Indian subcontinent. The Island and coastline of Mannar are remote and scenic. For years, it’s been cut off from Sri Lanka’s tourist map due to the ethnic conflict. Now, however, Mannar is receiving the much-awaited attention as it’s recognized as one of the top kite spots in Sri Lanka. During summer there are kilometers of dreamy flat waters, and steady wind conditions which keep the kiters engaged. In the winter months, the island of Mannar is also a breeding area for migratory birds. So if you are a birdlover, you can combine both kitesurfing and birdwatching in your trip. We recommend a 3-4 day kite experience in Mannar as it is quite a journey to get there. It brings a raw, scenic, authentic experience full of unique memories, however do not be surprised to find heaps of plastic ocean waste along the shores of Mannar. Especially during winter, the N-E monsoon winds deposit tons of plastic waste originating from the Indian mega cities on the beaches of Mannar. Alarming to see! Although this is may turn you off – Mannar definitely has the potential to make it to the top kite spots in Sri Lanka and the world. In the year 2013 the first crossing with kites from India to Sri Lanka has landed here. It has been done by a crew of Swiss kitesurfers which no operate Kitecenter Sri Lanka.
Is a nicely modulated kitespot at the river mouth of the Deduru Oya, a large river winding from the central mainlands to the Indian ocean transporting a lot of sand to the shore. For this reason the sandbanks around the river mouth are constantly being reshaped. So on a good windy day, it’s a huge playground where you kite in the flat water behind the sandbanks, or steer into the sea where at different places some nice waves pile up. Chilaw gets a bit less wind than the main kite spots in the Kalpitiya region however we feel that it is highly underrated as a kite spot in Sri Lanka. Possibly because of the proximity to Kappalady and Puttalam and because most tourists don’t dare to stop here. Also the spot is not easy to reach and you have to pass through some rather unpleasant areas of the outskirts of Chilaw town to get there. You need a 4x4 vehicle to get to the spot.
Some people also kitesurf in Negombo. Mainly because Negombo is a little town next to the airport where a bunch of expats live. It has a nice shore break however there is no flat water here. Its kiting on the sea. As a kite spot in Sri Lanka not to be mentioned but people kite here for the given reasons. There are plenty of big hotels here including the big 5star chains present in Sri Lanka.
THE SOUTH COAST
The southcoast of Sri Lanka calls home to many surfing spots. Some of them being considered world-class surf spots. To name a few, Madiha, Hiriketie, Midigama, Ahangama, Weligama, Mirissa and more. However the south coast is highly underrated in terms of kitesurfing in Sri Lanka. Even though it could be called the Maui of the Indian Ocean. The southcoast is famous for its surfing spots with a good and clean surfable swell – its known as a surfers paradise during winter. The waves though pound onto the southern reefs throughout the entire year but during summer the howling winds which are strongest here in the South make it impossible to surf. Reading this, the wave kiters are sharpening their ears. 25 to often 30 kts side shore winds and 6-9ft waves sounds like Hawaii. Any yes it is. Especially towards Hambantota the south Eastern part of Sri Lanka – Summer is the time for BIG GAME kiting. Only for advanced riders though and those who are experienced wave kiters!!! There is no kite school though in the South. You need to find your own way through! But there are a dozen kitespots which in the future will make it onto the map of kitesurfing in Sri Lanka.
And of course people may ask and what about Arugam Bay. Good question, yes A-bay as the locals call it ranks amongst the top 10 surf spots in the world. And this is how it has earned its fame. However during summer the wind blows often with 20 plus kts side offshore into the spot. Its coming over a hill though and is very gusty. However for advanced kitesurfers it can be thrilling to kite surf here.