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8 February 2008

Surfing Sri Lanka

Location : Weligama, Sri Lanka.

After more than 10 hours in flight and hooking up with my friend from Spain(Gerardo) in Doha, Qatar, we touched down last Thursday(31st January) morning smack straight into Sri Lankan touts trying their very best to scam their way into your pockets. Thank the Lord I'm Malaysian...

Sri Lankan boy jumping off a crane into the sea
Local life in Galle, Sri Lanka.

So, I'm in Sri Lanka! The experience has been amazing so's easy to forget that I'm in the middle of a conflict zone. After missing out on the boat(and the tsunami) to go surfing in Sri Lanka in 2004, I finally made it here after 4 years. Everywhere I go, nobody has ever met a Malaysian and even where I'm staying at the moment(Midigama), they say I'm the first! The surf is just awesome - A Frame, left points, right points, mostly reef breaks. Gerardo and I based ourselves in Hikkaduwa, rented a scooter and scoured the coastline from Hikkaduwa, through Galle, Unawatuna, Koggala, Kablana, Midigama, Weligama to Mirissa. Midigama is great for the focused surfer - both left and right point breaks in front of the guesthouse with a variety of A-frames, points and workable walls that break up to a distance of 200m on a good day. Yes, it can be a long paddle back to the lineup if you catch a long ride!

The Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka.
Free accommodation
Sunset at Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka.
Sunset beer at Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka.

But anyway, tragedy struck this morning when someone dropped into a wave I was catching. He jumped off his board and that in turn, swung his surfboard in my direction...all while a 6 foot wave was trying to eat me up. Of course, I wiped out, bounced off the reef at the bottom, came back up and decided to not catch waves from the 1st point anymore(with assholes like that around). After the surf, I paddle back to land and lo & behold, a huge fucken crack up into the foam of my board. That bastard's fin must've cracked my board's ass wide open and I kept on riding waves thinking nothing happened. Sigh...

Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka.
A-Frame reef break at Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka.

Anyway....last weekend, Gerardo and I were planning to head to Colombo on Sunday(3rd February) by train to watch the national independence day celebrations in the capital city on Monday. Place an easygoing Spanish and a laidback Malaysian together, nothing will come to pass. And so nothing did - we didn't make it. But guess what? A suicide bomber blew herself apart at the Fort(Colombo's main train station) on Sunday afternoon(when we were planning to arrive in Colombo). Close call. Then on independence day itself, 4 bombs rocked Colombo, severely interrupting the celebrations. Phooooeey...thank the Lord I surf! I doubt there are any suicide surfers around. =)

Now that independence day celebrations are over(and risk should be lower), we're thinking of heading up to the hill countryside towns of Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Ella. Will try to update you guys again before I leave the country but for the moment, I'm heading off for another tropical surf! Bye.

P.S. Happy Chinese New Year!

Posted by Ripcord at February 8, 2008 09:29 AM



Posted by: red... at February 10, 2008 10:50 AM

Happy Chinese New Year !!!!

Did you try to jump in to the see like the locals in the first picture? The landing looks painful..

Posted by: Kevin at February 11, 2008 12:43 AM

happy cny! the 'a' frame is unbelievably a static ramp!

spent the cny in cherating..surfing waist to shoulder height waves. kijal was blown out and quarry had waves breaking on to the you didnt miss much, although it would have been fun having you there.


Posted by: sam at February 12, 2008 02:18 AM

red : long time no speak!

kevin : the landing WAS painful but he survived... =)

sam : it's currently breaking overhead here! will try to upload more surf pics later.

Posted by: Ripcord at February 12, 2008 04:54 AM

...Happy Chinese New Year bro... I didnt know ur blog still runnung ... & happy to see u still active and travelling aroung the world. U take care ur self where ever you are !!

Posted by: grandPa at February 12, 2008 06:21 AM

How's the crowd factor at all the breaks, Bro ?

Posted by: nas of singapore at February 13, 2008 02:41 PM

Happy CNY dude!

That place in the pics, wherever you were ... looks like a hidden jewel in Asia. How random is that.. a odd stone house at the jagged coastline?

Have fun in Sri Lanka. And stay alive!

Posted by: odrii at February 13, 2008 03:24 PM

Sweet! Looks awesome bro. hope it all went well. more pics and tales of tropical suns!

Posted by: Stevie at February 17, 2008 01:41 PM

grandpa : still running but just not as active as before.

nas : at hikkaduwa, it can be bad when the japs come around but all other breaks are empty. loads of unknown spots...

odrii : it sure is a hidden jewel! are u looking for free accommodation? :)

stevie : sri lanka gets more consistent swells than malaysia. it was almost double overhead just a few days ago!

Posted by: Ripcord at February 17, 2008 11:25 PM

You're alive! Amazing... =)

Wahahahaha! You reckon I can survive a tsunami in that one? I really don't mind you know.

Btw, it's time for an update again.

Posted by: odriic at February 19, 2008 05:27 PM

dude anymore surf pics?

Posted by: isk at February 20, 2008 11:14 AM

hey ed the day u touch down was the same day i had me bday party..anyways,pretty bummed to hear about kelly..whatchagonna do?

Posted by: isk at February 21, 2008 07:57 AM

odriic : ok, as requested - new entry posted! =)

isk : happy belated burpday dude! hope you got a good ride...

Posted by: Ripcord at February 23, 2008 07:46 PM

u managed some interesting and cool shots...
something abt travelling to hardcore 3rd world country is the chance to experience the ruggedness way of life there....

Posted by: zbjernak at March 15, 2008 02:39 PM