Sri Lanka is one of those places I've wanted to visit practically from the moment I started traveling on my own. It wasn't popular back then, but someone told someone and then someone told someone else and that someone else told me and so I added it to my ‘to do' list for the future. The idea stayed on the shelf for years until a few months ago when everything finally lined up perfectly and I found myself on the plane to Colombo.
Kalpitiya, the most famous kitespot in Sri Lanka, is awesome! During the high season the wind blows practically every day – during my whole stay only two days were without wind (and that was during the full moon, which happens in many places) and the remaining time I was kiting perfectly powered on my 8m Chaos. Almost every day the wind was picking up from early morning until 10AM and then stayed steady until around 2PM. After that the direction would change slightly, which made the wind more gusty. Not that it bothered me, because after kiting 10AM-1PM I hardly ever had any strength left to go riding in the afternoon anyway 😉
Kalpitiya lagoon is quite big and consists of at least three smaller bays, each perfect for freestyle. It is no longer the undiscovered spot it once was, but I think it is still far less crowded than most popular kitesurfing destinations. While beginners and intermediate riders usually keep close to the rescue boats parked in the main bay, experienced riders are always welcome to kite a bit more downwind in seperate small bays, which are much emptier. Many times it happened that I was the only person in my small lagoon, 100m downwind from everyone! Perfect conditions to go for all the powered new tricks I always wanted to try but was scared I'd smash my kite on someone in the process.
There are three kiteschools teaching in the lagoon. I was staying in Srilankakite, an amazing school owned by Fabio Ingrosso. The lagoon itself doesn't have much around, the closest town is a few kilometers away, and so it is pretty important that the place you are staying at provides you with the best atmosphere and vibe possible (you don't want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere in a place that sucks…). Fabio's school not only has a great friendly vibe, it also serves amazing food three times a day, has a bar, big and clean kite storage, it offers kite repairs, yoga classes and massages. The perfect package for someone who wants to have it all.
And if the lagoon gets a bit boring, you can always hop on one of the boats that can take you on a daily trip to the Magic Spot – a kitespot on a small island in the middle of the sea, with super steady offshore winds and butterflat water. Never gets crowded out there, that is for sure 😉
To sum it up, my Sri Lanka adventure was one of the best ones I have had so far (probably comes second to a few deserted islands I was lucky to kite in the past, but that would be all). I know that it can be a tricky spot and some years the wind is not as good as others, but during my three week stay everything was really spot-on and that is how I will remember it. I hope I will be able to visit Kalpitiya again in the future!
May wind be with you,